"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Friday, June 26, 2009

Update to the Recent Long Piece

In a recent essay which is much too long for most blog readers to bother with, "We Are What We Think", I argued that we need to rethink our relationship to the world. I was somewhat vague as to how to do it. Also for good measure I snarled at Andy Revkin, which I sill usually do given a chance.

Revkin has gone a way to redeem himself with his most recent Dot Earth piece which I think is both wonderful, and whether so intended or not, an excellent follow-on to "We Are What We Think".

In "The Climate Bill in Climate Context", Revkin offers a realistic look at the many further steps along the road which we begin here, and concludes with the realistic and yet radical advice of the UK's Prime Minister Brown. This provides a good basis for the new thinking, new thinking which needs to pervade all societies, quickly. For fundamentally, the extent to which we are competitors is dwarfed by the extent to which we are, like it or not, teammeates.

Success will require two major shifts in how we think - as policy makers, as campaigners, as consumers, as producers, as a society. The first is to think not in political or economic cycles; not just in terms of years or even decadelong programs and initiatives. But to think in terms of epochs and eras — and how our stewardship will be judged not by tomorrow’s newspapers but by tomorrow’s children.

And the second is to think anew about how we judge success as a society. For 60 years we have measured our progress by economic gains and social justice. Now we know that the progress and even the survival of the only world we have depends on decisive action to protect that world. In the end, without environmental stewardship, there can be no sustainable prosperity and no sustainable social justice.


Marion Delgado said...

I was urged by repower america which gore is part of to urge my rep defazio to support ACES. But ACES is way below my line now (it's being gamed like health care and if not now, when. What next, will democrats claim they need 110 senators and 5,000 reps, including deceased ones, or they can't do a climate bill that isn't simply approving the status quo? @#$#$ anyone who says you need 70 senators to pass a goddamn bill.), so i support defazio either way. just a report from the trenches.

Anna Haynes said...

> concludes with the realistic and yet radical advice of the UK's Prime Minister Brown.

Actually, it concludes with the all-too-frequent Dot Earth "Is it hopeless, can we give up yet?" deflationary rejoinder - in this case, "Do you think societies are capable of such shifts?"

...which has the effect of deflating any can-do spirit that the immediately preceding speech by P.M. Brown has engendered.

We need a Churchillian climate blog, and I have to say that In It For The Gold is typically way better than Dot Earth in that regard.

Anna Haynes said...

(the above wasn't meant like it came out, it's meant as constructive criticism; I would very much like for Dot Earth to become more like In It For the Gold in this way.)

Michael Tobis said...

Aw dang, don't apologize to me! I liked being Churchillian!

I think Revkin should at least admit that he reads this blog. That would be a start.