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Opinion: The necessity of fighting climate change

We all have two strategies we can use in dealing with the dramatic effects of the climate crisis. We can employ adaptation strategies, and/or mitigation strategies. Adaptation strategies involve hardening/reinforcing our homes, businesses and service, agricultural and government facilities against severe fires, floods, storms and droughts. Adaptation is expensive and there is no net financial gain.

Mitigation strategies involve reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we add to our atmosphere, and geoengineering. This involves replacing the infrastructure that produces those gases to generate the energy that all of us demand for lighting, heating, cooling and transportation.

Employing mitigation strategies involves investing in our future, much like construction of the interstate highway system in the second half of the 20th century. We all continue to reap the benefits of that national construction project.

Some of us will plant our heads in the sand and say that those monster storms are just unusual, that we can’t do anything about the weather. Those short-sighted folks will always express such opinions. With the recent release of the United Nations  report “The Closing Window,” all of us must begin to mitigate or adapt. Some mitigation can be small scale. 

Since March 2020 we have had a solar photovoltaic system on our house. The system has generated electricity for us and we have kept a large amount of carbon dioxide from being added to our atmosphere. Our monthly electric bill has been reduced by as much as 40 percent.

Quoting from the U.N. report, released on Oct. 27, “Current policies and [Nationally Determined Contributions] NDCs are woefully insufficient to meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.” The IPCC report insisted that global greenhouse gas emissions would have to peak “before 2025 at the latest, and be reduced by 43 per cent by 2030.

We are about to select folks to fill leadership positions for the next two to six years. We must select folks who will choose to invest in our future and mitigate against changes in climate.

Frank Lock