The latest issue of Time magazine should be a wakeup call for leaders in this country. It’s a special report on global warming with a headline, “Be Worried. Be Very Worried.” The cover story by Jeffrey Kluger describes how there is no doubt among scientists and independent policymakers that climate change is real, “..in the past five years or so, the serious debate has quietly ended.” Need a little more proof? Also, check out these pictures of Argentina’s Upsala Glacier.
These stories are excellent, but what does it all mean? Mark Twain famously said, “Everyone is talking about the weather, but nobody is doing anything about it.” It’s important to raise awareness about global warming, but it is imperative for our corporate and political leaders to take action. How many severe storms must we endure before the President shows leadership on climate? How many communities threatened or species extinguished before Ford Motor Company, Chevron, and the rest of corporate America takes responsibility?
Let’s hope that we don’t get simply more hot air. Indeed, flipping through the pages of the current Time, one will find ads from British Petroleum, Ford, General Motors – companies that are rarely accused of being climate heroes. We need to make sure that these companies aren’t allowed to actually market themselves and profit through the perception that they are leaders on climate, but without really doing much. As RAN campaigner Bill Barclay said yesterday, paraphrasing JFK, “Ask not what the climate crisis can do for you, but what you can do for the climate crisis.”