It's Time to Act on Climate Change

Reader Contribution by Staff
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Climate change getting you down? If you’ve ever wondered if humanity can really do anything about greenhouse gas emissions, watching David Letterman’s recent rant about climate change may help you get it all out of your system. (You can find it here on The Huffington Post. The quick summary: We are dead meat.)

But this week I’ve been feeling more optimistic, and for good reason. On Tuesday and Wednesday I attended the Kansas State Energy Conference to learn more about what’s happening locally and nationally on different energy issues. As part of that, I was lucky enough to get to hear the keynote address from one of the leading experts on climate science, Dr. James Hansen.

Don’t get me wrong, no one is likely to walk away from a lecture on climate change with a rosy view of the Earth’s future. It certainly wasn’t all good news. But at the same time, Hansen wasn’t saying that we’re dead meat or that it’s already too late. Instead, his message was that we still have time to act.

However, it’s a narrow window. We need to take serious action immediately, and it sounds like we’re talking about some pretty major steps — such as figuring out how to get off of coal completely unless we can figure out how to capture and store the carbon. There’s a great article from Hansen here on the Worldwatch Institute Web site with much more information on his views on climate.

Another bright spot: It was exciting to be at the conference and see how much is already happening in the world of wind power. There are a lot of new wind turbines being installed here on the Great Plains and in other windy spots around the world. Let’s keep them coming.