Let's make the world a better place. *Props to Urban Octopus for the artwork ^
This Spring, fifty Weis markets throughout Pennsylvania will roll out a new composting program. Customers will be able to purchase “Weis Choice Compost”, which is made in part from Weis’ food scraps and yard trimmings.
Partnering with American Biosoils & Compost, Weis Markets hopes to create “a coordinated, fully integrated, decentralized, recycling loop.”
Supermarkets waste millions of tons each year in compostable materials. To my knowledge, this is the first initiative in which customers will be able to buy compost soil amendment at the store from where the organic material originated.
As of this moment, unknowns include the location of the composting facilities to the individual Weis markets, as well as consumer cost for the end product. If Weis can cut down transportation costs (both monetary and environmental) and offer a high-quality, affordable compost for consumers, the idea will gain significant traction.
For supermarkets like Weis, a composting initiative is a great way to boost a CSR/Sustainability image. But what this program hopes to achieve is a monetary incentive in the form of a marketable end product, which is hugely important in enticing board members.
On the surface, Weis seems to have developed a win-win model to divert waste from landfill and shift funds from traditional waste hauling to a system with a return on investment. In addition, this may prompt more gardening and food production near Weis markets, as well as nourishment of Pennsylvania soils.
Stay tuned for updates as this exciting new program gets underway.
View the Weis Markets Sustainability Director’s press release, here.
Watch this video to find out why we don’t:
Fun Fact: Humans consume only 1% of the corn grown in the US.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend a symposium at Case Western University in Cleveland, OH honoring Dr. David Suzuki with the Inamori Prize for Ethics & Excellence.
For those who are not familiar with Dr. Suzuki, he is a world-renowned environmental activist, sustainable ecologist, and Doctor of Zoology.
I’d like to share some of his thoughts through these quotes:
“Thinking we can bioengineer our planet is madness”
This thought came on the subject of innovation. For decades, the dominant American ideology has been that no matter the obstacles in our way, we will innovate a solution. With regards to carbon emissions and climate change, many believe we can simply innovate solutions to sequester or nullify the negative effects on our biosphere that we have caused. For Suzuki, this is indeed madness. The biosphere (Earth) is the most resilient, complex, and beautiful solution to providing life - so much so that the majority of its networks and capacities are unknown to humans. Why force our inferior engineering onto an extraordinary, bewildering system that is Earth?
“We are animals”
Suzuki says this is the most important idea we should take away from his talk. On Earth, we are a part of a greater network of living creatures. Human quest for superiority stems from human’s inherent inferiority within our biosphere. We have learn to manipulate and navigate our planet through a perfect combination of luck and skill. Apart from that, humans lack in nearly every other attribute to many of our fellow animals. We are not the fastest, not the strongest. We have a limited vocabulary for expression, we engineer with tools instead of making them biologically. Once we dethrone ourselves from exceptional status, our home - Earth - becomes the ultimate priority for human survival and prosperity. Suzuki believes this humility is a necessity.
“We ARE air, we ARE water”
We are all connected. The air we breath, the water we drink, is forever conserved. In this way, we are connected to every part of our planet - to flora and to fauna, from the deepest ocean to the highest mountaintop. Suzuki tackled the false dichotomy of “humanity” and “environment”. This dichotomy, he believes, is a fundamental failure of the environmental movement. By advocating for the environment, we ‘other’ the environment as something other than ourselves, something removed from human society. He argues, we must fundamentally change the way we view the biosphere and our place within - not outside - it.
“We can’t change nature, but we can change what we’ve created. Economies aren’t the laws of nature, we can change them!”
Since the advent of capitalism and possibly before, economics, its academic study, and the ‘economy’ exist as an omnipotent force that humanity must obey, less it run the risk of acting in an ‘uneconomic’ way. The fear of lacking economic growth penetrates near every aspect of modern human society and it sadly blinds us to the real truth. Economy is a man-made structure in order to value items of perceived worth. And as such, rewards actors who value self-interest over the complex connections within human society and within the biosphere. It is absurdity to equate economy with nature.
“Wealth is not quantified by stuff but qualified through shared experience”
Dr. Suzuki ended with a heartfelt anecdote. His father was dying. An old man now, his father had come to terms with his death and was just a few weeks from passing on. Luckily for Dr. Suzuki, he and his father were able to spend his last days together. They laughed, they cried, reminiscing about old friends and telling stories about shared experiences. Reflecting upon these final days, Suzuki realized they hadn’t mentioned the material items - their favorite Oldsmobile or the clothes on their backs. The things we remember most are stories and memories of the ones we love - friends, family, and acquaintances. We should prioritize what little time we have by making memories with loved ones, and yet-to-be-loved ones.
David Suzuki’s talk was throughly enjoyable - a breath of fresh air. By melding ideas of science, spirituality, humanity, and common sense, Suzuki eloquently advocates for a holistic perspective towards our life on Earth.
For more information on Dr. David Suzuki, visit his foundation at http://www.davidsuzuki.org/
Find a collection of his books here
Thursday, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced his ‘bold’ energy plan to achieve North American Energy Independence by 2020.
In his speech, he proposes the following:
Right off the bat, this policy is drill-centric. In the vein of “drill baby, drill” Romney believes that drilling for oil is the only answer for our energy future.
Sadly, his view is misguided.
First off, increasing production of ethanol would be disastrous. Ethanol, produced from corn, rewards large-scale corporate farming, which perpetuates the financial robbery of smaller, organic farming and the continued use of GMOs, pesticides and herbicides that ruin our fields and health.
But mainly, there is zero mention of alternative energy - wind, solar, etc. - in his energy plan. Forget the obvious conflict with our need to combat climate change, the green energy sector exists as an enormous opportunity for American job growth, investment, and innovation, all while maintaining a commitment to energy independence and recouping our environmental losses from a century of dirty energy. Neglecting this industry is the most lethal blow we can give to America’s economic health.
Many opponents to alternative energy argue that government involvement in growing a new energy sector is asinine - against our country’s free-market principles. But a brief view into the oil industry’s relationship with our government tells a different tale. In the last five years alone, the oil industry has received around $300 Billion in subsidies from the U.S. government (via NRDC). These corporations - ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, some of the richest corporations on the planet - are propped up by government investment. Compare that to President Obama’s much-maligned American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which pledged a mere $36 Billion to American renewable energy projects.
What’s more, job growth will not be sustained if we only commit to drilling. It is irresponsible to depend on a single energy stream, albeit from slightly different sources. With this plan, Romney seeks to reap immediate job growth by opening new drill sites and pipelines, but what happens when those new wells dry up in 10 or 20 years? What happens when the price of oil rises so dramatically as it becomes cost-ineffective to scour the planet for the remaining drops, that the American people are abandoned with shallow pockets and an increasingly deteriorated environment.
Jobs are creating in burgeoning industries full of innovation and passion to change the ways we produce and consume as a nation. These jobs will not come from soon-to-be antiquated technologies but from the frontier of technological development. And crucially, green energy requires local employment, because wind, solar, and geothermal cannot be imported.
The future of energy is not an extracted, polluting, nonrenewable resource. The future of energy is clean, efficient, renewables that provide local jobs and lessen not only our dependence on foreign oil, but also lessen our impact on the planet, whom we have so successfully neglected.
While renewable energy is not an immediate panacea, it is a crucial chunk of our energy that cannot be sacrificed for continued subsidization of dirty, soon-to-antiquated energy solutions. As such, Romney’s energy policy is backwardly irresponsible to the American taxpayer and our planet’s future.
“If all coal mines shut down,” Amanda Sedgmer paused, “we would struggle … we would definitely lose our house. “
Sedgmer voted for President Obama in 2008 and she is not a particular fan of Mitt Romney, but she’s voting for the Republican because she believes he is the only chance the coal industry and her community have to survive.
Romney hopes all this concern helps him in the Buckeye swing state and in other coal communities. He has told crowds at campaign speeches that President Obama “sure doesn’t like coal.” The president has vigorously disagreed, saying he is for “clean coal.”
Environmentalists believe the EPA rule and the increasing closures of coal plants are breakthroughs that are overdue and will do dramatic good.
Les Brown, the president of the Earth Policy Institute, points to studies that coal emissions, including mercury and other pollutants, cause more than 10,000 deaths a year.
“It’s a war for survival,” Brown said, sitting in a Washington office filled with piles of reports and papers about the environment. “Saving lives, not just a handful of lives, but thousands of lives. But more broadly, saving the planet.”
Would he like to see all coal plants closed? “Yes,” Brown responded, “It would be cleaner, it would be safer and it would help stabilize the climate, which is the big threat to our future. I mean it’s even difficult to put a price tag on that.”
Brown sees the problems with coal and climate change as a very human issue that could lead to droughts in some places, including the American Midwest, and floods in other places, like the American coasts. In either case, Brown fears loss of crops, homes and lives.
But the same issue is personal to Amanda Sedgmer. Every day as Ryan prepares to go underground, he checks a bulletin board listing the latest coal closures.
The Sedgmers’ five children are still young, aged 16 months to 10 years. Those old enough to speak already talk about coal. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, 4-year-old Ben Sedgmer blurts out, “Coal miner!” But his parents don’t know if there will be many, or any, coal mining jobs waiting for him in Hopedale when he’s old enough.
For both sides, the war over coal is personal. And it is happening this election year.
I have no idea what it’s like to have a family to take care of, though I understand her grave concern. But, the fact of the matter is that if we continued the same practices we practiced four generations ago, our country would undoubtedly suffer.
Evolution, progress, innovation take their fair share of victims. However, that progress is not only inevitable over the course of history, but it will improve the well-being of generations to come - her children’s and their children’s.
The war over coal is personal, indeed, but unfortunately not a reason to protect a flawed and dirty industry.
Two weeks ago, Vermont legislators passed a law requiring all waste generators (commercial and residential) to recycle both traditional recyclables (plastic, paper, glass) and organic matter (yard and food waste). The first of its kind at the state level, the law requires, at first, high volume organic matter generators to separate their waste into three streams: landfill, traditional recycling, and organic recycling. However by 2020, “any person generating any amount of food residuals will be required to manage on site or arrange for their transfer.”
This law follows other municipalities around the country, such as San Francisco and Seattle, which demand full recycling by law.
Haulers and processors of solid waste will be greatly affected. According to a timeline in the law, by 2017, any state-certified solid waste collection facility must collect and properly process mandated recyclables, yard waste, and food waste. As such, haulers and waste managers will need to shift operations accordingly.
In addition, municipal and county solid waste plans must implement variable rate pricing for collections by 2015, which may support economic viability for the state, solid waste processors and generators.
The State of Vermont has always been on the cutting edge of sustainable and green practices, and this law supports those aims. However, the ambitious law will cause restructuring of the Vermont waste management system and the upheaval certainly will not be without growing pains. Nevertheless, these types of laws are instrumental in making large-scale recycling and composting viable for citizens. Still in other states, cheap landfills, lax waste management policies, and lack of education prove roadblocks to environmental advancement. Let’s hope the rest of the country strives to follow Vermont in taking on our urgent waste management issues.
View the law - Vermont Legislative Bill H.485 - here
There are so many ways to digest today’s Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Obama’s healthcare reform.
Spin artists, on both sides of the aisle, attempt to claim victory or incite anger in defeat, rallying support for November’s election.
Surely though, the average American will rejoice this ruling, as it brings us a step closer to a country that enables all of its citizens to live a healthy, prosperous life.
But I believe this day begs a broader question: Are we, as a society, willing to sacrifice a small amount (of ‘freedom’ or money) to benefit our greater world?
Re: today’s topic, are you willing to allow our government to enforce a law, a law that helps to ensure your own personal health, so that citizens less fortunate can ensure their own health?
If you are a wealthier American, are you willing to pay more in taxes so that you can give back to your country and support programs and projects that fuel American prosperity?
Are you willing to relinquish the idea of marriage as one man and one woman, to ensure the happiness of a same-sex couple?
Are you willing to seek out and purchase a locally-produced food product, perhaps organically grown, to support your local economy and reward an environmentally necessary practice?
Are you willing to bike, walk, or ride public transportation to take cars off the road and lessen your climate impact?
Each day, there are so many instances in which we can decide to make a small change for the betterment of our society and our planet. Alex Steffen, one of my favorite writers, earlier wrote, ”The decision is a small victory for the idea that equity, foresight, and prosperity are symbiotic. Our interdependence means that if we want a prosperous nation, we need to think ahead and think about everyone. The same, it turns out, is true for the other species who coinhabit our planet and on whom we depend. In the end, it’s all one big community on one small rock. Perhaps PlanetCare can come next?” Alex is spot-on.
I do not believe this Supreme Court decision will be a landmark that propels our society’s paradigm shift. However, it may take situations like today’s ruling to understand the gravity of our actions, no matter how big or small, political or economic, easy or difficult they may be.
Each time we, both as individuals and a society, choose the collective over selfishness, the closer we come to sustaining prosperity on this small rock.
We all have agency in this life. Choose leaders who stand up for others, and policies that support those aims. Interact with strangers like a friendly neighbor. Be conscious of the environment - in all that you do. Actively seek peaceful resolution. Leave a place better than you found it.
Let’s hope ObamaCare’s victory kick-starts this realization for us all.
The juxtaposition of the three events in the NFL over the past week calls into question the future existence of pro football.
The timing of the NFL Draft, the year-long suspension of Jonathan Vilma, and the suicide of Junior Seau, point to a increasingly difficult juggling act of sustaining a business based on the dehumanization and sacrifice of its athletes.
Football finds itself in a precarious situation.
Publicly, we glorify tough athletes, who risk their bodies for the sport. These warriors of the gridiron provide the ultimate physical entertainment and drama, which makes the NFL the most profitable sporting league in the world. There is no greater spectacle than the NFL Draft process, which culminated in New York City last Thursday. After months of physical and mental testing of amateur players, scouts and general managers commodify the athletes they covet in order to engineer a successful and profitable team. The younger the player, the faster and stronger he is expected to be – the bar raised ever higher. Lucrative contracts in hand, these new professionals ply their trade on orders to run fast and hit hard, to win games and attract fans.
Away from the public eye, though, football exists as a violent and painful business that risks hurting its employees each year. Through controversies involving player safety and evolving concussion research, it seems that football’s innate violence, coupled with the increasing athleticism of its players, may be slowly killing its players, and driving some to take their own lives.
Early Thursday, the NFL announced four New Orleans Saints players would be suspended for their roles in the bounty scandal, including Jonathan Vilma for one whole year. Along with previous fines for helmet-to-helmet and ‘unsportsmanlike’ hits, these punishments attempt to create a safer playing environment. But with the ever-increasing speed of the game, these fines may serve better as a band-aid than a permanent fix. It also must be acknowledged whether a permanent fix to the football’s violence is in the best interest of the sport itself. In the short term it looks to harm the sport more than help. These new rules and fines inherently go against its entertainment value – fans and players alike are outraged by the game’s dilution. But the long term?
Enter Seau: Later in the day, news of Junior Seau’s suicide emerged. The former Pro Bowl Middle Linebacker shot himself in the chest, most logically to protect his brain for concussion research, similar to former Pro Bowl Safety Dave Duerson’s choice last year. Seau made a clear decision – to abruptly end, and warn others about, his traumatized post-football life.
As more research continues to suggest that illness and disease caused by repetitive brain trauma associated with a pro football career emerges, the NFL’s elephant in the room becomes evermore difficult to ignore – football may be directly debilitating and in some cases killing its athletes. The warning signs are visible. Now the NFL, its players, and its fans must acknowledge them.
Herein lies the NFL’s dilemma. They are a sport, and a business, faced with a financial incentive to please their customers, and a moral responsibility to keep their players safe. Unfortunately for the future of football, these options may become mutually exclusive.
Until then, as long as young men are willing to play and the fans are willing to watch, pro football will remain as profitable and popular as ever. Only time will tell if the pain is worth the gain.
What do Monsanto, Philip Morris, the IMF, and Argentine farmers have in common?
Agricultural giant Monsanto continues to ruin the lives of agricultural producers and consumers - this time with a partner-in-crime, Philip Morris USA. This week in Delaware, a suit was filed against Monsanto and Philip Morris USA, among its subsidiaries, on behalf of Argentine farmers, who claim the alleged culprits “knowingly poison[ed] farmers” giving the plaintiffs “devastating birth defects.”
The tag team of Monsanto and Philip Morris urged Argentine farmers to use Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready herbicide to clear tobacco fields. However, these farmers were neither informed on the dangers of the herbicide nor trained on how to handle it. What’s more, the farmers claim “leftover pesticides were discarded in locations where they leached into the water supply,” due to ineffective disposal training (which, is actually an oxymoron - there is no way to safely dispose of the herbicide). Rampant birth defects ensued, including “cerebral palsy, psychomotor retardation, epilepsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, metabolic disorders, congenital heart defects, Down syndrome, missing fingers and blindness.”
In addition to these horrendous human defects, native Argentine tobacco fields are being replaced by genetically engineered tobacco crops. According to the plaintiffs, Philip Morris and its subsidiaries urged the farmers to stop growing native tobacco in favor of a new type, which requires more pesticides. This new type of tobacco has not been disclosed.
This is a classic case of economic bullying of a first world corporation over a third world raw material producer. Although Monsanto and Philip Morris may claim they did not demand or directly force the farmers to start growing the new pesticide-intensive tobacco crop and applying RoundUp Ready herbicide, the farmers risked Philip Morris moving business elsewhere had they not complied.
This case of bullying can be opened a bit more. Argentina underwent a massive economic crisis at the turn of the millennium. As a result of the crisis, the IMF and World Bank stepped in to aid the country towards economic recovery. In the case of Argentina’s crisis, debt restructuring called for a devaluation of the Argentine Peso, in the hopes of increasing foreign investment, because well, the economy was so bad that there was little-to-no opportunity for immediate domestic investment. What’s more, the Argentine government and the IMF awarded export credits to industries like manufacturing and agriculture to jump-start recovery.
Enter Philip Morris and Monsanto. In 1984, Philip Morris created Tabacos Norte, a tobacco subsidiary based in the Argentine province of Misiones, in which Tabacos Norte is a primary employer. As the Peso is devalued, Philip Morris can purchase more exported Argentine tobacco for less. In addition, its subsidiary can take advantage of export credits from the government that incentivize even cheaper selling of its tobacco. On top of those incentives, the Argentine government also supports a Tobacco Special Fund that subsidizes the tobacco industry.
Large multinational corporations can take advantage of debt restructuring in countries that produce the raw materials needed for first world consumption. These attempts to benefit the struggling country end up incentivizing predatory economic tactics and harm individual producers economically and, as in the recent lawsuit, with respect to their health.
We need to be aware of the deep scars that exist in our world system. Seemingly unrelated nodes in the global socio-politico-economic network can be connected.
Monsanto and Philip Morris have more than enough legal firepower to put up a fight against Argentine farmers. We will learn more in the days to come…
Are humans culpable in climate change? Are the problems human-induced?
The following is a video from 2008 by Greg Craven, who challenges us to dissect the climate change debate and acknowledge we only have one decision: to try our best to counteract it.
The video is a phenomenally simple diagram of cognitive reasoning. However, I’d like to come to a similar conclusion, but from a wider lens. Since this video was made, millions of dollars in research have concluded that the planet’s climate is changing. So, I’d like to amend the discussion a bit by supplanting Craven’s question of whether climate change is going on, with is climate change the fault of humanity?
I propose the idea that instead of using climate change as a zero-sum doomsday scenario to influence policy and lifestyle change, we should emphasize fundamental socio-politico-economic shifts that must happen in our modern society regardless of climate change. What’s more, I believe using climate change as an argument may prove a disservice to real change.
With respect to climate change, whichever set of beliefs you have on the subject, it simply doesn’t matter. Beliefs should not determine action.
Why? Because regardless of culpability, the very political and economic systems in place that may or may not be causing catastrophic climate change are the very political economic systems that negatively effect our human society and perpetuate our failed attempt at human self-determination and happiness.
I can’t say for certain humans are causing rising sea levels and a hotter (in some places cooler) planet - and no one can, not even scientists can be completely sure. However, for the sake of this segment of my argument, let’s say we are. Humans are 100% the cause of global climate change.
If so, what’s causing this climate shift?: 1) Emissions from fossil fuels, 2) deforestation, desertification 3) methane emissions from landfill waste (among others).
Who are the main culprits in this scenario?: 1) Oil usage in planes, trains, and automobiles, 2) Coal and natural gas power plants, 3) Petrochemicals used in many ways (namely agriculture), 4) international logging (clear-cutting, burning), 5) large-scale farming conglomerates, 6) waste management (or lack thereof).
These industries are directly related; however, nearly every facet of our political economy relies on these industries - multinational corporations, military-industrial complexes, energy sectors, manufacturing, et cetera.
Now, I have written before on the dangers of these industries and the need for more local ideas and industries to benefit people, planet, and profit.
Why? Because these industries perpetuate what be altered in our society - overdependence on personal and dirty transportation, mass-produced and centralized food production, top-down economic order, a growing divide between first world and third world, reliance on harmful and finite energy resources, negligence to all waste issues, and toxicity levels in our air and water, just to name a few.
What we should be striving for is emphasis on walkability, denser and more vibrant communities, local and healthy foods, fair and mutually beneficial economies, global collaboration and unity, cleaner and more renewable energy, closed-loop and holistic waste systems, and insistence on making our environment cleaner, healthier, more diverse.
The socially harmful industries make billions of dollars. Whether they wake up every morning and decide to do their darnedest to pollute and continue society down a dangerous path is up for debate (I’m pretty sure they don’t). However, they are waking up every morning wanting to do their darnedest for their company, and in turn, for themselves. They want to maximize the company’s profit so they can maximize their income to pay for their food, shelter, family, and the leisure activities they’ve been accustomed to enjoying. A cog in a well-oiled machine will not change the way it works. Any one of us, given that opportunity would do the same thing - it’s a product of our current society, which incentivizes capital accumulation and a narrow systems perspective.
To counteract this, we must utilize our wide, global perspective on the socio-political-economic world order and attempt to improve humanity’s quality of life. Focus outside energy toward changing the system, not toward the blinded individual cogs that reside inside the system.
Everything that these industries do is supported by political economic dogma and policies that reward maximized profits and higher yields.
Our addiction to finite fossil fuels, and the political economic systems on which our addiction thrives, perpetuates deeply harmful global problems.
Locally, multinational corporations out-price local competition and concentrate wealth. A process that governments incentivize.
International MNCs have the money to manufacture in third world countries - a process which mires the third world in poverty due to wealth concentration, mostly due to involvement in economic restructuring programs and domestic political-economic corruption, which encourages short-term thinking. The more powerful MNCs get, the more resources they exploit. From political backing, to legal council, to technological investment, to public relations, to natural resources, global behemoths emerge that can act without restraint and without remorse.
Their influence can be felt throughout each community. On a local level, a town or city will invest in a strip mall or tax breaks for a certain industry over public transportation or other community building initiatives. While looking good in the short term with slight “job growth” or capital investment, these community investments do just the opposite - funnel capital to a select few and burden the rest. We must investigate the pros and cons of reliance on these investments, not just over one political election cycle, but over the lifetime of the community.
In Brazil, among other countries, slash and burn clear-cutting is incentivized by a global industry that demands the cheapest logging possible. Regardless of the emissions created by the practice, it contributes to huge losses in biodiversity as well as poor labor conditions. In fact, as of 2006, the Brazilian government acknowledged at least 25000 Brazilian laborers worked under “conditions analogous to slavery” when clearing Amazon land for farming and logging conglomerates.
Take sweatshop labor. Many acknowledge that worldwide shipping via container ships and planes contributes to a large amount of emissions that may resulting in human-induced climate change. But are the risks involved with harmful emissions more insidious than the ramifications of the frenzied pursuit of cheap resources, which causes the third world to prostitute itself with cheap labor and textiles? Or the complementary hyperconsumerism that destroys the first world through credit addiction and loss of cultural identity? Or the hegemonic power enjoyed by MNCs and the politicians who are rewarded for maintaining and growing that power? These poignant issues will cause change.
From Greg Craven’s video there’s a decision between “guessing” and “choosing” our future. If we accept that climate change is happening, regardless of culpability, human action must be to choose an alteration of the current systems to benefit humanity.
So, when we take away the climate change negatives from evaluating harmful industries, we are still left with deeply cutting global problems. As such, moving away from the these types of industries that control our world and sustain global injustices should have nothing to do with climate change. In my view, the negative effects of these industries are abundantly more pernicious to human society than to climate change. If we tackle the harmful practices and systems that plague our society, potential human-induced climate change will take care of itself, because the necessary changes are inherent in a paradigm shift that focuses on a local, sustainable, pluralistic socio-politico-economic system.
Using climate change as an argument to shift political economic policies turns a simple and all-inclusive idea of a better, more just world into an abstract, zero-sum game where there are believers vs. non-believers. When it comes to belief systems, people rarely change. So, instead of forcing a belief change, we can take it out of the equation altogether.
Whether you believe in human-induced climate change or not, it doesn’t matter. Choose whether we should continue down a road with more obesity, dirtier air, diminished connection to fellow man and its planet, less biodiversity, but maybe a little more money for a select few in power… or will we live in a more just world, with vibrant, happy, prosperous communities, a cleaner planet to inhabit, and a healthier population, with respect and integrity.
The choice is yours, but I’d prefer the latter.