To the Climate Change deniers

March 15th, 2017

When the subjects of Climate Change and Global Warming come up as something we humans are exacerbating, a frequent objection to doing something is that it will cost jobs.  Let’s just look at history.

Around the turn of the 20th Century as the automobile was coming on-stream, an entire industry basically went out of business and significant numbers of once vibrant occupations were lost.  Wagon makers, wheelwrights, liverymen, and blacksmiths watched the demand for their trades shrivel as technology advanced.  They either learned new trades or went out of business.  When science and technology give us progress and new information, those affected either adapt or are left behind.

Over the last few decades, a growing scientific awareness has warned of dramatic changes in our climate that are already causing destruction and loss of lives, and in the not distant future will render now populated regions uninhabitable.  Nearly all climate scientists concur that the atmosphere is warming, the oceans are increasing in acidity, polar ice is melting, sea level is rising, low island nations are being drowned, and human civilization is being affected.  Many powerful policy makers deny this is happening and human consumption of fossil fuels is accelerating the pace of this process.  During the campaign, President-elect Trump called it a hoax fomented by the Chinese and promises to dismantle our progress regarding Climate Change.

Various solutions include research and development of alternative sources of energy and the infrastructure and machines to utilize these sources.  Will this eliminate some classes of jobs?  No doubt.  Will it spawn whole new industries with whole new classes of jobs?  Absolutely!  It is time to envision a healthier environment and get to work!

I sympathize with those who fear losing their jobs, but we march on with scientific and technological information.  Don’t let yourself be left behind.  And don’t be part of the deniers who, by their denial and obstruction, may well condemn humanity to a future of climatic and environmental disaster for our posterity.  We can still do some things to control the future, but our window of opportunity is fast closing.

Energy companies who produce coal and petroleum as fuels need to decide what business they are in.  Are they in coal and oil?  Or are they in ENERGY?  If the latter, they should be at the forefront of research and job training to create positive solutions for a sustainable future.  If the former, they and their jobs will gradually be phased out as earth’s changing environment forces humanity itself to either adapt or go extinct.  Science says this is no hoax.  This is no illusion.  It is real!  And the companies who move into that future will have the jobs and the market!

If you want to be part of the solution, communicate with Congress and the President about the climate, encourage research and development for a sustainable future, and support public and higher education in subjects relevant to science and technology and jobs in a future with sustainable energy sources.  Join an organization like Citizens Climate Lobby that promotes solutions at the state and national level.  Let’s ensure that our future is determined by a government by, for, and of the people!

 

L. Cameron Mosher, Ph.D.

Geologist and instructor at Salt Lake Community College

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