I too attended Bill McKibben’s lecture at the Rutland Free Library on Feb. 6, but my impression was quite different from that of Wallingford’s Kathy Hepburn Halford.
We, here in our First World nation, have taken it for granted that we have a right to all the best that can be had. Whether blindly or knowingly, we have taken natural resources away from other parts of the world and left them in worse condition for their inhabitants, while improving our own. Not only that, the by-products of our modern civilization have literally changed the atmosphere and global environment, endangering all of its inhabitants. It is estimated that, through no fault of their own, 400,000 people worldwide have already died from the effects of climate change. And there are millions and millions of others whose lives are currently under threat.
Mr. McKibben has dedicated his career to researching the global effects of these actions, diplomatically warning of their dire consequences, and trying to find means to literally save our planet. He knows that no single solution is perfect in itself; none can do the whole job. It will have to be a combination of many different ones working in concert. Some of these solutions may require some sacrifices of our personal comfort for the larger good, and this is controversial.
I think that, with care, consideration, solid science and engineering, it is possible to find acceptable solutions to these vital problems in our rapidly changing world.
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