Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is missing in the public debate? It is Climate Change, Stupid!

There are many issues in the forefront in the public debate in America. There is gun control, which we all could agree needs some resolution. There is also immigration. Again, a matter that is important to the future of America. And, of course, there is the budget, which is soon to morph into the debt ceiling crisis. This too clearly is an important issues; however, I remember back last fall we all were discussing another important issue that would impact the United States, the World and future generations. No, I am not talking about that Gangham Style dance or whether or not Kate and Prince Andrew are going to have a baby. I am not even talking about the U.S. presidential election, which definitely was big. I am talking about Hurricane Sandy, which brought to the forefront the issue of climate change. However, like everything in this 24 hour news cycle, it faded away just like the storm itself. And we will not have a discussion about the climate change until the next cataclysmic event. It could be another long hot summer which creates the next dust bowl or another super storm to hit the east coast or the gulf coast. Who knows. But, it is truly unfortunate that we cannot address an issue in the United States until there is a crisis. I assume that is how we are conditioned. We have short attention spans and focus on the next shiny object or issue in this case With climate change, however, we cannot wait for another crisis because resolution to this issue requires short term and long term thinking and planning. It requires the world to develop a new strategy in how we operate in business and in our lives. It requires new thinking about technology for creating and preserving energy. We have the skill set, the desire, the resources and the intelligence to do so. It just requires a unified effort. We did it in the past. In the 60s, we sent a man to the moon and passed a civil rights act, which was a combination of scientific skill with a moral compass. We still have it and can do it. We just need the focus and direction. Let's get started now. Quite frankly, I do not want to have to see another Weather Channel anchorman standing out in the middle of the hurricane telling me that this is the storm of a century just a year after I just experienced the storm of the century. Sooner or later it is no longer called a one-time event and instead is called a pattern. That is a pattern that we have to deal with now, not just when there is a crisis.

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