Should I entitle this Climate Change 1, or put a date after it? Because it’s not like I’m only going to write about it once.
It’s not that I’m a pessimist or an optimist. Most people don’t fall into neat categories like that, just like most of us aren’t strictly introverts or extroverts. We’re pretty fluid, we human beings. But I do feel good about labeling myself a survivor, as in, I want to keep living and won’t go into a corner and wait for disaster to find me.
It would be a mistake to say I was thrilled when Biden was elected. I voted for him, knowing how warty his record was (sorry, Julian Castro and Andrew Yang were both out of the race by the time it was Massachusetts’ turn to vote in the primaries), but as unstable as Trump was, I didn’t want to celebrate until Biden was inaugurated. And then after the insurrection on January 6, I didn’t want to stop holding my breath until I was sure we would get through the entire day without incident.
We did, and I’m immeasurably thankful for that. One of the only credits I’ll give to Trump is that he made us grateful now for normalcy – and by normalcy, I mean things working according to the law. And as a climate activist, I feel a little more hopeful than I would have if Trump had been re-elected. To say it’s easier to work against climate change at the federal level now is such an understatement, it’s almost snide.
So why only a little more hopeful? Because if Biden hadn’t won, there were still things we could do at the state and municipal levels. We know states can limit what can be sold in their borders (hello, California), but cities and towns can also limit who’s allowed to have a permit to run a business in their cities, and can control what goes into the waste stream. It’s a hell of a lot easier when there’s coordination at the federal level, but it’s not impossible, and if Trump had been re-elected, it would have been imperative.
Who am I kidding? It’s still imperative, and the states need to stop trying to prove their fealty to, what, coal and oil, two industries that are dying already, or biomass, one of the most inefficient and damaging energy “solutions”, and start thinking about how they can augment federal regulations, not stimy them. I read recently that we’ve lost ice in the last few decades that was the equivalent of the size of the entire UK, and the melting of said ice has an added an inch to the level of sea water around the world.
How about this? If I do choose to go into a corner and die, it won’t be so I can drown. Keep at it, because life as we know it doesn’t end unless we let it.