America's Most Dangerous Enemy
Continued from previous page
They are dragging us away from leadership and economic prominence
Thanks to a strategic campaign by the fossil fuel industry, the United States is the only country in which climate science is still in question, putting us on the wrong side of history and making us a global laughingstock. The world looks at us in horror and disbelief as the country that doesn’t believe in science.
As we drag our feet, countries like Germany and China are seizing the opportunity, taking the lead in climate innovation. We have everything it takes to be the moral and economic leader in the global green economy. Instead, we’re losing ground to the rest of the world as special interests drag us away from progress. Our moral and economic status is at stake. If America wishes to remain a global leader, we must champion climate action now.
They are killing our future
The very business model of fossil fuel industry is one that is incompatible with a livable future in America, or indeed on Earth.
The science is clear: We have a very limited carbon budget—we must burn under 565 gigatons of carbon dioxide if we want to avoid warming of greater than two degrees and catastrophic climate change. Yet the fossil fuel industry has five times that amount in their reserves, and they plan on burning it all. This will lead to an unthinkable climate crisis by the end of the century.
Our legacy is on the line
We understand that climate change is America’s greatest threat. We must now follow that thought to its logical conclusion. As the primary drivers of climate change, the fossil fuel industry must be recognized as America’s most dangerous foe.
The fossil fuel industry was once a crucial part of our nation’s development. That time is past. The fossil fuel industry is an outdated relic, a fossil itself, and one that needs to be discarded and replaced by something better if we are to move forward. Fortunately, green job alternatives are already here, and growing at nearly ten times the rate of the overall economy in some states.
Those holding on to power and dragging the conversation backward do so to the detriment of our country. They have usurped control of our political system and spend outrageous sums of money to mislead the people. They plan to chemically alter the state of the planet, causing devastating, irreversible climate change within decades. They are fundamentally un-American and anti-America. They are an industry of the past, but if we want a future, they must be phased out.
President Obama said, “After one president in the pocket of the oil companies – we can’t afford another. For the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, we must end the age of oil in our time.”
He was right. In this land of the free, we can’t be held hostage to a rogue industry. As a country, we need to honor this promise, heed the experts, end the subsidies, and transition off fossil fuels at the rate that science demands. We are teetering over the edge of the climate cliff, yet we fear to act, based on what is “politically feasible.” When what is politically feasible is fundamentally incompatible with a livable future on Earth, we must abandon this way of thinking, and fast.
If the patriots of the American Revolution, or the Civil Rights or Women’s Rights Movements, had allowed themselves to be hampered by what was believed to be politically feasible, what would their legacy be? Right now, the stakes are even higher, and the window is closing. As our greatest threat stares us in the face, America’s climate legacy is on the line. We must have the courage to confront the special interests, get this monkey off our back, and keep America great.