It's Time for Parents to Help Tackle Climate Change

Of course you've noticed (unless you live in San Francisco) that the weather has been a little hot this summer -- like (bad) record-breaking hot ... and dry. Crops are dying, forest are on fire. This is all following the playbook of what scientists have been predicting will happen with climate change -- however much the weather fluctuates, the over all trend is that the planet is warming.

And it's not just the polar bears who are going to be screwed -- it's all of us -- especially today's kids. As veteran climate change writer and author of the book HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, Mark Hertsgaard wrote this week for the Daily Beast:

Beyond the distress and discomfort, the record-breaking heat raises a puzzling question for anyone who cares about the future of our young people. The laws of physics and chemistry--the fact that carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for decades after being emitted--mean that man-made global warming is just getting started on this planet. As a result, my Chiara and millions of other youth around the world are now fated to spend the rest of their lives coping with the hottest, most volatile climate in our civilization's 10,000-year history. Think of them as Generation Hot.


If parents care so deeply about their children's futures, shouldn't they be deeply invested in the fight against climate change? So far, they're not and Hertsgaard surmises it is for one of three reasons. Parents don't really understand the science (there is too much misinformation and shoddy reporting); parents find the reality too depressing; or parents just simply don't know what they can do to take action.

But Hertsgaard writes, "Like it or not, parents must get politically active, employing the only language politicians respect: removing them from office if they don't serve the public good."

Along with some of his colleagues, Hertsgaard is organizing a new group to help give parents the tools they need. Here's his call to action:

At the moment, parents are the singlemost unorganized constituency on climate change, but some of us hope to change that. We're launching a group that aims to mobilize parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, and anyone else who cares about young people. This means you too, President Obama and Governor Romney. You're both parents and you need to start acting like it with respect to climate change.


For now, we're calling our group Climate Parents, because we believe that taking action on climate change has become part of every parent's job description, just like providing proper food, clothing, and shelter.

AlterNet / By Tara Lohan

Posted at July 19, 2012, 1:19pm