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It’s Up to Us Now

By Janet Lawson

There is no sugarcoating the disaster that Donald Trump’s election represents for solving the problem of climate change. The man who called global warming “a hoax invented by the Chinese” has already shown his intention to turn back the clock on climate action by appointing the incarnation of Big Oil to Secretary of State, renewing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines and pledging to eliminate the Climate Action Plan as “harmful and unnecessary”.

For those of us who’ve been laboring to awaken people and governments to the danger that CO2 buildup is causing to the planetary operating system, this is beyond discouraging. But we’re not giving up! Within ConcordCAN! there’s a powerful resolve to fight and we can only hope that these dramatic steps backwards will awaken people from complacency to organize and take a stand.

Nowhere is the problem of “alternative facts” greater than with the issue of climate change. Many political questions are difficult to prove, but climate change is physics and it’s as proven as any scientific theory can be. It’s been studied by thousands of scientists worldwide for over a century. It’s been looked at from the differing perspectives of multiple specialties. Climate change theory, the idea that high levels of CO2 from human activities is causing the planet to heat up and ecosystems to destabilize, is evidence-based, peer-reviewed and supported by 97% of experts in the field. To deny reality and ignore the likely consequences is a corruption that citizens have an obligation to fight.

So what should we do? In his last interview as President, Barack Obama said, “The work is local as opposed to federal.” That means us - the grassroots. And while we should strongly resist the backwards slide at the federal level, we must accept that any real progress in the United States these next four years will only be possible at the state and local levels.

So if you’re inspired to build a better future at the state level, check out either 350 Mass or the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club. Both groups are in support of fair carbon pricing, increased use of clean energy, and stopping gas leaks and pipelines. You can find out more at their websites: 350Mass.betterfutureproject.org. or sierraclub.org/Massachusetts.

THere in Concord, Mothers Out Front is leading the way in climate action. Mothers Out Front is looking for members and will be presenting their agenda on clean energy, gas leaks and pipelines, at the upcoming Sustainable Concord Coffee on Tuesday morning, February 28th at the Harvey Wheeler Center at 7:30am. Please come if you want to learn more.

And of course, mark your calendar for the April 29th Climate March on Washington, because visible support for saving a livable planet will always be important. 350.org will be leading the national resistance and they could use your support.

There are so many important issues to be concerned with these days, but we cannot let climate change fall to the back burner. Humans are emitting billions of tons of excess carbon into the atmosphere every year and the effects will reverberate for millennia. This makes the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. especially apt, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there "is" such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.” We hope you will join us.

Janet Lawson is a Concord resident whi is serving on the ConcordCAN! Steering Group.

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