Sunday, July 16, 2006

A period of consequences

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." - Winston Churchill, 1936

What a profound quote. I found it in An Inconvenient Truth and I whole-heartedly agree with it. Corporations and citizens alike can no longer claim ignorance regarding their responsibility toward the Earth and its inhabitants.

Most environmental action thus far has been moderate at best. ("We don't want to be too stringent on the auto industry. They have a huge impact on the economy.") Guess what? Europe has much stricter environmental standards than we do (Kyoto Protocol anyone?) and their economy is thriving.

Another quote, this one from Al Gore, fits perfectly. After talking about how the U.S. could conceivably lose 60% of its soil moisture in the next 50 years due to global warming he says:

"How do we debate something as cataclysmic as this in the traditional framework of our political dialogue?"

In short: suck it up. We've been skirting around serious, lasting environmental regulations for too long. To date, environmental promises have been nothing more than PR releases, premeditatedly forgotten and swept under the rug. If we continue to try to create environmental reform the same way we have been, nothing will ever change. It hasn't yet.

As Churchill stated, the time is past. Let's set some tough Rarely does anybody talk about short-term, immediate plans. Why? Because it requires change and that's hard to do (and, when it comes to corporations, it's expensive). But that's exactly what needs to happen.

Well, if you'd been doing a little bit all along instead of ignoring the problem, the change you're inevitably going to have to make wouldn't suck as much. It's time for everyone to bite the bullet and do the right thing.