Every day the news reports extreme weather conditions somewhere on the planet. This week it’s deadly heat in Portland, last month it was Antarctic icebergs bigger than Rhode Island, and of course there was the polar vortex that destroyed the Texas power grid and killed people. hundreds of people in February. Global weirdness is upon us, and that’s a very bad sign, because it’s three or eight decades ahead, depending on what science you’re studying. It is very clear that we have a catastrophic future that is coming much faster than expected.
Over the past two years, our Windsor Park climate committee has embarked on an outreach program by visiting neighborhood associations in Austin with the goal of creating a neighborhood coalition demanding immediate action from elected officials. Every two months, we live-stream a virtual climate conversation with scientists like Katharine Hayhoe, and more recently the topic was sea level rise in the Gulf. Each show is a different science, with different guests, and it’s absolutely clear that everyone we hire is working hard not to panic. But the message is clear: all science tells us to immediately reduce our carbon output.
The problem is, I don’t see a lot of action. There is a hybrid car on my street, parked in my driveway. There are no electric cars. There is a house with solar energy. There are a few electric mowers. But almost everyone keeps running all these machines that we know are creating the problem, and there is no incentive to do anything about it, from personnel to government. In my opinion, this is a failure of leadership.
Biden’s White House is speaking out for a vague climate bill, but there is absolutely no real discussion of a plan, and our window of opportunity is closing. After leading this climate committee and interviewing all these scientists and community leaders, it’s clear to me that a massive change in our economy is needed. I saw a really good plan that says we need to mobilize 25 million Americans immediately, create an electrified future manufacturing base, and put it in place in four years (like we did in WWII) . Once we retool and start building, by 2035 we will have built the majority of the renewable energy grid and created 5 million permanent full-time jobs in the green industry, which will most likely save the world. middle class.
Unfortunately, the only way for us to have a real chance of avoiding this impending disaster is for America’s leaders to wake up and take action, which I don’t see happening with a sense of urgency. There’s a reason we’re cynical about Congress passing laws that actually help people or even are about to face something as big as our climate crisis. So what can we do?
Windsor Park is just one of more than 80 organized neighborhood associations in Austin. Collectively, we represent the majority of registered voters in the city. Windsor Park is launching the idea of an organized response to demand climate action from our elected officials. Imagine all of our representatives in Congress receiving dozens of climate resolutions from the neighborhoods they represent. (You will find our resolution on windsorpark.info/solving climate change and global warming.) Now imagine Austin evolving and thriving in a green future where there is no pollution, no emissions. But we can’t do it by sitting on our hands and waiting for Congress. Please copy our resolution on the climate and have it adopted by your neighborhood association, then give it to all your elected officials. Rephrase it however you see fit, but do it and join us in the collective demand for action.
If you are looking for ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint, visit the “Windsor Park Carbon Shrinker” page on Facebook. Our committee has built an easy-to-use database that will take your information on 10 different options (electric car, replace light bulbs, etc.) and automatically calculate your carbon reduction. The database also collects the discounts per person and adds them up. We hope to reduce by 100 million tonnes by the end of this year. Your participation is requested.
The end of the game for climate change is extinction. What are you doing about it?
Martin Luecke is the creator and chair of the Windsor Park NA Climate Crisis Committee. He is a past president of the WPNA and is currently a member of the Mueller Commission. Luecke lived in Austin for four decades and raised two children in Windsor Park. He is a four-time winner of the Barton Springs Diving Championship and was chief cheerleader at the University of Texas in 1984. Luecke is working on his first book titled Luck and Timing: True Stories of a Small Town Boy.