Trading Places

solar-germany-flag

When I was a kid, growing up in the 1950s, I thought of Germany as a Very Bad Country.  After all, the Germans had started not just one, but two World Wars.  And the Holocaust that they created was horrific beyond belief.

 In contrast, the United States was truly a great country.  We played a major role in ensuring that Hitler did not ultimately succeed in taking over Europe.  And thanks to our Marshall Plan, we rebuilt Europe and helped restore peace and prosperity to that wartorn continent.  I was proud to be an American, and I had good reason to be.

But things are different now. 

When it comes to adequately addressing the climate crisis–the very most important task faced by the world’s governments today–it seems the United States and Germany have traded places.  

Now Germany is in the hero’s role.  More than any other country, Germany has embraced renewable energy sources and reduced its dependence on fossil fuels.  In fact, 37% of Germany’s daily electricity needs are now met by solar and wind power.  And Germany is on track to meet 100% of its energy needs from renewables by 2050!

I wish I could claim that the United States is also a leader in addressing the climate crisis.  My country, formerly an inspiration to the world for what is right and just, is doing next to nothing to ensure a livable world for our children and grandchildren.  In fact, the United States, the country most responsible for the accumulated carbon dioxide pollution in our atmosphere,  just elected a Congress in which both houses are led by people who deny well-established climate science.  

At just the time when we desperately need bold and committed action to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions, many of our national leaders are firmly in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, working to make sure that nothing gets in the way of huge profits for the wealthiest industry the world has ever seen.

And President Obama, who as a candidate in 2008, admitted the seriousness of the climate crisis, in fact did next to nothing about it during his first term.  Obama has recently begun to take meaningful steps, like his meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, in which both leaders pledged significant action on the climate.  While I applaud this action, it is actually very little, very late, when the window we have available to avert the worst global warming impacts is rapidly closing.

Tragically, the United States has abdicated its former leadership role among the world’s countries.  Currently contributing about a quarter of the world’s daily greenhouse emissions, we are the greatest impediment to warding off  catastrophe.

We should learn from and emulate the actions of our former enemy.–April Moore

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Home | About | Blog | Contact | Newsletter

Earth Connection is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).