There are so many reasons to love this film. One of them is how starkly it reminds us: we have hot water. As much as we want, most of us, any time we want it! We can keep clean, we can keep warm or cool, we don’t smell bad (I don’t, do I? seriously: please tell me if I do), we have our freedom, and later today I will hurtle through the air reading a book, listening to a symphony, sipping a Virgin Mary (or, as my mother used to call them, a Bloody Shame), all for about the cost of a good pair of shoes.
Things are heart-breakingly difficult for millions; but in the great arc of history, which is to say the last couple of seconds of cosmic time, the species has made astonishing progress . . .
. . . even as we’re within another cosmic second of blowing the whole thing — as, by ignoring climate change, and in several other ways, we are all too capable of doing.
DO THE MATH. Bill McKibbon’s video takes just 90 seconds to watch. See if it piques your interest. See if you want to help avert, or at least mitigate, the crisis.
. . . Almost every government in the world has agreed that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe. We have already raised the temperature .8°C, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the climate dice are loaded for both devastating floods and drought. Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. Computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 levels now, the temperature would still rise another 0.8 degrees above the 0.8 we’ve already warmed, which means that we’re already 3/4s of the way to the 2 degree target. . . .
It is undoubtedly an exaggeration to call this one the best little company in the world; but even though you don’t live in Vermont, and even if Suncommon can’t fully live up to its promises (I have no idea, I just was directed to their web site by one of you today), it is such a wonderful effort: installing solar panels for no money down — with union labor — that will power your home at lower cost than you are paying now. Good for your budget, good for national security, good for the planet.
It’s worth taking two minutes to watch their video and three more to peruse their FAQ, because even if it’s a few years further down the road, the explosion in solar power seems by now to be really close at hand. There are already more Americans employed in solar than in coal — 119,000 versus 86,000. This is in no way a criticism of the brave, hardworking coal miners who’ve dedicated their lives to powering ours. But our needs are changing. We need their kids to learn to weatherize homes and install solar panels.