Great Work, Everyone!
Companies and public agencies planned well before the event. Employers shared information and offered flexible strategies; some companies set up incentives to help their workers transition. The local paper published a “survival guide” with clear explanations and helpful tips. Agencies changed some of their rules and modified fees. Providers offered additional services and discounts.
We are Rallying to Avoid Trouble
As a result, the Seattle region is ready as we enter “Viadoom,” the three weeks when our heavily-used, downtown viaduct is closed and the replacement tunnel is readied for opening. Commuters and others wishing to avoid gridlock on the area roads have a variety of alternatives to driving. The thoughtful, proactive efforts of many to foresee and address an urgent and potentially disruptive situation will help.
Climate Change: Where is the Urgency?
But I react to this great teamwork with a heavy heart. We are on the verge of a dire condition with much greater and longer-term consequences. After the hope raised by the Paris Agreement, the recent news is sobering:
- A recent study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that “we have about 12 years left” to avoid some of the major impacts of climate change (see this helpful summary from the Harvard Business Review)
- Our carbon emissions rose by more than 3 percent in 2018, due to economic growth (see New York Times article)
Let’s Apply Urgency to Avoid “The Really Big One”
Why can’t we think about climate change as Viadoom for the Earth, and plan accordingly?
Sure, it’s a lot easier for companies and government to put “business as usual” aside to plan for a temporary occurrence. But the costs of NOT applying urgency to our climate change efforts are so great that they should figure into our mental accounting.
The real emergency is not on our border, and we need to start now to avoid the permanent shutdown we can see ahead.