Pine Nuts: Being on the right side of the future

McAvoy Layne
Pine Nuts

There is only one thing I can think of that could be worse than being on the wrong side of history, and that is being on the wrong side of the future, which is where we will be if we fail to curtail the effects of climate change.

So what can one man do? He can plant a tree, a little sponge to suck up some carbon dioxide. The Sugar Pine Foundation is doing exactly that here in the Sierra Nevada, and those baby sugar pines could save the life of one yet unborn baby girl.

Mother Earth already has seven billion kids. She is telling us she cannot handle many more. As Mark Twain reminds us, “In time, there will not be room in the world for people to stand, let alone sit down.” In this age of philistinism, we might want to think about having bumper stickers made that say, “LOVE THY MOTHER.”

Ignorance is not always the culprit, attitude is sometimes the malefactor. Rancho Santa Fe is a wealthy California community that used about five times more water per capita than the statewide average. When Californians were told to reduce water use by 25%, Rancho Santa Fe thumbed their noses and raised their consumption by 9%.

Back in 2017 Governor Rick Scott of Florida issued a directive to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection prohibiting its 3,200 employees from using the words “climate change” or “global warming” in any official state communications. You were on the wrong side of the future, Mr. Scott.

According to National Public Radio, 55% of teachers don’t teach climate change, claiming it’s outside their subject area. Yet more than 80% of U.S. parents support teaching climate change in schools.

On the upside, in this year, 2019, Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, has decided to run for president with a mission statement that is on the right side of the future. Says Inslee, “This is the first generation who has felt the damage from climate change, and we are the last generation to be able to do something about it.”

Our oceans buffer against the effects of climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide. But as that gas dissolves it makes seawater more acidic, and this acidity is threatening the very survival of our coral reefs, shellfish and the worldwide marine food web. By reducing levels of atmospheric greenhouse gasses we might yet save our oceans.

Being on the wrong side of history is regrettable, I was on the wrong side of history in Vietnam, but with the scientific evidence we now have in hand, being on the wrong side of the future is unforgivable and should be litigated. Should we fail to act politically, socially and universally, our grandchildren will be asking, “What were you thinking, Papa?”

To combat climate crisis this generation needs a plan, a 10-year plan to achieve carbon neutrality and net-zero emissions as soon as 2030. I will be pushing up turnips in 2030, cute little turnips that I trust will be busy absorbing CO2 all night long …

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