In many respects today is a very sad day. The Obama climate change bill, which will effectively seal the world’s climate fate, is encountering substantial difficulties. It may well be watered down to such an extent that it’s more than useless.
Not surprising. The forces massed against change are powerful, wealthy, intractable and very aggressive.
The spoiler campaign mounted by the US oil, gas and coal industry runs to hundreds of millions of dollars and involves industry front groups, lobbying firms, television, print and radio advertising, and donations to pivotal members of Congress. Its intention is to water down or kill off plans by the Democratic leadership to pass "cap and trade" legislation this year, which would place limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
But it’s not just a concerted effort to alleviate climate change that’s at risk. The fact is that every level of sustainability is constantly in question. – particularly in the tourism industry.
It would merit an ironic laugh, except for one thing:
We think that we’re gambling with our jobs and our businesses, trying to find ways of sustaining our unsustainable lifestyles. But we’re not.
We’re actually gambling our children’s, our grandchildren’s, our great grandchildren’s and further generations’ global environmental inheritance. Big words. What could they mean?
They mean almost perennial drought and floods.
They mean famine
They mean a world in turmoil
They mean constant wars and insurrections with climate refugees in search of habitable land
They mean a world of disease and trauma
These are the stakes. We may, of course win – which means confining these depredations to others, not our direct families. A pretty hollow victory.
And the odds are getting worse every day we don’t act.
Of course we’re frightened of acting. Someone may laugh. They may say that we’re not green enough, they may say that we’re greenwashing, they may say that we’re not doing the right thing and it’s going to happen anyway.
But make absolutely no mistake, if we do nothing, our grandchildren will certainly blame us for squandering their inheritance. Then watching on while our world burns.
Everyone can be forgiven mistakes – but sloth and inactivity in the face of our family’s danger? That’s unforgivable.
The tourism industry is the biggest in the world. It depends on our environment, it depends on the economy, it depends on our cultural and social heritage. It has more to gain and more to give than anybody.
The tourism industry employs millions and millions of us worldwide. We can all act. We can get greener in our businesses, we can get greener in our personal lives.
Even a paler share of green is still greener than devastation.
The time for talking is practically over. The time for acting is now.