Letter to the Editor

Avoid the iceberg

San Luis ObispoApril 22, 2014 

The sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, represents a powerful metaphor for our future. The core message is hubris: We humans boldly bolted steel plates to a frame and plunged forward through the icy Atlantic with nary a thought to safety.

It is foolish to continue burning fossil fuels, building new ports to export coal, sending Bakken crude via rail through our communities while the planet’s carbon dioxide levels accelerate.

In the hours before the Titanic calamity, the wireless operator ignored warnings from another ship about the impending ice field — too busy conveying the prideful messages of the wealthy class. Will we, also, ignore the dangers of burning carbon, giving preference to our wealthy class who “make jobs”? The daily messages of planetary doom are crescendoing. There are alternatives. By 2020, China is on target to have built windmills offering 200-gigawatt generating capacity. We have fallen behind them in renewable energy development, relying instead on the Koch brothers and their political lackeys to power our ship of state.

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