Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another Reason to Cultivate Vision

If you need one good reason to discover your own vision of a future in which we have addressed climate change you should spend half a minute watching this video, produced by the US Chamber of Commerce as part of a campaign to rally voters against the Lieberman-Werner climate change legislation. In it you'll see a suburban family start their day, wearing hats and scarves indoors and cooking their breakfast over a candle flame before jogging off to work along an expressway empty of vehicles. A voice-over proclaims:

Climate legislation being consider by Congress could make it too expensive to heat our homes, power our lives and drive our cars.....Washington politicians should not demand what technology cannot deliver.

There is so much that could be said about this video, how it uses no facts about what technology can and cannot deliver, how it plays on fears of scarcity, how it neglects to mention the ways suburban families' lives might change if we don't cut carbon emissions.

But what I really want to say is: this isn't the future I see, when I close my eyes and imagine a society that has addressed climate change. I see city blocks filled with gardens and fruit trees, and local shops selling local goods. I see a renewal of manufacturing jobs providing honest important work and producing the infrastructure of a clean energy society. I see people who have considered the question 'what really matters' and oriented their lives around whatever answer they have found.

Even without the threat of climate change I'd choose that future over business as usual. I'm guessing, that, if they really felt they had a choice, most of my fellow citizens would choose it too. And, if they felt they had a choice, I don't think the fear of cooking eggs over candle flames is something that would keep them from their vision.

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