Letter to the editor: Solving climate change starts with everyday choices | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Solving climate change starts with everyday choices

Emmett Bailey

Our ancestors faced the Civil War almost 200 years ago, followed by the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II and the Holocaust, and the threat of nuclear extermination. A close study of history can make this course seem inevitable, when it must have felt like no more than a series of unfortunate events. Each time they must have said, “Times could not be worse.” We’ve coped and adapted each time not just because we can but because we must.

We spend a lot of time ruminating on the reports of our doom; after all, drought in the Southwest could not be worse. Water will only inherit scarcity and the beauty of the West will be increasingly difficult to share. If only someone would do something! Well, perhaps we’ve come to see that “someone” is you, me and everyone else with an interest in the world.

It is true that big problems require big solutions. But the long road to solving climate change is paved by everyday choices. This means that solutions take form not from the passage of a miracle but when everyone pitches in, at least a little. Ask what can be done at this very moment. Do I have a reusable mug for my coffee? Can I cut my normal shower time down? Can I forgo watering my plants by a day?

The novelty of our crises does not make them unique; once again we shall bind together to do what must be done. We are lucky to live in a world where small changes add up in big ways. The act of simply embarking on a mission may perhaps guarantee its completion. We can solve one problem at a time, one upon the next, until we find ourselves at the solution.

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