As a mom, Romney’s mocking of President’s Obama’s promise to address the risks of global warming struck a chord deeper than most political commentary. Romney’s promise, in contrast, was “to help you and your family.” I think he forgot to add “while I’m alive.”
Whether we like it or not, we are gambling with our children’s future.
Romney has flip-flopped over the years on his stance on climate change, but he clearly acknowledges the risks. What I want to know is how low would the odds have to be for Romney to feel good about saying to his children and grandchildren that he choose not to address global warming because he wanted to help them—especially if in the end the roll of the dice comes up snake eyes ?
Perhaps for some it doesn’t matter, as Romney will no longer be around when the full dice are shown. Neither will I. Let’s face it: We are making decisions and we may never know the outcomes. But our children or grandchildren will. Here is a simple graphic that explains the choices we are making and the gamble we are taking.
A brief explanation of the graphic below:
We can simplify our choices into two actions, which are represented by the two rows:
1) Take Action: significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
2) Do nothing: continue to emit greenhouse gases.
The columns represent two possibilities of what our children and grandchildren might experience.
1) The first column represents the most extreme consequences that our children and grandchildren might experience—severe storms, droughts, famine, and economic disruption.
2) The second column represents the best outcome that our children and grandchildren might experience—little to no significant changes in storms, food production, and water supplies.
Here are some thoughts on what our children might say as they experience the consequences of our choices today. What would the odds have to be for you to choose the “Do nothing” gamble?
Are you a parent? How many times have you said: I would do anything for my child. Well, here is your chance, become an advocate for climate action.
What people are saying:
Los Angeles Times – Obama, Romney duel over climate change in online debate
Washington Post – Obama and Romney on climate changes science
Foreign Policy – The most controversial line in Romney’s convention speech
What are your thoughts on Mitt Romney's climate diss last week at the RNC? Let us know in the comments.
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Dr. Amy Luers is the Director of Climate Change for Skoll Global Threats. She was previously the Senior Environmental Program Manager at Google and led the California Climate Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists.