samedi, décembre 08, 2007

Beyond helplessness

When she calls for leadership on the climate change issue that asks us all to take commonsensical steps towards healing our world, Anne-Marie Slaughter of Princeton (see link above) has it right. When I talk to my neighbors about climate change (why we SUV-driving suburban denizens ought to care) I get one of two reactions. Some of them focus on the idea that we may be dealing with natural forces beyond our control.

That is comparable to the reactions of people who can't support gun control because the forces behind violence and poverty are so enormous. Let's do a cost-benefit analysis, folks. Don't we want cleaner air, healthier kids, and less reliance on oil from other nations? C'mon.

The other reaction I get is: what can I do? Anything I do won't make much of a difference. As Slaughter points us, we need guidance. We need simple steps. We may not need moralizing, but we need to be impelled to make the moral choice. I didn't think it was possible, but George Bush and his buddies have given the idea of morality a bad name. It's time for another President, and Administration to take it back.

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