The recent Advocate article, “Poll: Americans not too bothered by global warming,” stands in stark contrast to November’s issue of National Geographic.
Discussants of climate change, regardless of their position, would be well served to read the magazine from cover to cover and pay particular attention to the lead article on Germany’s success in creating reliable sources of renewable energy.
An entire nation (92 percent to be exact) has come together to change the sources of energy that make this European economic powerhouse work. None feels unaffected; none pushes the problem further into the future or outright denies its existence; none bickers about costs.
Germany, as a nation, contrary to most other nations, including the USA, rejects being a free rider.
Instead, the country’s resources, and, more importantly, the collective force of the commitments of 100 million Germans to seek healthier ways to generate energy, have already managed to shift 27 percent of the entire country’s energy consumption to renewables. The current goal is 80 percent by 2050 — only 35 years away.
Germans are aware that such an aggressive transition to renewable energy of an entire society is no easy task.
They are, however, prepared to make the required sacrifices, individually and collectively, to achieve this goal. In blatant contrast, here in the United States, we have apparently not moved beyond the kind of attitude that is reflected by the aforementioned poll.
Have we, as a society, lost the very spirit and courage that has been the driving force of our country and without which no global leadership can be maintained?
Are we becoming a debating club on the world scene instead of actors?
Thomas M. Bayer, Ph.D.