To the editor of THE EAGLE:
A group called Environmental Action last week asked for signatures and optional personalized messages on a petition to President Obama and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Powers in advance of the summit meeting on climate change to be held at the U.N. headquarters on Sept. 23.
Because I wrote more than a few words and don’t know what got through, here they are for, at least, Eagle readers:
On Sept. 23 and every day and night before the historic United Nations summit in New York City on climate change, the United States needs to take a courageous, decisive, and effective leading role in reversing years of shameful delinquency on the part of the governments of the world. To say the United States needs to "show leadership" is a deficient understatement. Global warming may be the ultimate mega-scourge of humankind and of humankind’s natural base. On this insufficiently perceived menace and on many related, causal realities the United States needs to finally produce -- now and consistently in the future.
Would that the whole world is watching. Because of multiple distractions, the whole world is not watching. In the absence of focused worldwide attention, U.S. actors nevertheless need, at last, to function as responsible and capable adults. This requires a spelling out of sacrifices necessary on the part of billions of people, why these sacrifices are imperative, and -- good news -- how some alternative ways of living (which differ from ruinous and suicidal but currently accepted ways of living) can lead to better and more satisfying lives.
Courage and genuine leadership are needed, the kind associated with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. To help end humankind’s developing world war against humankind and our natural base will require from the administration in Washington a deliberate departure from the depressing and unworthy pattern of business as usual. This behavior has not been affordable for years -- and now is the time to make that clear and act according to a new and untried framework. Thank you.
MARK C. MILLER