Public letters are in these days. The desmogblog has this cool project going, The 100 Year Letter Project, where various guests get to tell their version of the climate story. The latest one, by climate scientist Simon Donner was recently featured on DotEarth. Not wanting to be left out, I have my own version of a public letter. This one is to the future president of the United States.
To the Future President of the United States,
I am writing to ask that you please hear what I have to say as a concerned Green Girl Wannabe. See, there are all these talks in the media, about us, the people not being good green citizens
Not a day goes by, without us being accused of dumping more nasty gases into the air. We are told we drive too much, cars that are too big for our own good. We consume too much electricity. We are guilty of passively supporting coal mountaintop removal in the Appalachian Mountains. We fly too much. Our houses are too big. We don’t shut off our computers at night. We should be using public transportation more. We consume too much. We use too many plastic bags. We are responsible for a huge Garbage Patch in the midst of the Atlantic. We should recycle more. We should all have solar installations on our roofs. We should stop using our dryers and hang our clothes to dry on clotheslines. We should conserve water. We should plant more trees. We generate too much garbage. We eat too much red meat. We should stop our junk mail. We should weatherize our homes. We should switch to tankless water heaters. We should insulate. We should find jobs closer to home. We should stop procreating so much. We should . . .
Do you get it? I am overwhelmed with all that’s thrown at me. I have enough to deal with as it is. I’ve got family worries to deal with, teenagers rebelling, a mother going insane with Alzheimer’s, work to be done, the angst of midlife striking, a house to keep, and not enough hours in the day to keep it all together. And now, I am supposed to become a green citizen, on top of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I do want to be green. I am convinced the human race is heading towards catastrophe, unless we all start changing our ways, quick. I just can’t make these changes right now, the way things are set up. This is where you come into play.
I need you, Future President, to step up to the challenge, and lead us all with a vision to inspire, and a plan that will make it impossible for me and my fellow citizens to fail in our green wannabe efforts. The folks at the Presidential Climate Action Project already gave you a list of 300 concrete steps they want you to take as soon as we elect you. I also have a list, of 15 things I need from you:
- Make it harder for me to sin, and impose a carbon tax on all my bad habits
- Have standards in place that will let me know what is green and what is not
- Make it free for me to install solar on my roof
- Make it possible for me to trade in my old appliances for Energy Star appliances
- Make it hard for me to use my car, and set curfews.
- Set the example, and be a green citizen yourself
- Take the troops out of Irak, and train them as green soldiers to weatherize homes, do solar installs, and retrofit cars
- Ban bad plastics
- Impose limits on packaging
- Encourage telecommuting
- Cover the land with solar and wind farms, and more trees
- Lower the speed limit on freeways
- Build a national green transportation infrastructure of more trains, more buses, car share, bike routes, and no car zones.
- One day a month ask your people to do one green thing
- Sign the Basel Convention, so I can feel better about recycling my computer
These are all the things I need from you, Future President, if I am going to come through with my responsibilities as a green citizen.