I recently spoke with a police officer supervising convict workers. He was parked in a van which was left running on a sunny day while they had lunch. Unable to restrain myself, I said to the officer, “You know when you are idling the van, your car is costing money, and also fueling the climate emergency.” (I use the term climate emergency, to hopefully get folks to better understand the gravity of the weather chaos).
He politely replied, and said, “I know, but I have to keep the van in readiness in case we are called for an emergency.”
I didn’t want to say,” Can’t you just turn the van on?”
Later I thought, is it a policy of the police that vehicles be kept running at all times in case of an emergency? How does the climate emergency weigh into that decision-making? I have had the same conversation with bus drivers in the past.
As our climate chaos explodes, we see the deniers voices drowned out by flood waters and rising tides. Their words muted by the roar of the forest fires. Their archaic ideology blown asunder by the fierce winds humankind has created. Unfortunately, the two percent of the climatologists who still deny what is evident have an outsized voice. They have managed to blunt progress causing us to spend billions on infrastructure that should never have been needed.
This conversation seems to be a drop in the bucket. Maybe if there are enough drops, the bucket will be filled. In any event, I will be able to look at my grandchildren in the eye, and say about the climate emergency, “I did what I could.” Your grandchildren deserve that from you as well. They and you too can be drops in the bucket.
Mark Lichty, East Stroudsburg
This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: Letter: One conversation can be a drop in a bucket