Kick the Climate can down the road

Want to fight obesity and eat your cake at the same time? Declare that you will start eating salad — and only salad — from 2050.

Want to fight obesity and eat your cake at the same time? There is a way. Declare that you will start eating salad — and only salad — from 2050. This keeps the nagging voices down, while allowing you to stuff your face with anything and everything you please in the present — in fact, till 2049, without violating your declared goal. What do you do in 2050, you ask? Why worry about that now?

In his State of the Commonwealth address, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. What does net-zero GHG emissions mean? It means the amount of GHG’s the commonwealth emits and the amount that it absorbs back from the atmosphere will be equal, thereby having no worsening effect on climate change. In other words, in 2050, we intend to stop making climate change worse. Until then though, the party continues (Yay!). Natural Gas compressor in Weymouth? Yes! A new good old style substation in East Boston? Of course! Pipeline in Back Bay? Why not? Pipeline there? Pipeline here? Yes, yes, and — before you ask — yes!

City of Boston, being within the state of Massachusetts, also has a net-zero goal. Guess the year? Yes! 2050! Great minds think alike, eh? Let’s approve the 161-acre 10,000 unit Suffolk Downs development first. We’ll address coastal squeeze of the Belle Isle Marsh — a critical part of the city’s resiliency plan, and a presumably critical part of the state’s carbon sequestration plan too — later. Later!

On a completely unrelated note, we enjoyed a fun game of Kick the can down the road last weekend. We kicked cans with pictures of saltmarsh sparrow, owls, coyotes, koalas, penguins, polar bears, right whales, and all kinds of cute animals. The farther you kick the can, the larger your reward in the present. We appreciate everyone who participated in kicking the animals. But the rewards of today are for those who can kick the can far, far down the road — into distant future, all the way to extinction.

Author: Kannan

Urban farmer, ecology enthusiast, community organizer, sustainability educator, climate resiliency consultant.

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