The renewable future is here—if you can find a plug
By Michael Grunwald | POLITICO
The earth is excellent. It’s the only planet with Netflix, Coca-Cola and my kids. I worry about how we’re broiling it with greenhouse gases, how its ice caps are melting and its coral reefs are dying. I’m freaked out that we’re damaging its ability to sustain us, and that this might be the only thing future generations remember about us.
And yet … meat is also excellent. I eat a lot of it, even though every bite makes climate change a bit worse. I love traveling, too, and I’ve never skipped a trip to shrink my carbon footprint. I don’t line-dry my clothing, compost my garbage, or unplug my laptop at night, either. I’ve been reporting on humanity’s climate impact for years, but I’m basically a climate hypocrite, haunted by the tragedy of global warming but too lazy and too selfish to do everything in my power to fight it.
To be honest, another motive to avoid changing my lifestyle has been money, which can buy all kinds of excellent things. I looked into solar power a decade ago, but the economics made no sense for our family, so I stopped looking. Maybe I should have taken a major financial hit to help prevent climate-driven refugee crises, wildfires and the eventual drowning of our hometown of Miami. I didn’t, though, and you probably wouldn’t have, either. Most of us care more about our families than the Earth and its other 7 billion inhabitants.