Climate Change: A Call to Action by the Center for a Sustainable Coast

On behalf of the Center for a Sustainable Coast and all coastal Georgians, as well as fellow Americans and humanity at large, it must be said that the award-winning film, Chasing Ice, makes one thing abundantly clear: we simply must do as much as possible, as soon as possible, to confront the causes of climate change.

This means taking urgently needed steps to reduce carbon emissions by improving conservation, achieving greater energy efficiency, and above all, preventing the reckless production and use of massive sources of fossil fuels, contrary to current efforts underway in the United States and Canada.

We cannot allow short-term market objectives, falsely "cheaper" fuels and deceptively higher profits to subvert our long-term prospects when the evidence is so compelling and consequences are so severe. To do anything less than making climate change the central issue of our time is rationalizing disaster, passively cultivating catastrophic outcomes for our people, our environment, and the global future of humanity.

Central to this call to action, we urge unconditional resolve to abandon further development of fossil fuels as soon as possible. Combustion of the immense quantities of oil and natural gas to be extracted from shale deposits and tar sands will recklessly magnify the projected destruction of climate change. It's a tragically foolish bargain to pretend that making these resources available will not court global disaster - intensifying the devastation of storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, and crop loss - at unconscionable cost in lives, treasure, and the natural systems upon which we all depend.

Such choices are even more irrational in light of proven alternatives for generating power from solar, wind, tides, and other natural, clean, and self-replenishing sources. When objectively compared on the basis of their consequences, combustion-free alternative energy technologies are infinitely cheaper than burning fossil fuels.

Climate change is a predicament that tests the capabilities and fortitude of our democracy like nothing else in history. To avert disaster for our environment and its inhabitants, for our children and the world they will inherit, our political will must be strengthened and focused with utmost determination.

We call upon all citizens of conscience and common sense to insist on timely, comprehensive federal legislation to prevent the worst damage of climate change, and to build a lasting foundation for a sustainable future.

As pragmatic Americans facing this monumental challenge, we must lead the way.

David Kyler, Executive Director
The Center for a Sustainable Coast
February 17, 2013

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