Readers respond: Advice for young climate strikers
Glad to see the fervor of the youth strikers for climate (“Youth Strike for Climate protesters rally in downtown Portland as organizers call for climate action from city leaders‚” May 20). But I have some concerns about the direction and efficiency of their movement. Some things for them to consider: First, don’t fall into polarization, portraying this as a simplistic battle of innocent citizens against evil corporations. We are all complicit in global warming in the interplay between individual consumption and the supply of goods by businesses. Think of it as a cooperative effort, not a battle. Second, our level of industrialization, urbanization and consumption is due to the use of fossil fuels. Without them, we cannot hope to maintain our system and our ways of life. Some substitution of energy by new renewable sources is possible, but it is not simple, nor will it be complete substitution. The harsh reality is that we need to drastically reduce energy consumption. Third, start with yourself. Be aware of your energy consumption. This includes electronic devices – the materials they contain and the energy they consume directly and indirectly. Fourth, make sure you understand the technological, economic and social dynamics of energy use and how we got into our situation. Don’t just limit yourself to a simplistic focus on CO2 emissions, but put it into a broader perspective.
I hope you will continue your work, but please keep these things in mind to create an effective movement. If you just shout, demand, polarize and curse, the movement will fail.
David Garen, Portland