LODO – “This is in every way a political issue,” said Chuck Kutscher, principal engineer and manager of the Thermal Systems Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.
In an steamy white tent on Wynkoop Street, blocks away from the Pepsi Center, four authors and experts on climate change agreed in a discussion titled “Now or Never – Climate Solutions” that global warming is the largest political failure of our time.
“We have solutions, it’s just a matter of coming up with the political will to do these things,” Kutcher said.
Monday’s midday discussion had nothing to do with whether or not global warming is real or not, rather it was about finding the way to institute effective environmental legislature that liberals, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans can agree on. The problem now is not lack of technology, it’s a reluctance to do anything about it.
“It’s the largest political failure in history,” David Orr, author and named “environmentalist Hero for 2004” by Interiors & Sources Magazine. “Here we are, outside the Democratic National Convention. This is not just a Democrat issue. It is not just a republican issue. It transcends all party affiliations. How do we arrest this before it goes beyond the point of catastrophe?”
Randy Hayes, the climate policy officer at the World Future Council agreed that the political time for change in now.
“The moment of the great ecological u-turn for us is now,” Hayes said. “We can’t have incrimentalism now, we have no time to lose. We have to hit the ground running with new policies.”
Hayes added that a model for our country’s environmental policies and goals is already out there. The German Renewable Energy “is proven to add more megawatts into the grid” putting “power literally in the hands of the people.”
“We don’t want to be the lap dogs of big industry any more,” he said.
Environmental activist, Hollywood actress and part-time Tellurider Daryl Hannah was also on hand Monday in support of environmental policy change.
“All of our problems we face can be dealt with the existing technologies we already have,” she said. “The people are ready.”
Indeed, the people may be ready to confront global warming or “planetary destabilization” as Orr put it, but are the politicians, in particular the presidential candidates ready? We shall see.