Day Eighty-Two

1100 miles | Richmond, IN | Follow Bob's progress live with Spot GPS.

Thanks to Kathy Walters Cutri for asking this question:

There are so many things/areas we need to work on changing our ways in order to make our planet sustainable for our future generations. I worry when I see our current administration throwing our parks out to wolves, seeing climate changes/global warming, thinking of landfills, etc. Where do you see the most immediate change needs to happen?

There are thousands, if not millions working on the problems you mention above, and we need to continue those efforts. But are these efforts enough? According to the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the window of opportunity for us to effectively self-regulate is closing. The IPCC estimates we have 10 years before self-regulation becomes meaningless. 

In spite of our current efforts, human activity released more carbon dioxide (2.57 million pounds/sec.) into the atmosphere than we did last year. So clearly, all current efforts, including our personal, local, and national efforts are not enough. Many advocate doing more of what we are already doing, recycle more, use less plastic, switch to renewables, etc. Certainly this is a logical approach and one we are all familiar with. But with our limited window of time (the IPCC report) combined with the goals of some (see your reference above) to actually thwart those efforts, will this approach—even if we double down and ‘try’ even harder—will it be enough? And what if it’s not?

We have to fix the problem… and we can fix the problem. Borrowing from Einstein again, we just can’t fix the problem using the same mindset in place when we created the problem. 

Our mindsets, the mindsets that created the problem that led to global warming—take care of yourself, your family and your country. We can’t fix what is obviously a global problem using personal and national solutions. Global problems require global solutions. Global solutions require global cooperation. 

I am not walking to promote American Intergenerational Justice. The Earth’s current humans are responsible for the health of future humans. Accepting that new mindset, a global, long term mindset, changed how I saw solutions. For me, that was the ‘immediate’ change that needed to happen and the change I am promoting by walking from Denver to DC.

Thank you Kathy Walters Cutri for asking such a great question.

Bob McCormick