How can we....?

Several days ago the Wall Street Journal Article “It’s Peterson vs. Climate Bill” stated that Representative Collin Peterson, Minnesota Democrat, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, “scoffs at warnings about climate change” and wants to slow related legislation.

The failure to take environmental issues seriously has greatly contributed to the state of our world. Recently in an address to the U.N. on the environment, former President Jimmy Carter said that he had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House during his administration. These were removed by his successor, President Ronald Regan who indicated that the energy situation was not going to be a major issue in the future. I can’t be the only one concerned that there are still many leaders running governments and corporations around the world who not only don’t understand the severity of the current situation, but also fail to see the opportunities inherent in doing something different.

One of the objections Peterson and others have is that Congress should not be tackling the environmental issue in a broad and potentially costly way at the same time it tries to reinvent the U.S. health-care system. While prioritization is a good thing, do these legislators really believe that we need to hold off sustainability issues until health care is addressed? Seriously?

The time to act is now – on both of these issues. The actions needed are complex and far reaching. Rather than engaging in the usual bi-partisan bickering or looking myopically at regional issues, why not collaborate and find solutions that might be leveraged in many ways by asking “How can we?”

How can we cut costs and raise innovation in healthcare by cutting energy use or finding alternative materials, medications and procedures that benefit patient care?

How can we alter the agricultural landscape in a way that is good for the earth, good for the farmers and good for our economy?

How can we simultaneously become a more energy-efficient nation and foster economic growth?

How can we all step up to make a difference and benefit from the results?

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