Escalating extreme weather events across the globe usher in the climate consequences of our fossil fuel addiction, that we thought we could dump on our grandchildren.

As Rachel Kyte puts it

Climate change: cost and opportunity

However, I find her reframing of this "opportunity" a reach. Yeah, we have an opportunity to avoid our extinction, but it ain't gonna be a bright sparking future. That green opportunity for poor people to get to work on mass transit also implies a lot fewer middle class folk standing on the train with them instead of driving. Like, "Hey Joe, you have an opportunity to walk a half mile and wait for a train to work instead of driving your own car." It feels a bit disingenuous to me.

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I read that part about public transit (wishfully?) as hypothesizing a massive expansion that would be attractive to middle-class folks as well. I know the appeal firsthand of just getting in a car, not being tied to a train or bus or subway schedule! Other pros and cons can tip the balance, such as downtown parking being iffy, inconvenient, or very expensive -- or dramatically higher fuel prices.

"No private car" zones might make for more walkable and livable city areas!

Also, many office jobs could be done at least partially by telecommuting, especially if world-class, "hyperfast" internet becomes regarded as not a luxury but as public infrastructure -- as in the taxpayer-owned gigabit network in Chattanooga and a few other cities.

The article reminds me of calls to action a few years ago, "even if disastrous predictions turn out to have been wrong, taking action will still dramatically improve our quality of life."




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