Climate change and the coal strike of 1977-78: Turn down the lights

A finger pressing a switch
When you read the history of the 1977-1978 Coal Strike, the reports talk about the negotiations, the rejected agreement and who the losers were in the final contract.

However, the effect of the strike on energy consumption is glossed over.

That year, I was a student at DeKalb High School in Waterloo, Indiana. The school took steps to reduce energy usage. I remember that we reduced lighting in the classrooms and hallways. We changed policies in the cafeteria and took other steps to cut back energy usage.

None of the changes that the school took required waiting for greater availability of renewable energy sources or capital outlays by industry.

Reducing the use of lighting in public spaces will not eliminate the imperative to reduce CO2 emissions. However, it will be a step in the right direction. It can be done overnight and does not need the cooperation of any elected officials.

Turn down the lights. It’s a very visible signal that CO2 emissions need to be lowered. It can be a start and it’s available everywhere.

Fearing America’s Legacy of Violence

[I posted a version of this earlier and deleted it out of timidity.]

The fear of accepting refugees because they might repeat the Paris attacks doesn’t make sense to me. Fanning the flames of fear is an easy way to promote policies that let the powerful increase their power.

We have a fear of terrorists from the Middle East, but the fear mongers forget the terrorist incidents in the U. S. with American perpetrators. There is a long list of shooters in this country who have killed multiple victims. People apparently don’t remember the university shootings this fall, let alone the Charleston Church Massacre, Virginia Tech and many others. Colorado Springs has seen two separate multiple fatality shootings within a month.

Now, Sandy Hook is part of the American legacy of violence. There’s no evidence that there won’t be more attacks by Americans on Americans.

Opposing refugees by promoting fear is a low-cost, highly effective way of winning political points with people who already are afraid of “them.” Who “they” are changes from decade to decade. When we fear “them”, we help destroy freedom in the name of freedom.