Climate Accountability (Erik M. - 21 Jan '20)

To be posted in the Stevens County Times

Climate change wasn’t caused overnight, and it wasn’t the result of mass inaction, but the very deliberate actions of a handful of powerful and greedy people. Under the pressure of climate catastrophe we might put blame on our community for the damage caused by, for example, drinking with a plastic straw or throwing away food. Except only a couple corporations are responsible for the majority of plastic waste, individual actions aren’t liable for wasted food, and only a few greedy executives and their benefactors started the forty year long climate denial campaign which caused mass inaction. While it’s important to understand the effects we are having on the environment and to do what we can, demanding accountability from our friends, while merely asking for accountability from those who are most responsible puts strain on our communities and hinders our ability to fight climate change and build solidarity. In Stevens County we have made a ton of progress towards working together to fight climate change and we are doing a great job! But, we can’t settle for symbolic actions and green capitalism anymore, we must demand real and meaningful accountability from those most responsible for climate change.

Erik M.