Every day when I wake up, I think about what the future will look like for my children. If I think even further ahead, I wonder what the future will look like for my grandchildren. At times, I feel quite pessimistic about that future due to the upcoming and ongoing climate crisis.
However, rather than submitting to that pessimism, I (and many others) choose to focus on changing that future through taking collective action to transform our energy and climate future. As a St. Paul resident, I felt great pride recently at the unveiling of St. Paul’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. Great pride that I live in a city that is meeting this challenge head on and pushing for a better future.
I must admit that after I read the plan in full that pride turned toward disappointment. The city’s plan, which mirrors that of Xcel Energy, is more of the same in the sense of slow incremental change, continuation of fossil fuel use, etc. In other words, more fracked gas, more nuclear power, and more focus on “change” that will continue to benefit Xcel shareholders as opposed to moving us toward a decentralized/clean energy system that would benefit all city residents.
Therefore, what to do? Resign myself to pessimism again or act? I and all of us must act. We must demand that St. Paul act boldly in fighting the climate crisis. We must demand that our energy policies urgently switch to renewable energies, that our energy plans benefit the most vulnerable in our city (rather than exploiting them) and that we creatively look at decarbonizing all areas (transportation, food supply, etc.) of our lives. St. Paul can be a climate leader for the state and the country if we want it to be. We must make it clear, to Xcel and the world, that we are leading the fight for our children’s future and that we will never stop.
—Tom Lucy, Como Park
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