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Del. Ken Plum: A Personal Responsibility for Climate Change

by Fatimah Waseem November 8, 2018 at 10:15 am 45 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

If the 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies on climate change are to be believed, the dire consequences of climate change will be felt as soon as the next couple of decades, within the lifespan of most of the readers of this column.

Do exaggerated weather conditions of hotter temperatures, excessive rains and winds with more hurricanes and tornadoes, droughts over many years for some regions, wildfires covering thousands of acres as well as the death of the coral reefs and some wildlife sound familiar along with recurrent flooding and disappearance of some beaches? All of these are signs of climate change.

The warning from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the second in as many decades. Will it be heeded? Many policymakers will not be around to feel the consequences of inaction, but what about the old-fashioned notion that we have a responsibility for future generations including our own progeny? Should we try to save the planet for them? Any one action by an individual will not change the course we are on with changes to our climate, but the serious and collective actions on the part of most citizens have the potential to make a difference.

I have heard arguments from those who take a religious view of the issue that they do not believe that the god they worship as the creator of the world would let humankind destroy it. Could it be that the same God who gave humankind dominion over the planet would have an expectation that we would be good stewards of the resources and protect them?

I support a total reversal of the insane policies on climate change of the current federal administration. I abhor this administration’s policies and practices to ignore the clear warnings and to pursue environmental rules based on personal and corporate strategies to make a monetary profit or to gain votes from a constituency. As I discussed in this column in prior weeks, I plan to provide leadership on issues at the state level that will curtail and reverse actions furthering climate change.

Now it is up to us individually to live our lives in a way that shows our mindfulness of the effects of climate change and our willingness to make changes ourselves that will start to reverse the damage. As consumers, we need to reward businesses that pursue climate awareness policies and actions and to not deal with those whose manufacturing processes and actions contribute to climate change.

We need to buy energy from renewable sources even if may cost more. We need to live in such a way that enhances the health of the natural elements around us. We need to plant more trees that can have a great impact on greenhouse gases. We need to walk or bike more and drive internal combustion engine vehicles less.

Who’s in with me? Let’s prove the scientists wrong by changing the way we live in order to preserve our planet. If it is too late for you, what about your grandchildren and their children?

File photo

  • The Original Drive By Critic

    Another report breathlessly issued by the corrupt, inept, incompetent and venal organization called the United Nations? Well for my part, I support the Trump administration’s plan to roll back the vehicle anti-pollution and mileage standards imposed upon the domestic auto industry by the feckless Obama administration. I am tired of cramming myself into the small ,uncomfortable, noisy and unsafe –and higher mileage–cars. In fact, I just purchased large, powerful, comfortable, very safe American sedan. While members of Congress, our state house reps, and other govt officials are driven around in their limousines and large SUV vehicles, you expect the rest of us to continue cramming ourselves into tiny wind-up death traps powered by rubber bands. No way, pardner! Gas me up–I’m driving until the iron in my blood turns into lead in my foot. Pedal to the metal! Vrooom! The best part, Ken, is that you can’t do a dam thing about it LOL!

    • Wheels

      Parsing through the trolling here…No one wants to take away your car or eliminate driving as a choice. Just don’t expect your car to be the most convenient choice 100% of the time. Don’t expect a single occupant driving a car to have the priority when kids are crossing the street or buses stop to drop off your neighbors. Oh and don’t expect parking to be free or gas to be cheap. Living without parking and gas subsidies can be tough. Vroom!

      • Michael Gandolfo

        Don’t feed the trolls.

        • OneReally

          Here kitty, kitty, kitty!!!

      • Mike M

        Sorry. I EXPECT IT!
        PS: Not really sorry!

      • The Original Drive By Critic

        Liar! Of course you want to do all these things–you seek desperately to reduce my choice of vehicles in the market place. You demand my inconvenience in favor of socialized transportation, where I am compelled to stand next to you on a crowded, smelly bus (or is that your deodorant/cologne I am intaking?) ,paying for a too-expensive Metro style of commuting and living. My safe, secure, PRIVATE, single driver turbocharged 400 hp engine will leave you and your fellow mass transit riders in the dust. (And I can travel many, many places you can’t even get to! Hah!) Ken Plum and his fellow travelers want to destroy free enterprise and choice in our democratic capitalist nation. Well, I have made my choice–higher octane all the way .Plum’s attempts to take away my choice in the name of enviro-political correctness will FAIL, buddy. Ken doesn’t want to talk about the actual cost of all this transportation/enviro nirvana he seeks, of course he is likely getting up in years now and probably will not be around long enough to worry about the crushing tax burden and other expenses he would impose on the rest of us, and that is the god’s honest truth.

        You didn’t heed the warning—Don’t Feed The Trolls (we have been known to bite).

      • 30yearsinreston

        Everyone should ride bikes or use rickshaws

    • Let’s all laugh at righties

      This is A+ satire right here.

      • My Tesla Does 140 mph

        Only the best for Reston Now readers.

  • OneReally

    How about you rant about our transportation woes.

    Oh wait! You created this mess.

  • 100yearsinReston

    Herp, derp. I choose to live in a populated suburb of a metropolitan city and I am shocked, SHOCKED, that traffic exists. So I post about it in every thread, even though that isn’t the topic. I am so partisan and conservative, I cannot fathom the idea that my representatives in Richmond are liberals, so even when their commentaries present a reasoned argument that any rational person would get behind, I deflect. It is a great cooping mechanism for me and helps protect my fragile ego. Herp. Derp.

    • Mike M

      Reasoned? Nope. Deflecting? Nope.

      • 100yearsinReston

        Yet in the other global warming thread you brought up welfare out of nowhere. “Facts are stubborn things…”

        • Mike M

          I have no idea what you are writing about here. Do you? I’d be happy to discuss if you can make a concrete and transparent point.

          • 100yearsinReston

            Reading comprehension is a valuable skill that will serve you through life. I strongly recommend you develop that skill to help you here and elsewhere. Good luck.

          • Mike M

            Deflecting with ad hominem.

          • 100yearsinReston

            Lol, it’s not as hominem if you literally stated in the post before this that you can’t understand what is written. Also, do you not see the irony of screaming ad hominem while constantly calling people with different political views of you “libtards”?

            But I guess that’s the same cognitive dissonance of yelling “deflecting” while posting about welfare in climate change thread.

          • Mike M

            So, if you are not clear in your communication, then everyone who fails to read your mind is stupid?

          • 100yearsinReston

            The post is clear. You continue to double down in hopes to redeem yourself. Give up, you are continuing to embarrass yourself.

          • Mike M

            All you have done is add “deflect” as an accusation. Your original argument was people should expect traffic in Reston because it is a suburb of a “metropolitan city.” But you should know, and probably don;t know, that Reston was not always such a traffic mess. Certain things have been done to bring that. I stand by my comments with no regret or “embarrassment.” You have no substance.

          • 100yearsinReston

            Wrong again, surprise, surprise. Interesting how you continue to accuse “deflection” in a article about climate change where you make a post about the traffic. Like you do every week. You should know, but probably don’t know, that places change. Yes, 50 years Reston was farm land and forest and had no traffic! You know what changed? I’ll let you figure that out. Sadly, you believe “substance” to be fake news, straw men, hypocracy, and circular arguments.

            By the way, getting the last word in doesn’t mean you won. It just means you cannot admit defeat. As Trump would say: “sad.”

          • Mike M

            You have a bad case of Trump Derangement syndrome.
            Scroll up. See my points? recap plus:
            1) I’ll listen to the climate change warning when “scientists” can advise us on how to adapt.
            2)
            I’ll listen to the “scientific consensus” when they stop advising us
            to empower international bodies to cut our economic throat. That is a
            leftist tell.
            3) I’ll listen to them when they acknowledge there are
            scenarios where mother earth might just right herself as she tends to
            do. Ever heard of reduced salinity in the North Atlantic? Look it up.
            4)
            I’ll listen to them when they admit there is really not much we can
            hope to do except maybe slow the process down in their models?
            As I
            have done to many of the uneducated in here, read about King Canute and
            the tides. He was wise enough to understand he could not command nor
            even keep up with mother nature. In my lifetime two of the dumbest
            things I’ve see done were the rebuilding of Ward 4 in New Orleans and
            flood insurance for vacation homes that have been repeatedly flood
            damaged. I trust in Mother Nature and myself. My grand kids will be
            armed. Yours will howl at the moon.

          • 100yearsinReston
          • Mike M

            So, you are an MSM addicted kid.

          • 100yearsinReston
          • Mike M

            Thought so.

          • 100yearsinReston
          • Mike M

            Your’e on an intellectual roll! Keep on keepin’ on.

          • 100yearsinReston
    • My Tesla Goes 140 mph

      Hiccup! Burp!
      Well, my ego requires no special protection.
      Ken’s arguments are not really all that compelling to some of us. Here he is speaking in the broadest possible terms, unnecessarily going full chicken-little on us. I am a rational actor in our economic system pursuing my own best interests., and I happen to disagree with Ken on any number of things…I can hardly wait for the day when true reapportionment will result in Mr. Plum losing his “safe” legislative district.

      • 100yearsinReston

        Your best interest should include the survival of the species. And if you don’t trust “chicken-little” Plum, then maybe you should trust environmental scientists and their data that Plum uses as support.

        • Mike M

          I trusted the Global cooling scientists back in the 70s when I was young and stupid and [email protected] It did me no good. They were wrong then too.

          • 100yearsinReston

            Environmental scientists NEVER had a concensus on global cooling in the 70s. A relatively few studies shows possible data of cooling. More fake news from you. Surprise, surprise. Perhaps your stupidity isn’t exclusive to your youth?

          • Mike M

            Yes, everyone with whom you don’t agree is stupid. Surely. More ad hominem. And the sky is always falling, and we need more national and international to save us with more intervention in the economy and our way of life. Oh, and the US pays the lion share while greater offenders do as they please. Right? ALWAYS the same solution to every problem. Hence the lack of credibility. Check this, smarty pants. When I hear what’s potentially good about warming (we know because it has happened before) I’ll start listening to the bad. When I start hearing how we can adapt to what might be coming, then I’ll take it all seriously.

          • 100yearsinReston

            “…Stupid and [email protected] [sic]…”

            “More ad hominem”

            This is what we call hypocracy.

          • Mike M

            Yes, but I back my stuff up with genuine argument.

          • 100yearsinReston

            Hypocracy is not genuine argument. Like, almost by definition. Do you hear yourself? As I said in the other post, getting the last word in doesn’t mean you won. Especially when you can’t even retort with on message or, you know, with facts. It means you can’t admit defeat.

          • Mike M

            Scroll up. See my points? recap plus:
            1) I’ll listen to the climate change warning when “scientists” can advise us on how to adapt.
            2) I’ll listen to the “scientific consensus” when they stop advising us to empower international bodies to cut our economic throat. That is a leftist tell.
            3) I’ll listen to them when they acknowledge there are scenarios where mother earth might just right herself as she tends to do. Ever heard of reduced salinity in the North Atlantic? Look it up.
            4) I’ll listen to them when they admit there is really not much we can hope to do except maybe slow the process down in their models?
            As I have done to many of the uneducated in here, read about King Canute and the tides. He was wise enough to understand he could not command nor even keep up with mother nature. In my lifetime two of the dumbest things I’ve see done were the rebuilding of Ward 4 in New Orleans and flood insurance for vacation homes that have been repeatedly flood damaged. I trust in Mother Nature and myself. My grand kids will be armed. Yours will howl at the moon.

          • 100yearsinReston
  • Sue Brickman

    The single biggest difference an individual can make regarding the climate is to eat fewer animals. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Mike M

      And if they are incredibly delicious?

      • Sue Brickman

        Then take shorter showers, Mike. (PS most of what makes them
        delicious is seasonings, aka plants)

        • Mike M

          Isn’t water renewable especially around these parts. I like my long hot showers sometimes.

  • Reston Realist

    Based on all the clever responses here, It’s obvious that the reason we have global warming is because there are too many people on the planet…. Clearly, the only solution is population control. So, which 50% of the population should go?

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