Powering Down

Necessarily ambitious climate targets to meet the Paris Agreement goals earlier must actually be designed to surpass them. As we’ve said often these efforts are results of broad collective action, by governments:

The centerpiece of Leonore Gewessler’s plan is a radical revamp of Austria’s public transportation networks, giving residents nationwide access to buses, trains and subways for a flat yearly fee that works out at 3 euros ($3.38) a day, encouraging citizens to leave their cars at home. Austria’s minister for climate, energy and transportation policy, is drafting new laws that’ll redistribute billions of euros toward more ecologically-friendly activities in the euro area’s sixth biggest economy.

“That’s the project that is very dear to my heart,” said Gewessler in her first interview in her ministry since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Road traffic remains a “key concern” for Austria to meet its goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2040—a decade earlier than the target set by the European Union.

Note when this is happening – now. Even and especially during the pandemic. The localities we’ve heard about where streets have been restricted to pedestrian-only traffic requires another couple of steps to complete the process. Paired with (cheap!) alternative transportation options, this will seem like another thing we just had to do. (Narrator: Because. It. Is.)

Image via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Lest We Forget

People continue to make things. Even in this head-y time of worry and recession, big-projects jam up the pipeline, small projects simmer on eternal hold while the pipeline gets dug up and re-routed… whatever. Some people aren’t waiting around. And I don’t write that to be hopeful.

It just is. Ignore it if you want to, in favor of the tired tried, if not true. The dependable is always and only just that. But the power to ignore it and move forward with your ____ is the fecund gear, the lean for the green that happens not just every spring but every day. And many nights.

And it’s one thing to do this when and if you’re being rewarded for it. And another thing again if you aren’t. What’s the motivation, then? You hold out that they’ll catch up to you, but that doesn’t last very long. Best forget about them, even as you put together that something special, something better than us because it’ better than we’ll ever be. So, who is it for? The things that last are for us all, which means they were probably meant for none. They just had to come into existence, then they just were. They fought the crushing momentum not to exist, not come into being at all, against the very inclination to even consider… what? Making something new? No. Just making something. Ignoring the fright of silence and empty reception. Sometimes, that’s the best laboratory in the world. We just forget that sometimes.

So don’t.