The following is an excerpt from Robert Redford | December 29, 2015 | Huffingtonpost.com |
As a son of southern California in the 1950s, I grew up surrounded by reminders of the oil industry that fueled generations of economic growth in our country. Dad was an accountant for an oil company. I rode my bike past the giant derricks that pumped day and night. I even did a stint myself as a roustabout on the rigs.
In recent decades, though, it's become increasingly clear that our reliance on oil, gas and coal has come at a grave and unsustainable cost to our health and the future of the planet. We just can't tolerate blowouts polluting our oceans, oil trains exploding in our communities, pipeline ruptures across our ranches and farms or the carbon pollution that's driving climate change.
We have to shift away from fossil fuels and all the damage and danger they bring, and move toward cleaner, smarter ways to power our future.
That's the heart and soul of the historic climate agreement reached this month in Paris, where the United States and 186 other countries put plans on the table for real action to fight climate change by moving toward a low-carbon global economy.
We won't get there overnight. The fossil fuels that have been shaped the wealth of nations since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution still account for about 80 percent of global energy use.
The Paris agreement, though, consolidated an epic movement away from those fuels. It advanced that shift. And it sent a clear message to the markets: we're not stuck with fossil fuels - and neither are our children.
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