Sometimes You Must Do What Is Required

This morning, Al Gore, had a fine Op-Ed piece on global warming published in the NY Times. Global warming has taken a hit recently because of some errors — minor ones — made by scientists who study such things. Despite the errors, the consensus, according to Gore, remains unchanged: Global warming is our legacy to our children, grandchildren and beyond.

Every time I’ve visited a country outside of the United States, I’ve been blown away by the public transportation options available. On our last trip to Europe, Adrien and I spent 3 weeks traveling from London to Brussels/Bruges to several regions of France (Strassbourg, Reims, Beaune, Lyon, and Paris). We used public transportation the entire 3 weeks with the exception of our flights in and out of London.

We did not ONCE use a car, nor did we have the need to do so: rail service – whether it was between countries or within the city – was convenient, affordable, accessible.  The high-speed train service from Lyon to Paris (TGV speeds reach 200 mph), Eurostar, Thalys were all more comfortable and less hassle than air travel in the US. No need to use an automobile, public transportation was plentiful. If the trains can regularly get to the small towns in Burgandy, why can’t we get decent train service here in the Northeast?

However, what I really am thinking about is the ending quote Gore writes in his OpEd which was attributed to Winston Churchill:

“Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes, you must do what is required.”

What is required of all of us now? We seem to know, but are unwilling to let go of old ways of doing things. The days of changing your own motor oil and dumping the used black sludge behind the garage are long over. The joking about our Northeast snowfalls aside, this is the real thing.  The signs of Global warming are all around us and we must heed them.

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