James Hansen lays it on the line.
Averting the worst consequences of human-induced climate change is a "great moral issue" on a par with slavery...storing up expensive and destructive consequences for society in future is an "injustice of one generation to others...
Hansen told the Guardian that the latest climate models had shown the planet was on the brink of an emergency. He said humanity faces repeated natural disasters from extreme weather events which would affect large areas of the planet.
"The situation we're creating for young people and future generations is that we're handing them a climate system which is potentially out of their control," he said. "We're in an emergency: you can see what's on the horizon over the next few decades with the effects it will have on ecosystems, sea level and species extinction." [emphasis mine]
I wonder how society will avert these disasters. I don't think there is the will to do that. The problem with being a cassandra is that no one listens. The individual can live in a ways so as to say, "I am morally not culpable in this. I did my part" but the politician lives in a world of short term strategies, the corporation lives in a world of short term profits, and the majority of most societies live is a world of ostrich emulation and fantasy. I believe that the individual can do more if they think of how to create a society and environment in what is to be the next, chaotic, more difficult geologic era to come. I don't think there is a choice. I liked the almost-completed current and past geologic era better, but we will soon say goodby to that regardless of what we as individuals want.
I like your reference to Cassandra. Let's hope we fair better than she.
This is an important message and one that reveals how seriously we need to listen. There is no reason we cannot begin to do what we can to reduce CO2, individually. Where to begin?
Monitor and cut back on energy use.
Plan car use by running errands by planning fewer miles.
Eat lower on the food chain
Contact state and natonal legislators to encourage their support of lower CO2 use
Work to get off coal, not start tar sands processing, stop drilling.
Get information about payouts of oil and energy interests to legislators.
I can start doing these things.