A Moral Imperative: Climate Change & Your Vote

Call climate change an environmental crisis, an economic opportunity, a matter of national security… Call it whatever you want as long as you don’t call it a “hoax” or “fake news.” Our world is literally burning as we still sit idly by arguing this as a partisan issue. Our children should be ashamed of us.

I hope we can put aside the noise and see this issue for the moral imperative that it is.

Climate change is THE defining issue of the 2020 presidential election. Come November I’m not voting for a candidate (per se) or overly simplified ideology. My vote will be cast in favor of making the world a better place for all future generations.

This photo is of my three children: Jack (8), Janie (4), and Benny (2). I am voting for THEM.

Craig M. Davis
President & Employee-Owner

Children

Is the Coronavirus Affecting Climate Change?

Internationally, the coronavirus has impacted many aspects of our world, from the economy and our spending habits to our jobs and everyday routines. But what about our climate? Yes, our ecological environment has been largely affected by COVID-19, too.

Decreased Greenhouse Gas Emissions

While COVID-19 has spread globally, governments have been forced to initiate social distancing and stay-at-home orders in an effort to stop the spread. These lockdowns have caused many industries and individuals to cease production and travel, causing a ripple affect in greenhouse gas emissions. Countries across the world are experiencing a drastic drop in greenhouse gas emissions, according to an article from the BBC. In fact, China has experienced a decrease by 25% in CO2 emissions. In the United States, New York has seen a decrease as low as 50% in CO2 emissions. Other major countries seeing similar decreases in CO2 and NO2 emissions include Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

While this decrease appears to be some much-needed good news during the pandemic, scientists and ecological specialists are skeptical that these drops in emissions are going to have any lasting effects. If these drops in emissions are caused from a decrease in manufacturing and travel, then what will happen after the virus has been contained, when production increases and daily travel routines return?

“The fight against pollution is a long-distance race, not a sprint,” said Xavier Querol, a science researcher specialized in atmospheric pollution. Essentially, this means the sudden drops in emissions happening across the globe are temporary and if we truly want to see a lasting positive effect in greenhouse gas emissions, we must look to other solutions.

A Closer Look at Energy Consumption

The majority of greenhouse gas emissions (72%) can be attributed to energy. Of that 72%, the manufacturing and transportation sectors together make up 27.7%, which is the main contributor to the decrease in greenhouse gas emissions that are being experienced around the world due to COVID-19 restrictions.

However, it is not feasible to assume that these emission levels are going to remain where they are once the coronavirus restrictions are lifted. Therefore, we must look to the highest contributor of energy consumption, which is electricity and heat, and find solutions to decrease emissions.

Currently, there are many companies creating technology to support the goals of lowering emissions, slowing climate change, and lowering energy consumption. Melink Corporation, a leader in Zero-Energy buildings, offers five energy solutions to help create healthy buildings and lower energy consumption:

Each one of these services not only helps to create a sustainable world for future generations but also serves as a cost-saving opportunity for businesses to implement.

Coronavirus and Climate Change

In summary, what is coronavirus teaching us about how to decrease climate change? Well, that’s a loaded question that cannot be answered fully. But the solution starts with decision makers, business owners/operators, and individual consumers. If any good can come from this pandemic, maybe it’s how our perspective is changing. Now, perhaps more than ever, we see the importance of preserving this world that we all know and love — not just maintaining our current environment — and ensuring future generations are set up for success. We can do better when it comes to climate change, whether coronavirus is in the picture or not.

Climate Change: A Moral Imperative

As the President of Melink Corporation, I’ve always been a bit uneasy publicly commenting on anything that is political or could even be perceived as political.  We live in extremely polarizing times and I’ve never wanted to ostracize anyone; I’m too pragmatic.  It’s not my job to get political.  My job is to run a company, to serve our customers, employees, strategic partners, and other stakeholders.

Isn’t it?

…No. 

Our climate is changing and the vast majority of scientific evidence clearly suggests that humankind is the cause.  So why should you or I stay silent just because the issue has been politicized?  For one thing, climate change should never have become a political issue.  It’s a moral imperative, a matter of national security, and an unfathomable economic opportunity.  Fighting a changing climate is the right thing to do, because it’s the right thing to do.  Our children and grandchildren deserve the same chance at a healthy and happy future as we, our parents, and grandparents had.  How many wars have been fought, lives lost, over natural resources?  Clean energy comes from technology – not fuel sources such as oil or natural gas.  Pursuing a sustainable future also means pursuing a more peaceful future.  And as for economic opportunity – the world is going green whether you like it or not.  The United States led the industrial and technological revolutions of the past.   Leadership of the clean energy revolution is ours to seize.  Doing so would foster unparalleled economic growth for decades to come.  Not doing so will leave us lagging behind in a world that moves faster today than at any point in human history.  United we stand.  Divided we fall.

So, the way I see it, it’s not just my responsibility to speak up – it’s up to all of us.  Silence only gives the political rhetoric more power.  Leaning on the facts, using our voice, and taking action, will literally change save the world.  Honestly, who doesn’t want to help save the world?

Future is getting warmer, but still bright

Originally published on Cincinnati.com

In recent months, I have come to notice an interesting shift in the news coverage of climate change. Stories have moved away from debating its scientific merits and causes, toward accepting it as a reality. In fact, most coverage has focused on the current and future impact of climate change as well as coping strategies.

Take for example the following headlines: “19 schemes to survive climate change,” “Climate change puts our military bases at risk,” and “Your children’s Yellowstone will be radically different.” This shift suggests, at least to me, that as a society we have finally accepted that the climate is changing, and humankind is the cause. Though I would generally prefer that we collectively focus our efforts on preventing rather than accepting it as an inevitability, I view this as a positive development. The first step to solving any problem, is recognizing the problem exists. 

As a father of three wonderful children, it is clear to me that taking action against climate change is a moral imperative. Those who are willing and able to think beyond the present, and who are selfless enough to act on behalf of future generations, know that the time to make a difference is extremely limited. I’m reminded of my grandfather, who arrived in Normandy, D-Day plus two. He didn’t join the fight, at age 17 no less, because he expected to get rich. He did it because it was the right thing to do; it needed to be done. I am now convinced that the risk climate change poses to our children and grandchildren will dwarf any threat humanity has faced before.

As a kid, my dad used to say to me, Craig, your problems are like mountains. You can climb over, go around, or tunnel through it. You can never just stand still and do nothing.  Until recently, I think most folks have been waiting on the federal government to lead the charge against climate change up over, around, or through the mountain. But it’s clear Uncle Sam’s current interest is in removing the mountaintop and mining its coal. The cavalry isn’t coming. We need to lead the charge. 

Though we are now experiencing the increasingly impactful effects of a changing climate, such as unprecedented heat, flooding, and wildfires, I remain more determined – and encouraged – than ever. Every day I see more selfless leaders, particularly from private industry and local government, leading our way to a brighter future. 

For example, look no further than our own back yard. The city of Cincinnati has developed a plan consisting of 80 strategies aimed to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by the year 2050. Separately, a group of local professionals worked for a full year to launch a 2030 District in Cincinnati. Several founding members of this district have made an aggregated commitment to reducing their building’s energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030. 

Site Selection Magazine, a publication covering real-estate and economic development, has named Cincinnati the Most Sustainable Metro in the U.S., beating out Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and San Diego. In 2018, Fifth Third Bank signed a Power Purchase Agreement allowing them to achieve 100 percent renewable power consumption.  Proctor & Gamble, the largest consumer products company in the world, has diverted 70 percent of its manufacturing waste from landfills; in two more years P&G will have achieved 100 percent diversion.

At Melink, we have just broken ground on our second Zero-Energy building, HQ2, located in Milford. And for me personally, I am in awe of my colleagues and the impact they’re making on a global scale. Every day I have the unique privilege of serving alongside some of the most passionate, best-at-what-they-do, group of professionals working in energy efficiency and renewable energy today.

While there’s no silver bullet for combating climate change, saving the future will be the culmination of many collective efforts from men, women, and children who are committed to changing the world. Though we should pay attention to the buzz around climate doom and gloom, we shouldn’t worry about it. Instead, let’s take action where we have an opportunity to make a difference. 

Someone far wiser than myself once said, “Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders… carry the weight of your world on your shoulders.” If each of us acts to preserve our world, and we maintain faith in one another, the collective impact will far outweigh the risks we face. Therefore, I choose to believe that our children and grandchildren will have an exceptionally bright future.