Some Common Ground

My goal is to have 100 good conversations over the course of my cross country walk, but once in a while I have a great conversation – like the one I had with my brother Rob. Rob describes himself as a conservative and a christian. I would add that Rob is also a very intelligent, thoughtful, and loving person. I know there are some issues we have not agreed upon in the past, but we found some common ground in our conversation about climate change.

I expressed my concerns that, if we continue with business as usual, we will be leaving enormous problems for our children and grandchildren. He said that he is also concerned about future generations. He said he’s concerned about what kind of economy we will be leaving them; that if the government keeps spending the way it has been, prices will continue to increase and there will be fewer and fewer good jobs for future generations. I said that the effort to address climate change will require something like the war effort during World War II; and that it will likely involve a partnership between government and private industry. In addition, it will require strong cooperation between both political parties to make it happen.

I asked Rob how we could get both parties to cooperate on such a large effort. He said we can find common ground by focusing on the needs of future generations. The unifying question might be: “What can we do today to ensure that future generations have plenty of opportunities to live rewarding, healthy lives without being overly burdened by either economic or environmental crises?”

I truly appreciate the wise advice from my big brother and I will take it to heart as we move forward on the climate change issue.

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