Chuck Bueter's public comments at the South Bend Common Council public meeting (see agenda) on Monday, November 25, 2019 in support of Resolution that endorses and supports its Climate Action Plan:
My name is Chuck Bueter. I live in Granger, IN, outside the South Bend city limits, but within the limits of the South Bend School Corporation. With climate change, boundaries don't matter. Let's look at what's at risk.
Imagine this sphere is the earth. It doesn't look like a typical classroom globe. I’m asking you to see the earth as you are not accustomed to, because that’s what climate change demands. You have to look at the world differently.
Above the surface of this model earth would be a blanket of atmosphere that contains the "air" above us—oxygen, nitrogen, a little argon. Mixed in are greenhouse gases that exist both naturally and through man-made sources. That blanket of atmosphere dictates our global temperature. Essentially, the more stuff in the blanket, the more it insulates, and for centuries we've been spewing exhaust skyward.
On this earth, how thick would the atmosphere be? An inch? A little more? A lot less?
About 90% of our atmosphere is in the layer called the troposphere.
On this scale, the atmosphere and the fragile life it holds within it would be about the thickness of…three sheets of paper.
Centuries of accumulated air pollution--and all that follows from this day forward--has to fit within three sheets.
I’ve posted additional comments, images, and the simple math behind this model at www.nightwise.org.
Please take bold, immediate, science-based action. Whenever you find yourself holding three sheets of paper, like today’s agenda, remember, that thickness and everything in it is what's at risk.
Our atmosphere and our future are paper thin. Thank you.