Sometimes a sporting adage seems to fit broader life situations. That is just one of the reasons that sporting events are more than just an athletic contest to us. They teach us about courage and perseverance, and sometimes closely model the drama of world events.

As the president chopped the legs out from under U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accords, I couldn’t help but think of the great Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky. When asked what was the secret to his outstanding offensive and defensive play, he replied, “I skate to where the puck is going to be next, not to where it has been.” In other words, see the future based upon experience and vision.

It is so obvious from scientific research that climate change threats are real and need to be dealt with universally and collectively, and the sooner the better. We know where we need to point the needle on our energy future mix; we know where that puck has just got to be going next. The only things we “gain” from delaying that move to a low carbon energy future involves the loss of millions of new U.S. technology jobs to China and other willing countries, and a certainty of more accentuated climate change with accompanying human and natural disasters.

Let’s hope we have enough visionaries in the business, educational and political world both here and abroad to get us back in the game, because the clock is running down fast.

Robert G. Birk


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