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An energy-use crisis

September 09, 2007

IT is now absolutely irrelevant whether a celebrity chooses to conduct their life in a way that lessens their personal negative impact on nature through prudent choices and less wasteful behavior ["The Perils of Acting Green," Sept. 2]. It is honorable and noble to do so, but global warming is now runaway and is accelerating at a pace beyond the worst predictions of the most sophisticated climate models. The resulting destruction will overwhelm any positive individual efforts by celebrities and just regular folks.

Nothing short of a global, governments-led unified campaign to compel massive energy-use reductions -- under force of arms if necessary -- will slow or possibly create the conditions to reverse the fracture human inputs into the global climate system have already created.

As one who had led the Earth Day Energy Fast since 1991, I know that individual efforts will not do it, which is why I folded my campaign this year. The type of permanent reductions we need are on the order of 40% for the industrialized world, 30% for the developing world and 20% for the underdeveloped world. In time these goals will need to increase to 70%, 50% and 25%. If we are successful, we will hopefully restore a world we and most of humanity have known for thousands of years for our grandchildren's grandchildren. It will take 100 years at least, and meanwhile our children and grandchildren will only know a warmer, more hostile world.

Jeff Softley

Los Angeles

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