Movie provides vital lessons

The Christmas season means it’s time for the Jimmy Stewart movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The warmth and love portrayed in the movie provide a nostalgic, deep down, good feeling year after year.

There is a period in the movie where Jimmy Stewart sees the fate of Bedford Falls had he not been there to stop Mr. Potter. It’s a sad, gray scene with degraded houses and disgruntled people. The experience is enough to convince Stewart to stay alive and keep battling with renewed enthusiasm.

If only we could see the future in a similar way considering and believing the predictions of the 1,600-page National Climate Assessment. It’s easy to imagine many sad, gray scenes because of floods, droughts, hurricanes, rising sea levels and fires. Should we trust the hundreds of scientists who have spent their careers researching the climate and environment or trust Mr. Potter?

We have a choice, as did the people of Bedford Falls. Do we invest in the future, such as with the recently introduced Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, or cash in as much as we can now to the detriment of future generations?

If like Stewart we were able to walk in the future, perhaps there would be renewed enthusiasm for pursuing a reduction in carbon emissions. There are many lessons in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and concern for our future environment should be one of them.

Steven Reusser

Eau Claire