Friday, May 2, 2014

Voters must act on climate change


    As climate change proceeds apace, a major question has emerged: What will it take for Americans to lead, follow or get out of the way of efforts to address it?
    Will we really continue to do nothing as the wreckage caused by increasing global temperatures grows deeper around us?
    Will we really continue to undertake local initiatives to conserve water and preserve land without insisting that the federal government act to control carbon emissions from fossil fuels—the main culprit in this mess?
    Will we continue to believe that only recycling of paper, plastic and aluminum will save us and future generations from a planet so ravaged by warming that its ability to support life as we know it is damaged beyond repair?
    The most recent international report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the problem is “unequivocally” caused by humans and that we have a scant couple of decades before the problem becomes unsolvable.
    How many food crops must dry up or be washed away before we act? How many ocean fish populations must collapse? How many species must disappear? How many people must be driven from homes by rising waters, sand-clogged wells, disease or wars caused by disappearing resources?
    The facts are in, but the social recognition and the political action needed to address those facts are not.
    This year, every state has off-year elections for seats in the U.S. Senate and House. It’s up to voters to elect leaders who will address climate change instead of those who are mightily beholden to climate-changing energy companies that contribute heavily to many campaigns. It’s up to voters to demand that candidates take a stand on climate change. No one else has, can, or will do it for us.
    Otherwise, we don’t just risk disaster, we will surely experience it.




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