Democrats could defeat GOP by going all in on climate change
Scot Lehigh’s “Can our broken democracy pass the climate test?” (Opinion, May 10) details how the fossil fuel-backed Republican Party is working full time to hinder progress on the climate change crisis.
According to recent scientific data, the only way to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change is to implement a worldwide transition away from carbon-based energy and toward clean energy within about eight years. Obviously, a Donald Trump win in 2020 would be a disastrous outcome for the nation, and the world.
If reversing climate change depends on the Democratic Party, it’s unfortunate that none of the presidential candidates, other than Jay Inslee, is prioritizing it over other issues. They routinely mention it along with immigration, gun control regulation, gender issues, and other policy, as though these issues carried the same weight as the climate crisis. This is a major political mistake.
As Lehigh points out, 73 percent of Americans now believe that climate change is occurring. Global warming is the Republican Party’s greatest vulnerability. By minimizing its importance, the Democratic candidates are missing an opportunity to strongly differentiate themselves from the Republicans, who have demonstrated that they are passionately committed to allowing our climate, national security, and American prosperity to fail.
With species in peril, the ticking of the climate clock grows louder
David Abel’s front-page article (“A million species face peril, UN says,” May 7) cites findings from a UN report of current threats to a million species of life forms on earth. For readers with even a modicum of environmental awareness, the report echoes what most already know: These perils represent potential catastrophes that surround all plants and animals, including humankind. These threats cannot be ignored any longer. The clock is ticking, and no one can save us and the planet but ourselves.
As individuals, we can do what some might consider “little things,” such as recycling plastics, Styrofoam, harmful chemicals, petroleum products, and other garbage now filling up the oceans, killing fish, and destroying their habitat. These little things can add up to big things, but it will not be enough in the absence of intelligent action by our federal government and others around the world.
Thus far, over the past half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions. If we are to avoid a sixth, cultural values must change, to those that honor, protect, and contribute toward efforts to preserve and enhance the quality of our environment, and away from irreversibly spoiling it for future generations.
As I watch a lonely bird on my bird feeder, down from nearly a dozen at this time last year, the urgency for action in the next presidential election becomes patently clear.
David L. Maxwell