Yes We Can. Yes We Must

Climate-Cartoon

 

It’s that time of year. The phone surveys are beginning. Who am I going to vote for and why, the callers want to know. Last night was a little different. The lady on the phone also wanted to know what issue I think is most important in the November elections. She listed some heavyweight stuff – jobs and the economy for example, managing growth, illegal immigration, legalizing medical marijuana…

I had no trouble picking my number-one concern – preserving the environment. For if we don’t protect our environment, nothing else will matter.

Yet the environment is getting short shrift in the media these days. The “news” is all about ISIS beheadings and NFL uglies beating up their “loved ones.” And I can understand why. The melodramatic stuff is more exciting. But climate change is far more important.

As surely as the sun rises each day, we the people are destroying our earth.

I know, Republicans will tell you it ain’t necessarily so. But if you believe what Republicans tell you, I’m sorry for you. You need help.

Fortunately, there are people working their butts off to reverse the practices that so terrifyingly threaten our environment.

This week, for example, tens of thousands of marchers will invade midtown Manhattan to demand action to fight climate change. Timed to coincide with the first UN summit on the climate crisis, the march is being hailed as the largest-ever demonstration to combat global warming.

The media may not give the march much attention. But President Obama is listening. He is proposing such measures as a carbon tax to discourage carbon emissions. And Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Virginia is proposing an even steeper carbon tax that is designed to cut total U.S. carbon emissions by 30 percent in 10 years.

But you can forget about such measures if coal and oil billionaires like the Koch Brothers win control of Congress in November. They are spending millions to convince us that climate change is perfectly natural and that their polluting plants pose no threat to Mother Earth.

And I don’t have to tell you what party they are voting for.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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