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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Hoff

Facing up to climate change

Egret with trash. Photo by K. Hoff.

The Washington Post (June 9, 2019) reports that the White House blocked the written testimony of its own State Department expert, Rod Schoonover, about the risks the United States faces from rising carbon emissions. The report from the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research built on the work of NASA and NOAA in laying out the potentially catastrophic harm we are facing from climate change.

At the same time, the White House proposed to delay for six years a simple, common sense step to help reduce carbon emissions: it is proposing to freeze the improvement of mileage standards for cars and light trucks.

Let’s be clear, the auto manufacturers have already agreed to the higher standards. And in making this change, the White House is proposing to remove the right of states to set higher standards to protect their citizens.

Why does the White House continue to promote the views of a small minority of climate change deniers despite the overwhelming consensus of scientists who have been studying climate change for decades? Is it catering to the money and power of oil and gas producers?

Is it an optimism born of religious faith that God wouldn’t let something so terrible happen to Earth and its people?

Take a lesson from the story of Noah’s Ark: when we bring terrible trouble upon ourselves, God will not save us.

How will we face our children when they ask why we saw the coming devastation and did nothing?

We have a duty to do everything we can to keep the Earth habitable for future generations.

· Restore higher fuel economy standards.

· Consider a carbon tax to reflect the real cost of using fossil fuels.

· Restore our national parks and reserves and protect them from drilling and mining.

· Add more coastal and wetland reserves to buffer the coasts and their important wildlife from the effects of extreme weather.

And most of all, stop stifling the voice of scientists telling the truth about climate change.

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