Consider climate change when you vote |

Consider climate change when you vote

It is quite remarkable how every country in the world decided six months ago to respond in different, some quite inadequate, but still, multifaceted ways to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the participation of all earth’s citizens we will eventually come to grips with this novel virus, however, probably later rather than sooner. Global solidarity was needed. The economic challenges also have been great, but well worth the efforts to protect the world’s population.

However, what will not diminish or go away are two even more challenging specters, hanging like a pall over the entire globe: climate change and population expansion. People my age have lived almost a charmed life these past eight decades. But not so going forward, as the climatologist James Hansen said, “CO2 is being pumped into the air 10,000 times faster than natural weather processes can remove it.” Time is of the essence. As Bill McKibben observed in 2018, “The extra heat that we trap near the planet every day is equivalent to the heat from 400,000 bombs the size of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima!”

A United Nations agency announced that by 2050 the food supply may not be sufficient to feed everyone on the planet. I read an article in the New Yorker in 2018 that stated, “malnourished people in the world has grown to 815,000,000, largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.”

Humans are determining this atmospheric composition. Once the COVID plague is slowed and for the most part controlled, the world has to immediately address climate change and population proliferation. This means there can be no new coal plants, and a vast reforestation program has to begin on a global scale. We are aware that vast tracts of our planet are already uninhabitable.

The most concrete way Aspen and Colorado can play our part to ensure that significant, worldwide actions are implemented and for America to again lead the world to face these two looming phenomena is to do the following Nov. 3: Please vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president, John Hickenlooper for the U.S. Senate, Diane Bush for Congress, and Greg Poschman, Steve Child and Francis Jacober for county commissioners and send Julie McCluskie back to the State House. These candidates fully grasp that we have to act now, and it will take “solidarity and coordination on a global scale.”

Time is not on our side.

Bill Stirling