Nothing political about climate change’s impacts
This letter is directed at parents and other folks who have concerns about school children being instructed about global warming.
School teachers are charged fundamentally with preparing the children for the world they are living in. What a lot of grown-up folks are missing is that the world is different from when we were in school. Not just different, but changing, for the worse, as I write. People’s lives are being devastated, and even lost, all around the world. Lawsuits are being filed by cities and states against fossil fuel companies for damage due to the changes.
I just recently learned that the No. 1 sign of climate change on the East Coast is “ghost forests.” Forests are dying back due to encroaching saltwater. There is nothing “political” about the facts of the changes.
What is political is the response to the threat. People oppose the reality for several reasons. Money is reason No. 1. Disinformation from the fossil fuel companies and certain political interests (that live on campaign donations) is big. There is human nature that resists change of any kind. There is a political ideology that insists that government action is inappropriate in all cases. This flies in the face of the absolute need for government action to fight this world-wide threat. You could say we are in a war. We are already spending billions on storm and flood damage, forest fires, and droughts. It is going to be whole lot more money.
It is nice that people switch to high-mileage cars, conserve and recycle. Unfortunately, that doesn’t scratch the surface. There is no “dogma” here. One-hundred and ninety-five countries didn’t sign the Paris Accords because of dogma. The facts are readily available. Not telling the kids the facts would be a travesty and a tragedy. Unfortunately, almost none of those 195 countries is doing what is necessary to fix the problem. As Noam Chomsky says, painfully, it is like watching lemmings going off the cliff. Listen to your kids; they are right.
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