By now the need to take action to save us from the devastation of man-made climate change would seem like a no-brainer.
The evidence is all around us.
So far, 15 of the hottest 16 years ever recorded have come in the 21st century. Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases—the undisputed bad boys of climate change – are rising steadily to levels unheard of in human history. Mass bleaching is killing the Great Barrier Reef. Record droughts, floods and heat waves are happening everywhere. And when it comes to Arctic sea ice, we’re posting an elegy to all that’s vanished.
Faced with the enormity of such a threat, it would be reasonable to expect lawmakers to act: pass bills that would crack down on corporate polluters, accelerate the push for clean energy, help families and towns impacted by climate change.
But just the opposite has happened.
Since 1999, more than 1200 pieces of climate-specific legislation were introduced at the federal level. The vast majority failed, deliberately blocked by the Republicans in control of Congress. Against a backdrop where the people we elect to protect our communities are playing politics instead, it’s hard to imagine that anything good could happen. But fortunately, it did—and for that, we can say: Thanks, President Obama. The Clean Power Plan, the Paris agreement, protection of the Atlantic from new drilling, stopping the Keystone Pipeline all resulted from executive decisions: in other words, action taken by the president.
Who we elect to the White House—and the Senate and every elected-position matters.
It’s why we need to defeat Donald Trump. Think about what he’s said about immigration, women, Orlando. Then look at what he’s said about climate change, calling it a hoax and even claiming it was made up by the Chinese. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” in one of many no –relation- to- reality broadsides from the reality show host turned presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Trump knows climate change is an urgent threat—that’s why he’s building a wall to protect his golf course from rising sea levels. But since he can afford to protect his own property, he just doesn’t care what climate change would do to everyone else. So Trump announced an energy plan that would make climate change worse by increasing the use of fossil fuels. That’s great for the oil companies he hopes will fund his campaign, but Donald Trump would be a disaster for our country, our future—and our democracy. His election would be, in the words of Andrew Sullivan, a “near extinction event.”
Trump and his Republican party are preying on the fears of conservative voters. But among younger voters aren’t falling for it. His disapproval ratings– 80 percent– are through the roof among millennial voters. Younger voters have the power to stop Trump. But only when we vote.