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Letter to the Editor: What will it take?

When will conservatives finally face the facts about climate change? Hurricane Katrina left 1,836 dead.  That didn’t seem to faze them. Then Superstorm Sandy put much of New York City under water. That wasn’t enough. Then last year three major hurricanes hit the U.S.— yes, Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. and its inhabitants are U.S. Citizens. All Trump could say was “Only 16 people died— no big deal.”

That count was taken right after the hurricane hit. The actual total once rescue workers could get to them was close to 3,000 dead. But those three hurricanes weren’t enough. And those devastating weather events occurred just in the U.S. Tragic and devastating storms have been happening all over the world. Hawaii just suffered a hit from a hurricane that dumped four feet of rain in less than two days. Almost every day another record is broken somewhere on this dying planet. When records are broken every week you have a problem.

So maybe it will be this year that our legislators and so-called leaders take note of what is happening to our planet. Have they noted the triple digit temperatures in California coupled by the long drought resulting in not just a fire season, but fires all year long. And no, it is not the Californians' fault because they let water from rivers flow to the ocean. (Another wise statement by Trump). All rivers eventually flow to the ocean.

Maybe the smoke from the wildfires that cities in the east are experiencing, causing hazardous breathing condition, or the worst “red tide” ever seen in Florida killing millions of pound fish, sea turtles and manatees will move them. Do they care about the hundreds of deaths around the world attributed to record-setting heat waves in places like Japan and India?

Polling shows that the number of people who believe that climate disruption is a problem has risen to 77 percent. But the issue is that our leaders, Trump and company, say it’s all a hoax. They are overturning everything that past administrations have done to try to cut carbon emissions. Not only that, they are shrinking the acreage in our National Parks and monuments and then leasing the land for drilling and fracking. In addition to that, they are encouraging more coal production. And even in north Georgia, at the foot of the Appalachians, land has been leased for drilling and fracking. Trump is trying to do away with regulations on emissions for cars, on the Clean Air and Water Bill (law since Nixon passed it) and the Endangered Species Act.  Now the Clean Energy Bill passed by President Obama is under attack. 

Our lives and the lives of our grandchildren are at stake. But there is some hope.  Perhaps the “Blue Wave” that is running throughout the states will turn U.S. Congress, the state legislatures and governor’s seats around so that people who actually care about this country and our planet will get elected. Maybe—be sure to vote.


Bette Holland