As a lifelong environmentalist people sometimes tell me that they really care about the environment but don’t know what they can do. This leads to discussions about flying less, buying less-polluting machines and products, recycling, eating less meat. But nothing compares to the good every American citizen can do this Fall. This is not a political blog. There have been many Republicans we should respect for their environmental commitment. But at this historic moment the environmental citizen must take sides and must vote to save the world. If we vote wrong, we can expect more descent into the abyss.
A National Academy of Sciences study just found that the number of people exposed to “extreme heat” in cities will sharply increase (by a factor of 12.7–29.5 by 2100) if we continue to fail to restrict greenhouse gases. We are seeing the West in wildfire emergencies every summer now. Hurricane Laura just caused from $8 – 12 billion in damage, but the fire at the Biolab plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana should make us think about all those facilities refining oil and producing chemicals on the Gulf Coast. It’s one thing to have your house flooded, it’s another when the flood waters and the air are toxic. Global warming is not just about Greenland melting. It’s about all hell breaking loose.
I was recently asked if there is a real difference between the current presidential nominees, or if they really aren’t all the same in being beholden to corporate interests. As an educator I strive very hard to avoid partisanship. I do not consider my role as helping a political party. I believe fervently that liberals need to understand honest conservative concerns about proposed changes, and that conservatives need to respect the hopes for greater justice that liberals express. I have spent my life trying to mediate between extremes – and have been successful an astonishing number of times. I believe in the vital center. But at this particular point in history, it is necessary to see and say that the very survival of life itself depends on people opening their eyes and voting this current Administration out of office. Trump is a wrecking ball and Biden offers a chance to save what’s left. I am a partisan in defense of the Earth and I call on all of Nature’s children to stand up for her, and themselves, as well. We have the vote and we can use it to save the world.