Editor, Gettysburg Times,
Long ago my school teachers had a phrase they often repeated — pay attention! That phrase stuck with me. Since the Environmental Protection Agency was founded in December of 1970, I’ve been paying attention to man’s influence on the environment. Today, 97 percent of climate scientists believe that our climate is being disrupted and that human activity is the cause.
Shortly after taking office President Trump removed the United States’ support from the Paris Climate Agreement. He ordered the removal of climate change findings from the Environmental Protection Agency website.
Last week President Trump blocked written testimony from the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research outlining the “possibly catastrophic” consequences “from the compounded effects of climate change” from being entered into the congressional record.
The consequences include fires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts that would interrupt growing seasons and lessen or destroy crop harvests causing worldwide food shortages.
In 1967 California Governor Ronald Reagan signed the first legislation to address the clean-up of smog that had plagued the state for twenty-five years. The result was a strict auto emissions regulation that was federally adopted within two years.
Last week President Trump announced plans to deregulate auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards.
During the 2016 presidential debates a total of five minutes and twenty-seven seconds of discussion were devoted to climate change. In response to the people’s increasing alarm over the state of our environment, several Democratic 2020 presidential candidates requested a debate dedicated entirely to a discussion of their environmental protection plans.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez not only refused their request but threatened any candidate participating in a climate debate with expulsion from all remaining DNC presidential debates.
The Republican Party declines to challenge Mr. Trump’s executive positions on climate change. Both the Republican and the Democratic Parties accept contributions from major oil companies. Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf encourages fossil fuel extraction by supporting pipeline construction.
Clearly, our elected officials have yet to connect the worsening weather events with the need for immediate long-range planning. It is shocking that some seek to erase decades of gains in environmental protection while others seek to silence discussions on further protection.
This year I plan to pay close attention to the candidates’ positions on climate change and compare their remarks with their past records. My campaign contributions will be sent directly to the candidate of my choice.
There is No Planet 2.