By Huck Fairman
Many regions in the west and south of our country are suffering the repercussions from the climates we have changed. Elsewhere around the world, many other regions are facing similar destruction from the environmental changes that we humans have collectively brought upon ourselves.
In this country, we have a president who has rolled back more than 100 environmental protections, despite science’s warning of coming catastrophes. The latest undoing that President Donald Trump has directed is the opening of the Tongass National Forest to logging. He has set this in motion despite the fact that the forest is the largest single natural carbon sink on the continent, not to mention a remaining haven for flora and fauna that are widely disappearing. Allowing this destruction will help accelerate the increasing carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and the resulting warming with all of its repercussions. Already 70% of species around the world are, if not yet extinct, threatened with extinction.
As most readers know, it has been the increasing heat and droughts that have permitted the devastating West Coast fires. At nearly the same time, the increasing ocean temperatures have fueled the storms and hurricanes along our Gulf coast.
These changes are both national and global. The Paris Climate Accord, however imperfectly it has been observed by nations, is the main hope for the world to address the growing level of emissions and the heat they trap.
But the president of this country has pulled us out of the Paris accord. We used to be a nation leading the world in beneficial policies. This has led to national and international disunity, which can lead to widespread turmoil, along with environmental destruction.
These policies concern not only our national and the international environmental well-being, but also social and economic health and balance. For a succinct summary of the economic imbalancing that this country has allowed since 1980, read Kurt Andersen’s, Evil Geniuses – The Unmaking of America. Here too economic imbalancing has led in part to our environmental crisis – notably as Exxon and other major American oil producers promote the use of fossil fuels despite awareness of the damage they cause.
We must somehow reach out beyond our neighbors and neighborhoods to encourage, indeed to warn, those who are open to fact, science, and reason that this election is a crossroad for the nation and the world. Who we elect, presidentially and Senatorially, can help set us on a path to environmental survival and the maintaining of our democratic government.