Kyle Gray, Ladera Ranch

Dear Editor,
I’m a 20-year-old student from Ladera Ranch who is worried about the ongoing climate crisis taking place in the world. After reading extensively about the recent wildfires in our beautiful state and their connection to climate change, I’ve realized that we need to take drastic action to curb the effects of climate change.

Because of this, I support New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution to create a House Select Committee for a “Green New Deal” in Congress. United Nations climate scientists tell us we have just 12 years to move our country off fossil fuels to avoid catastrophic climate disaster.

We need a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs, move our country off fossil fuels and protect working people of all backgrounds. Congress members should support this resolution, and I hope that you can help motivate our local politicians and communities to support it, too.

About The Author Staff

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  • The link between CO2 and the Earth’s temperature was made in 1856 by Eunice Newton Foote, Foote conducted work on the warming effect of the sun on air, including how this was increased by water vapor and carbonic acid gas (carbon dioxide). She was, however, denied the right to present her discoveries before the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) because she was a woman. Her paper was presented by Professor John Henry.

    Three years later, in 1859, John Tyndall independently, and in significantly more detail, investigated the warming of CO2 by infrared radiation. Tyndall demonstrated that some gases block infrared radiation, and noted that changes in the concentration of the gases could bring climate change.

    It was Svante Arrhenius, however, who in 1886 —132 years ago — was first to calculate the extent to which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) will increase Earth’s surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. Arguably, Arrhenius is the father of climate change science.

    On August 14, 1912, a newspaper called the Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette printed a prescient paragraph in its “science notes and news” section, warning that the Earth’s atmosphere was changing because of the way the world’s economies were ramping up production of fossil fuels. Notably “Coal consumption affecting climate,” the small headline read. That was our second warning, 106 years ago.

    On November 2, 1922, the Washington Post published an Associated Press article on page 2, telling of “reports from fisherman, seal hunters and explorers, all pointing to radical changes in climatic conditions and hitherto unheard-of-temperatures in the Arctic zone melting Arctic ice and disrupting wildlife.”

    In 1988, 30 years ago Dr. James Hansen, a NASA climate scientist gave a Senate committee a dire warning: the Earth’s temperature was rising, and humans were to blame. Six warnings over the past 132 years, and we have done virtually nothing to stop the catastrophe being created by global warming.

    An now the United Nation’s “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” Report, supported by the U.S. government’s 4th National Climate Assessment’s Report, outline the need for “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, stating we only have 12 years to effect this change.

    Twelve years to effect major changes; impossible you say. No its not, all we need is the political will. We’ve done it before, we can do it again. Within two months of the Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor, the last civilian cars rolled off the assembly lines, and auto plants converted to military-only production of arms, munitions, trucks, tanks and planes. In the next four years we split the atom and created the most destructive weapon in human history.

    In 1962 John F. Kennedy gave his going to the moon speech. Seven-years later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on to the surface of the moon.

    It’s up to each of us to decide. I believe the brother and sisterhood of future generations have a fundamental right to life, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Furthermore, I believe it is our duty to preserve these rights for them to the best of our abilities.

    The big question, however, is what do our elected representatives think? What is most important to our elected representatives, campaign contributions from the major climate change deniers in exchange for their vote against climate regulations, or a world capable of supporting our children and grandchildren’s future right to life, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

    The Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution, but it is a giant leap forward. We just have to have the political will to do it. S.Res.59 — Green New Deal — 116th Congress (2019-2020)

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