Letter: Climate change battle includes Election Day

Posted
Climate change battle includes Election Day

To the editor:

Many of us believe in climate change and global warming, but some fail to understand how we affect the climate. How are we causing global warming?

On July 21 we woke up to reports of a potentially devastating heat wave that covered half the country. Places like Boston and Washington reached nearly 100 degrees. Usually, the story ends there, and we're all expected to assume that this is climate change at play. What we don't know is how this happened. Yes, heat waves come and go, but weather like this has been exacerbated by industrialization, caused only by humans. But again, how?

As most of us know, substances like brick, asphalt, and metal heat up much faster than surrounding objects. When heat waves pass over major cities, these substances make it so that the temperature is 10 degrees higher than that in areas outside the city. This temperature difference, known as an urban heat island, remains into the night because brick, asphalt and metal hold heat in.

There are thousands of cities worldwide that are heavily industrialized. Our own actions of turning areas of nature into urban jungles has caused warmer temperatures. We are the cause.

It isn't too late to reverse these effects, though it's getting close. Locally, we can start our own gardens, reducing the amount of emissions released into the air. Or we can push our local officials to sponsor the use of composts in our school cafeterias, reducing and reusing waste. At the state level, we can push for the reduction of useless industrialization and work to protect our natural parks.

At the federal level, we can elect leaders who will be vigorous in combating global warming. This year's election gives us a unique opportunity. Because neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will make combating global warming a priority, those who want to make a difference should look to Jill Stein, the Green party's presumptive nominee for president.

Stein, a progressive, has promised as president to introduce a Green New Deal, a Great Depression-scale economic revitalization that calls for government investment in infrastructure using eco-friendly methods. This means the creation of jobs through the hiring of workers that will rebuild roads, bridges and other infrastructure by using "green" methods. It also means introducing aggressive taxes on fossil fuels.

But this will be impossible if we continue to believe those who say a third-party candidate will never win. If we're going to have our first female president, if we're going to have an actual plan to combat global warming, and if I've convinced you that it exists, then we should vote for Jill Stein this November.

Shon Loftus, Lenox


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