Dear Hailey and Lily,
I am writing this to letter from the past, 2016, when you are ages 4 and 9. By the time you read this, you may both have families of your own and children of school age. I hope and pray you have beautiful, happy, and healthy families.
However, there is a crisis happening now that could impact your future families, climate change. Climate change is a scientific fact, but not totally caused by nature. The EPA states simply, “Earth’s temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and leaving the planet’s system. When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by the Earth system, Earth warms. When the sun’s energy is reflected back into space, Earth avoids warming. When absorbed energy is released back into space, Earth cools. Many factors, both natural and human, can cause changes in Earth’s energy balance” Human behavior is contributing to this change in our planet’s environment through gases that we are releasing into the air that act like a blanket, making Earth warmer than it would otherwise be. So, we know about this. If we don’t fix this for you, it’s our fault.
As obvious as it should be with these fact, climate change has become a very controversial issue and is argued amongst our Washington politicians. This year, we are in the middle of a presidential election, which you will hear all about in your high school government classes, trust me. Our presidential candidates have very different opinions on climate change, and therefore, have very different ideas on what to do moving forward – into your future. This has your Grandma Linda worried.
So, let’s take a look at what we are facing this election year and how it will impact your future. The presidential candidates are Donald Trump (Republican Party) and Hillary Clinton (Democratic Party). Even with the scientific facts, Mr. Trump refers to climate change as “a hoax” and “I’m not a believer in man-made climate change”. If elected Mr. Trump even plans to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). His plan would be to do nothing except close the governmental agency created to regulate the environment.
But, the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton has studied the facts and given them the respect they deserve. Mrs. Clinton is quoted as saying, “I won’t let anyone take us backward, deny our economy the benefits of harnessing a clean energy future, or force our children to endure the catastrophe that would result from unchecked climate change.”
Grandma Linda can’t change the world by herself, even though she is pretty great. But she can support those for government positions that can. We have to join together and vote for those in public office who acknowledge that climate change is no “hoax”. I have to believe that this country’s voters will step-up and make the right choices for your future.