Letter to the Editor

World youth speak on climate change

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

On Sept. 20 millions of young people around the world marched to make their voice heard. They said- We want a future! World scientists unite in saying the world as we know it will be in peril if we continue to pour pollution into the space surrounding our planet. Fossil fuel emissions add millions of tons of pollutants to our atmosphere. The result is undeniable, it is already changing our climate: Temperatures are rising, oceans are invading coastal areas, destructive storms are more common, many species of wild life are becoming extinct and smog in major cities makes life difficult.

Who is listening? Our president denies it outright. Congress has done nothing. However the oil industry is listening. Last year for the U.S. Senate alone they made campaign contributions of millions of dollars to Republican senators who outright rejected climate change, somewhat less to Republican senators that didn’t openly reject climate change and a fraction of that among various Democratic senators. The House had similar numbers. What’s their angle? More federal land opened up for drilling, relax emission standards, and continuing Federal subsidies to the coal and oil industries, last year amounting to $20.5 billion. A little extra help comes from the president who says “let’s make coal great again” and puts a 30% tariff on solar cell imports.

Most people aged 40 or older grew up with the understanding that life would be better for us than it was for our parents. It is sad to know now what our youth thinks the future holds for them. Youth climate activists have stated “Young people from many parts of the world are living in constant fear and climate anxiety, fearing the future, and the uncertainty of a healthy life or a life for their children at all.”

The youth of the world have spoken. It’s up to the adults to take action.

— Robert Sneitzer, Spirit Lake