Letters to the Editor

As the presidential primary process rounds its final lap let’s pause and examine what’s at stake. I ask each and every potential voter: Who denies climate change on an entirely new level? Whose carbon footprint stomps down like no other candidate with his private jet returning to New York after each performance? Who has vowed to cancel our participation in the Paris climate accord?  Well, it’s Donald Trump.

As the presumptive Republican Party nominee for the presidency, Donald Trump has been called many things:  a vulgarian, a threat to our democracy, a modern day Caligula and most of all, an egomaniac who cares first and foremost about himself. If Trump was only an invention, he would be easily dismissed as a wild exaggeration. If he was an unruly bully, he would be suspended from school and sent home. But as a candidate for the most powerful head of state in the world, Trump would be an environmental nightmare gone wrong. Why unleash on the world the worst of what America represents?

In April, the Mauna Loa Observatory, which monitors atmospheric carbon dioxide, recorded a daily reading of 409.3 parts per million. That is a level of atmospheric carbon dioxide content that this planet has not seen for the last 15 million years. A goal in last year’s climate talks in Paris is to keep global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius, a threshold level not to be crossed according to climate scientists the world over. Showing just how monumental this task has become are these recent statistics: every hour of every day 3.7 million barrels of oil are extracted from the Earth, 932,000 tons of coal are removed from the Earth, 395 million cubic meters of natural gas are pumped from the Earth and 4.1 million tons of carbon dioxide are put into the Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s time we consider voting like our future depends on it.

Julius Neelley, Lake Monticello

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