Vote for a Livable Climate


This is an example of a timely Letter to the Editor. It’s 250 words, typical of the length limits of local papers. References are included–some editors appreciate references, especially for a subject like climate change, that is rife with disinformation.

Vote for a Livable Climate

If we don’t fix climate change, nothing else will matter. Our droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and other climate effects have intensified even faster than scientists predicted. Climate change deniers appear increasingly clueless.

Deniers have retreated to “the climate has always been naturally changing, and humans aren’t causing it.” But in court, Chevron and other oil companies recently agreed with the scientists—that burning of fossil fuels causes major, damaging climate change. People using their products are to blame, not oil companies…

Now we hear that clean-energy alternatives are unaffordable. But building a new wind or solar farm is often cheaper than operating an existing coal plant. Electric vehicles are far cheaper to fuel and maintain, and the price of several models is now less than the average new car. Clean energy keeps getting cheaper.

Thus we know the problem and we know how to fix it, but there’s insufficient political will to do anything. We need aggressive policies that quickly ramp up clean electricity and transportation. 

Until 2009, both parties recognized climate change as a serious problem. Then dark money flooded in and Republicans suddenly lost all motivation to address climate change. The apparent business case is obvious—half a billion to rent Congress biannually is an easy investment to maintain trillions in fossil fuel revenues. This scale of corruption is perfectly legal in our system.  

Almost no Republican candidates advocate climate-friendly policies. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, consider who you vote for.

[your name and town]

References: 

If we don’t fix climate change, nothing else will matter. Our droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and other climate effects have intensified even faster than scientists predicted. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/10/08/world-has-only-years-get-climate-change-under-control-un-scientists-say/?utm_term=.831b2db766b9 

Climate change deniers appear increasingly clueless.

Merchants of Doubt book and documentary

Deniers have retreated to “the climate has always been naturally changing, and humans aren’t causing it.” But in court, Chevron and other oil companies recently agreed with the scientists—that burning of fossil fuels causes major, damaging climate change. People using their products are to blame, not oil companies…

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/People-cause-climate-change-but-don-t-blame-12771823.php

Now we hear that clean-energy alternatives are unaffordable. But building a new wind or solar farm is often cheaper than operating an existing coal plant. 

https://www.lazard.com/perspective/levelized-cost-of-energy-2017/ 

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Wind-Energy-Is-Getting-Cheaper-And-Cheaper.html 

Electric vehicles are far cheaper to fuel and maintain, and the price of several models is now less than the average new car. Clean energy keeps getting cheaper.

http://carboncounter.com 

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/24/cost-comparison-of-evs-and-gas-cars/ 

https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions#.W84BVy-ZOgQ 

Thus we know the problem and we know how to fix it, but there’s insufficient political will to do anything.  We need aggressive policies that quickly ramp up clean electricity and transportation. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/its-not-fast-enough-its-not-big-enough-theres-not-enough-action/2018/02/19/5cf0a7d4-015a-11e8-9d31-d72cf78dbeee_story.html?utm_term=.da09ab2b4771 

Until 2009, both parties recognized climate change as a serious problem. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/us/politics/republican-leaders-climate-change.html 

Then dark money flooded in and Republicans suddenly lost all motivation to address climate change. The apparent business case is obvious—half a billion to rent Congress biannually is an easy investment to maintain trillions in fossil fuel revenues. This scale of corruption is perfectly legal in our system.   

Dark Money by Jane Mayer

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacClean

Institutionalizing Delay: Foundation Funding and the Creation of U.S. Climate Change Counter-Movement Organizations

Almost no Republican candidates advocate climate-friendly policies.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/19072018/anti-carbon-tax-resolution-house-vote-climate-solutions-caucus-curbelo-scalise-koch-influence-congress