We suspect you have not even heard the most important news of the week.
Essentially, we are losing the war on climate change. Honestly, it’s like no one showed up for the battle.
According to a report from the International Energy Agency released Monday, planet-warming carbon emissions rose by 1.7 percent in 2018 while energy demand world-wide grew 2.3 percent – the largest increase in a decade – as Asian countries turned to coal-burning power plants to satisfy a growing thirst for energy in a good economy.
Just last year, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that global emissions needed to be cut nearly in half by 2030 to avoid the effects of catastrophic climate change.
“We are in deep trouble,” Stanford University earth system science professor Rob Jackson told the Washington Post. “The climate consequences are catastrophic. I don’t use any word like that very often. But we are headed for disaster, and nobody seems to be able to slow things down.”
Certainly, not in Washington where the U.S. Senate played political games with the Green New Deal by putting the non-binding resolution up for a vote Tuesday in an attempt to score political points and ridicule Democrats.
Our own congresswoman, Rep. Elise Stefanik, played along with her party, telling the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that it would require massive tax hikes, and she always opposes massive tax hikes.
When she was asked if a tax hike might be worth it if it healed the environment, she said simply, “I don’t support tax hikes.”
We were stunned by that logic.
Essentially, Rep. Stefanik said she would not support a tax increase, even if it saved the planet.
What we admire about the Green New Deal is that it dares to imagine a solution that might actually work with climate change. It grabs your attention, which is what we as a country and a culture need. It boldly dares our leaders to a mobilization of our country’s resources of World War II proportions to save the planet and protect future generations from suffering a far worse way of life.
It pulls no punches.
It acknowledges the cost is incalculable and that we will have to change our way of life—from how we travel to what foods we eat.
Yes, this sounds like an apocalyptic science fiction movie, but it is clear from the latest data released that the world is still craving more fossil fuels, not less. We are going in the wrong direction.
Rep. Stefanik claims her voting record shows her independence on the climate change issue, but her dismissal of the Green New Deal shows she is still not taking the problem seriously.
She says she is willing to work with Democrats on finding solutions, but we wonder why the Green New Deal can’t be a starting point to acknowledge the scope of the problem.
Considering the value of our environment to tourism and the local economy, we would encourage Rep. Stefanik to immediately schedule a public forum on the issue to share her views, not only on climate change, but potential solutions. If not the Green New Deal, then what?
The folks at SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Adirondack have been very active on this issue and have regularly scheduled public forums. We believe they would be glad to help with speakers and information.
We all need to educate ourselves about the potential calamity in our future.
We need to demand Washington politicians stop playing games with the fate of our planet.
Climate change will eventually drag the world’s economy down. We should address the issue now, and we need leadership that has a plan.
Post-Star editorials represent the opinion of The Post-Star’s editorial board, which consists of Interim Publisher Brian Corcoran, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representatives Jean Aurilio, Connie Bosse and Barbara Sealy.