We're facing 2 simultaneous crises

We're facing 2 simultaneous crises

Letter to the Editor:

We’re in the middle of a horrendous pandemic, the likes of which most of us have never imagined. It is a true global crisis affecting everyone, whether you catch the coronavirus or not (whether you even know you’ve caught it or not), disrupting what was formerly experienced as “normal” life from day to day.

One never knows what tomorrow will bring, and the future is full of uncertainty and unknowns. Work, play, eating, shopping, going to school, church, interaction with others or isolation from others, choice of environment or lack of safe environment, even your sleep and especially your psyche are all vulnerable to upheaval due to the threat of this invisible enemy called COVID-19.

Until we get a good vaccine to control it, if we get an effective, safe vaccine and enough people are willing to be vaccinated, let alone simply wear a mask and social distance, the coronavirus will continue to spread and take lives. Most human beings recognize this as a crisis in our world.

In the meantime another crisis, invisible to many here in Northeast Ohio or too subtle to take notice of, is present but goes unnoticed. Unless you personally have been directly affected by pollution in the air with resulting asthma or cancer (less likely here in Wooster where the air is quite clean), contamination in the water, loss of farming livelihood due to climate changes on your crops or animals, or flooding of your property, just to name a few, you’re likely to think you live in a pretty nice environment.

A person can’t see the amount of greenhouse gases collecting in the atmosphere high above us. We all seem to have enough other problems to deal with, and for now, it doesn’t appear to be a pressing concern. Let someone else take care of it, or it might even take care of itself. Only it won’t, just like the coronavirus won’t.

Greta Thunberg said people pay attention when she speaks about a climate crisis, but as soon as she’s finished, everyone goes back to ignoring the problem just as before. She is frustrated with how people with money, influence and power aren’t working harder to solve this crisis as fast as they can. Scientific research and predictions show that if we don’t take drastic actions to slow down the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, the situation will be dire.

As with stopping the coronavirus, human kind has the ability and the means to produce clean energy, stop the obliteration of species and slow down the destructiveness of extreme weather events. If we recognize climate change is a crisis, just as we have come to now recognize the presence of COVID-19 as a crisis, and seek to change the fate of inaction, we can improve the outcome for our children and grandchildren living on this Earth. God gave us brains to use to our fullest for a reason — to help one another have the best life possible.

Now is the time for everyone to believe the science and ask our local leaders in business, in education, in faith groups and in government to make changes for a healthier and livable environment into the future. The climate crisis is already in progress and shows no sign of slowing down, and just as we are doing in the present pandemic crisis, we can avert the worst consequences. The trick is to first show respect for every living being, and second, agree to go full speed ahead on tackling the crisis. As with the coronavirus, there is no time to lose.

Juli Douglass-Gillespie


Editor’s note: Juli Douglass-Gillespie is a group leader for the Wooster Citizens Climate Lobby.

Letters to the Editor are accepted by email at mplant@alonovus.com. Writers are allowed one letter every 30 days, and letters should include name and address (address not published) and be 500 words or less. AloNovus Corp. reserves the right not to publish and to edit for clarification purposes.

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