Fight climate change with your vote

Fight climate change with your vote

Letter to the Editor,

More and more folks are distressed about the climate crisis. In April at the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair at Secrest Arboretum, the Wooster chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby experienced this when 22 people signed up as new members in just a few hours.

Mostly everyone acknowledges climate change is real — we all hear about the increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events all over. For our area of Ohio, NOAA predicts more heavy rain events and flooding, as well as times of extreme drought, both of which pose dangerous health risks while compromising our agriculture. Your children and grandchildren know their future in a warming world is highly threatened. They are asking us, “What are you waiting for?”

Some citizens and legislators succumb to the lies of the all-powerful fossil fuel companies through disinformation and propaganda. Exxon and Shell have long known about the devastating effects of burning fossil fuels, spoke publicly about investing in clean energy alternatives — then continued producing fossil fuels at the same rate as always. It’s easy to ignore, except now it’s your children’s lives at stake.

The best scenario for mitigating the worst effects of global warming has always been to reduce carbon levels in our atmosphere, and a tax or fee charged to fossil fuel companies where much of that carbon originates is still the fastest answer to slow the problem. That step takes policy change, and that means getting the government involved.

Guess what? We are the government, because in a democracy we elect officials to represent us. Like it or not, most of your private life is influenced by governmental policy and laws. That means your vote counts for a lot, especially if you care about what’s good for you and your children.

Only you can be proactive in choosing who you want to vote for. Take a look at the candidates for our Ohio state representative (Wooster will become District 7 with new maps) and Ohio senators in the special state primary election on Aug. 2. These candidates go on to the Nov. 8 general election and will work for you in Columbus. The general election also will include candidates for the U.S. congressional representative and senator.

Just voting your party line is no guarantee the people you vote for actually care about the effects of climate change on your children, your job, your health and agriculture in this state. If the candidate cares, she/he will have specific statements available online to read. Don’t settle for general “feel good” ads — find out if you trust your family’s lives to them because whoever is elected will be making decisions for you.

Please get registered to vote (deadline July 5) and realize your vote makes a difference for your family. Don’t be vulnerable to letting others put the greedy interests of wealthy fossil fuel corporations over the future of your children. Go vote!

Juli Douglass-Gillespie

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