I strongly support President Barack Obama's announcement last week of the first ever national carbon emission reduction goals.

These regulations will reduce emissions from power plants of greenhouse gases that are the predominant cause of climate change by 30 percent over the 2005 national emission levels. States have the flexibility to design their own strategies to meet these goals, and each state has different goals to meet based on their unique circumstances. It will also aid in gaining worldwide reduction agreements by demonstrating, at last, we are serious on this issue.

President Ronald Reagan said in his 1984 State of the Union Address, "Preservation of our environment is not a liberal or conservative challenge, its common sense." Yet it is common sense that seems to be a challenge for today's GOP.

Climate change and how human activity is fueling that change is the greatest long term threat that faces mankind's very existence if left unchecked. And yet to discuss this threat with most conservatives today is like trying to convince someone from the Flat Earth Society the earth is round.

Facts remain facts whether you believe them or not. And it is proven scientific fact that human activity is causing climate change that will threaten our children's very existence if we do not take action to significantly reduce our carbon emissions now.

The GOP, and conservatives in particular, didn't used to be this way. They once had a long tradition of conservation and environmental preservation. Theodore Roosevelt was the first true conservationist president. Richard Nixon established the very EPA that today's GOP reviles. Farmers, ranchers, hunters and sport fishermen are, by and large, a conservative bunch politically. Why are they conservative on every other issue except the one issue that truly matters above all else, conservation of the planet? What happened to the GOP and conservatives more broadly on this issue?

A concerted disinformation campaign by Big Oil and Big Coal that have as their goal to sow the seeds of doubt, not the truth, about climate change is what happened, transforming the GOP into nothing more than their legislative lap dog to prevent effective action on this issue.

We can no longer afford ourselves the luxury of suffering the fools of climate change denial. If we want to give future generations any hope of a stable planet and be good stewards to this earth, we must take action now.

Matthew George