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Letter: Marylanders in Congress must support climate change initiatives

I just turned 15. How many more birthdays will I be able to celebrate before the Armageddon of climate change occurs?

We have less than 12 years to avert irreversible crisis. Our constitutional rights are being violated, fossil fuels are continuing to be subsidized, climate disasters are occurring all around us, we are suing our government for their failure on climate.

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But we can turn around our fate. We have the solutions and we just have to walk the walk.

Have we not noticed the ravaging wildfires in California, the communities decimated by climate worsened hurricanes, indigenous peoples oppressed by the fossil fuel industries and the sea level rise and flooding that is affecting Maryland and elsewhere right now?

This isn’t about #savetheplanet, people are dying.

We need a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs, move our country to renewable energies and protect people of all backgrounds. We can only get this done by supporting U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's resolution to create a Select Committee for Green New Deal in Congress.

This month 1,000 activists from the Sunrise movement, a youth organization of young climate activists across the country, sat in at multiple congressional offices to demand a Green New Deal as the top priority for the next Congress. More than 20 members of Congress are already on board with this solution.

Come on, Maryland, we can do so much better! We need all eight Maryland House members to sign on to the resolution. Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin has already signed on. If all the other house members claim to care about climate change, then please sign on.

I may not know much about how the government works, but our government should be working for all of us, including young people. Climate change isn’t just an “environmental problem.” Climate change is also a health and education problem. An economic and equality problem. And a community, social justice, and global problem.

We have everything to lose if we don’t act, and everything to gain when we do act, so please make this emergency a priority. Please step up or step aside.

Iris Zhan

Columbia

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