I was heartened by the recent article that an estimated 75,000 people participated in the New York Climate March (”Tens of thousands march to kick off climate summit, demanding end to warming-causing fossil fuels,” Sept. 17).
As a septuagenarian climate activist, I believe in the importance of having our voices heard. Yet, the truth is that our young people are losing heart because those who have the power to make changes ignore their voices and fail to take any real action. One young Ugandan climate activist noted: “We can’t eat coal. We can’t drink oil.” She’s right.
It is past time for us to reject the wearying notion that we cannot afford to give up cheap fossil fuels. Our ongoing use of these fuels will lead only to more extreme weather events including floods, droughts and extensive crop failures, leaving millions without access to clean drinking water or food.
Let’s take up our moral obligation and act now as we vote in elections and message our legislators. Let’s educate ourselves on climate science and economics and accept that polluters must pay. Carbon fee, carbon dividend and carbon border adjustment are the specific economic policies we need to cut carbon pollution here, protect from energy costs and pressure other nations through trade policy to cut their own carbon emissions.
In this way, we can fix the market failure we have neglected for too long and enable our younger citizens to have a future.
— Jill McKay, Bethesda
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