standing letters

Thank you for the 1-2 punch in the Jan. 29 paper, “Time for a Green New Deal in R.I.” followed by the Feb. 14 “In Germany, the Green New Deal works.” It’s tempting to dismiss the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (comprising the world’s best climate scientists guided by objectivity) warning in October 2018 that we have only 12 years — until 2030! — to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions before we cross the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold, entering into an “anything goes” world of intensified “natural” (man-made) disasters that threaten life on this planet as we know it. 

Unlike Russian hacking, this isn’t a partisan report trying to influence U.S. elections, even if Republican obstinacy refusing to confront reality makes it one. While America’s Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey introduced this month might be more than Trump’s USA can absorb in today’s 2019 political environment, the urgency demands nothing less.  Tick, tick, tick, tick as another glacier melts away. Fundamentally, let’s give thanks to the Bernie Sanders-inspired ambition that has the U.S. talking about climate change more in the last two months than our country gave to this issue during the Trump administration’s first (and last?) two years.

Yuval Noah Harari’s “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” warns of three impending human catastrophes threatening our species: 1. nuclear war; 2. ecological collapse; and 3. technological disruption. You can conceivably avoid the devastation of the first and last, but no one can escape ecological collapse as the non-negotiable oxygen, water and food supply triangle lie at the foundation of life itself.  Need inspiration to overcome Mitch McConnell’s cynical ploy to immediately bring the Green New Deal to a Senate vote?

Please YouTube the Eagles' overlooked “The Last Resort” song, which ironically opens with “She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island” but proceeds to the stop-you-in-your-tracks line “’Cause there is no more frontier, we have to make it here.” For the sake of the vulnerable, defenseless and the innocent non-human animals, justice calls upon you to live your life while supporting environmental causes and political leaders that puts the Earth’s well-being front and center.  We have to make it here.

Jay Lustgarten


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