Elected officials need to acknowledge the facts of climate change; vote with that in mind (letter) | VailDaily.com

Elected officials need to acknowledge the facts of climate change; vote with that in mind (letter)

As we go to vote this fall, I believe that it is long overdue that we, as voters who care about the world that we live in, take climate change into account. Our shorter and warmer winters, our increasing fire seasons and droughts, as well as far-off considerations like disappearing coral reefs, more frequent and intense storms, warming and acidifying oceans, are all demanding bigger action from all of us.

Our current 3rd District Congressman, Scott Tipton, acknowledges that climate change is happening but that it is due to “natural variation.” He claims to believe this even after last year’s Congressionally mandated Climate Science Special Report stated that, “This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

I tried to find out what Nicki Mills’ stance was on human-caused climate change, and I got a rambling response talking about things like air pollution in China. Her campaign adviser then emailed me to let me know that he would soon send me a “thoughtful response” to my inquiry. After many more requests, I have still not received any such response.

And this is after, in federal court last March, six of the world’s largest oil and gas producers, like Chevron, Exxon Mobil and others, acknowledged that humans are changing the climate and that we need to take action. Their only argument in that court case was that they only pulled the oil and gas out of the ground and did not force anyone to burn it, so they cannot be held financially responsible.

If all of these scientists are warning us to take action and even huge corporations, with literally trillions of reasons to believe otherwise, acknowledge human-caused climate change, then I think that the least that we should expect from our elected officials is that they acknowledge the facts of the issue so that we can argue about the path forward and stop denying the reality of the world around us.

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Matt Bartok


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