Forum, July 8: America needs a full debate on issue of climate change

Published: 7/7/2019 10:00:06 PM
America needs a full debate on issue of climate change

For many of us, life still feels deceptively normal, but we have a climate emergency and all we love is imperiled.

In October 2018, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comprised of the world’s top climate scientists, told us that to prevent irreversible climate catastrophe we must reduce global carbon emissions 50% in the next 10 years. The energy, food and agricultural changes necessary to save human civilization are so dramatic that they must be orchestrated at the federal level, through a Green New Deal, akin to our country’s mobilization to save the world from global fascism during World War II.

The 2020 election is our last, best chance to save life as we know it. The only way to protect youth from an escalating hell of food and water shortages, wildfires, hurricanes, disease and civil unrest is to fill the White House and Congress with climate champions eager to make the Green New Deal into law. That kind of commitment is exclusive to candidates who do not accept money from the fossil fuel industry or from the billionaires who profit from the lethal status quo.

Debates help voters learn where candidates stand, but climate coverage was unconscionably inadequate at the recent NBC-moderated Democratic debates. Climate received a meager 13 minutes out of four hours of debate, and the question about “carbon taxes” might have been appropriate a decade ago, but is now laughably out of proportion to the scale of the crisis — as useful as a Band-Aid on a ruptured artery.

While NBC was shirking its journalistic responsibilities, members of the youth Sunrise Movement camped for three sweltering days in front of the Washington, D.C., offices of the Democratic National Committee, demanding a debate devoted exclusively to climate. Thanks to these activists, the DNC agreed to vote on this issue on Aug. 22.

Please contact the DNC at its national and state offices and demand a climate debate. A single-issue debate is unprecedented, but so is the imminent existential threat of climate breakdown.



It’s really Gov. Sununu who is being ‘blatantly partisan’

“Blatantly partisan.” That’s what New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called the announcement by Executive Councilor Mike Cryans that he intends to vote against the nomination of Attorney General Gordon MacDonald for the position of chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Cryans is a Democrat. But how is his vote different from the votes of the two Republican members on the Executive Council? Sununu and this newspaper apparently believe they will follow the Republican Party line and vote to confirm MacDonald, a fellow Republican, nominated by a Republican governor. But Sununu does not call the votes of those in his party “blatantly partisan.” Ironically and hypocritically, Sununu is himself being “blatantly partisan.” At least the Democrats are willing to consider MacDonald’s qualifications and policy views.



In caregiving situation, access to a gun is a major concern

I dreaded reading the article headlined “Police: Newport man shoots at caregiver” (July 3), because I knew what it would say. The article relates details similar to another incident also reported recently by the Valley News.

While dementia may be a cause for concern, the issue in these cases seems quite obvious to me: If someone has reached a point in life when the services of a caregiver are required, then why does the person being cared for still have access to a gun?




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