U.S. should lead fight

against climate change

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I wholeheartedly agree with Richard Lacy’s recent Letter to the Editor on the need for U.S. leadership in fighting climate change. Here are some additional reasons.

First, it’s our moral obligation. Over the course of our history, the U.S. has produced more greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) than any other country, and on a per capita basis, we are the world’s biggest polluter. Heavy use of coal, oil and gas enabled us to become the wealthiest nation in the world. Now, facing the challenges of global climate change, we should use some of that wealth to pay our fair share for cleaning up the mess. Instead of being the only country trying to get out of the Paris climate accord, we should be leading the effort.

Second, in dragging our heels, we are missing opportunities to capitalize on our deep knowledge of the science and technology needed to continually increase the efficiency and lower the cost of wind and solar power. Just as our entry into World War II transformed our industrial base, full commitment to a clean energy economy could throw open the doors to new industries and many good jobs.

Third, like it or not, we Americans are citizens of the world, not just the United States. Do you think we have immigration challenges now? As the planet warms and the weather changes, millions more unfortunate people will try to escape the droughts, rising sea levels and internal strife of their native countries. Our military leaders describe climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it tends to make existing security threats worse.

Doug Wellman.


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