Being “Concerned” is not Enough: The Climate Crisis Requires Action NOW
The 2023 Canadian wildfire season is already the worst in recorded history, and it’s only June. Smoke and fine particulate ash blanketed the northeastern U.S. from these fires, and the Midwest is still having uncharacteristically hazy skies with poor air quality alerts daily. Hotter, drier weather is conducive to more numerous and more intense fires with after-effects that do not respect national borders.
Although strong winter storms disrupted the historic California drought, drought conditions are now building in the High Plains and the Midwest, anticipating higher crop prices as harvest forecasts falter. Some elements of these weather patterns are normal seasonal fluctuations; some are due to a building El Nino pattern that affects regional and global conditions; all are exacerbated by human-caused climate change.
Environmentalists have warned about the dire consequences of anthropogenic climate change for decades. Since PDA’s inception in 2004, we have made combating the climate crisis with sustainable energy policy a priority. We were elated by the inclusion of climate change-fighting elements in the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, even as we realize that these baby steps are not nearly sufficient to curb our addiction to greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels. Time is running out.
Much more action is needed, and activists must mobilize to push elected officials into serious policy decisions that make a real difference. PDA depends heavily on volunteer efforts, including our sister organization’s effective national network of congressional liaisons, and we operate on a shoestring no-frills budget, but we need steady support from grassroots activists to keep our commitments going day in and day out, year in and year out.
Climate change is a long-term problem requiring steady work and regular financial support. Please become a monthly sustainer today. Tomorrow is almost here.
Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team