‘The generation that fiddled while the planet burned’

The U.S. could be leading the world in the battle against climate change, but Trump and his allies encourage the use of fossil fuels.

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Demonstrators scuffle with UN security staff members during a protest at the COP25 summit in Madrid, Wednesday Dec. 11, 2019.

Demonstrators at the recent United Nations climate talks in Madrid.

AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

At the United NationsClimate Change Conference on global warming in Madrid, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited recent scientific data showing heat-trapping gases have reached levels not seen for at least 3 million years, when sea levels were 33 to 66 feet higher than today.

He said, “Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand,that fiddled while the planet burned?”

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Virtually all climate scientists have for over 30 years predicted the threats of global warming playing out in melting glaciers, rising seas, more frequent and powerful storms, heavier downpours, extensive heat waves and droughts, crop failures and wildfires.

Global warming is disrupting the environment that supports our way of life.

Yet, President Donald Trump, with acquiescence from his fellow Republicans, is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and encouraging the use of fossil fuels.

Blame this on our campaign funding system, which has permitted fossil fuel interests to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into election campaigns.This system has enabled gun, pharmaceutical, insurance, finance and other wealthy industries to dominate over ordinary people’s interests.

The United States could be leading the world in the battle against global warming, creating jobs in solar and wind energy and energy efficiency, like locating solar panel and wind turbine factories in depressed areas, including those where coal has been declining.

This should not be costly, especially compared to the costs from increased global warming.

Indeed, it could reduce costs, since in many cases solar and wind energy are less expensive than fossil fuels.Moreenergy efficiency could generate big savings, since it costs less to save energy than to buy it.

California, the world’s fifth-largest economy, has committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.This shows what can be accomplished when enough politicians break free from big donors and act in the public interest.

Richard Barsanti, Western Springs

Trump’s impeachment is fully warranted

Two questions for the House and Senate: Will you follow and adhere to the oath of office you took topreserve and protect the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic, and be called patriots?

Or will you ignore that oath and be known as traitors?

The “abuse of power” article of President Donald Trump’s impeachment might be debatable. The “obstruction of congress” article is as clear as the nose on your faces.

Impeachment is fully warranted and required to preserve the Constitution and our democracy.

Greg Marshall, Oak Forest

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