April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and so far we have given only lip service to the health of our planet. Just as we are not prepared for the coronavirus, we are not prepared for the catastrophe of continued global warming.
Terrible as the coronavirus has been, we can hope it will be temporary and that a vaccine will be developed. Climate change, however, will only accelerate. Like the virus, its effects are worldwide, and even more devastating, but especially to the most vulnerable. We already experience the effects of global warming - intensified storms, flooding, droughts and wildfires, dying coral reefs, melting glaciers and polar ice sheets.
We cannot go back to our old ways, for they are killing us as surely as the virus, if more slowly. We’ve seen skies clear over cities as transportation and industry stall. We could plan a greener future. Fortunately, we have technologies to achieve this. We do not need gasoline fueled cars and buses; we need transportation. We do not need fracked gas and coal plants; we need energy. We do not need food industrially produced and shipped around the world; we need food easily accessible, including in a crisis. All this can be done. Scientists and innovators have been working and dreaming for decades. Now it’s time to put their dreams to work for the good of our people and our nation. Do we have the will to demand it and vote for it?