by Dominique Browning via Moms Clean Air Force
Over here at Moms Clean Air Force, I’ve been–I’ll admit it–profoundly depressed that the candidates have blown their chance to talk about the most important issue facing our planet. Climate Change.
Two debates down. A moderator who says “Whoops! Ran out of time to ask about climate. So sorry!”
Well, I’m sorry too. And I’m angry. Angry as hell and high water.
Two debates about “domestic policy” and not one word has been uttered about the chaotic domestic weather we’ve been enduring. Not one word about our unreliable climate. Not one word about the pain and suffering visited upon millions of Americans because of runaway greenhouse gas pollution. Not one word about the ugly legacy we will leave our children.
And now, one debate left to go. The topic? Foreign policy.
I’ve been walking around in a funk about this, my mental climate as agitated as it has ever been, thinking, well, that’s that. We won’t hear a word.
And then, the lightbulb–LED, naturally–popped on!
We have one more chance–before we vote–to demand that the candidates talk about climate change. And we have a moral imperative to demand that.
Because climate change is one of the most urgent and important foreign policy issues Americans will ever face.
Climate change is a foreign policy issue for military reasons.
Our military leaders know this. They know that their soldiers–our husbands and wives, our children–are the ones whose lives are on the line when wars break out over the shrinking resources caused by water shortages and unproductive land. That’s why our military leaders, never known for their radicalism, are pushing for innovative sustainable energies. They want to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way.
Climate change is a foreign policy issue for economic reasons.
America has long been a global leader in engineering innovation and entrepreneurial ingenuity. That’s what it takes to create solutions to large, seemingly impossible problems. We put people on the moon! We cannot lose our edge in technological innovation–the first time in our history that we will have done so. We need to reassert our leadership so that we can build solutions–global solutions–to climate chaos, together.
Climate change is a foreign policy issue for humanitarian reasons.
Americans are blessed with a land that is rich in resources: abundant and fertile farmlands, oceans of plenty to feed us. Not every country has the luxuries we do; and not everyone in this country partakes of our bounty. We have a moral obligation, as good people, to care for one another. Far distant archipelagos may be underwater first, but our own shores will also be threatened. Already, Florida and other coastal areas are feeling the effects of climate change. Our love of people knows no national boundaries.
Climate change is a foreign policy issue. Because we are all in this together. All of us. All over the world.
Our Earth’s atmosphere has been compromised by air pollution. And we all breathe the same air, when you get right down to it. We must demand that the candidates give us their plans to slow, and then reverse, the changing climate that is bringing us tragic and extreme storms, flooding, heat waves, and droughts.
Noah had to choose only a pair of every single species to enter his Ark. Is that a position we want to put our children in?
Whether you believe the story of Noah and his Ark literally, or metaphorically–it makes no difference. The fact is, life in a world with an unreliable, chaotic climate means that we–and our children–are going to face some very hard choices, very soon, about who lives. And who dies.
We don’t have to go there. Anywhere in the world.
Tell our candidates: Break Your Climate Silence.
Or imagine how you are going to look your children in the eye and answer one, sad question: Why didn’t you stop this, when you could?
Dominique Browning is the co-founder of Moms Clean Air Force and its lead blogger. She is a writer and editor — and the mother of two sons. She blogs at Slow Love Life and writes a column called Personal Nature for the Environmental Defense Fund.