• June 26th, 2022
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Never Before Did So Many Demand Something So Urgently


 

Javier Sierra

 

Time flies for every inhabitant of this planet, especially our children and grandchildren.

 

While the climate alarms scream ever more loudly, and corporate polluters cover their ears ever more tightly, the public, including Latinos, demand action now.

 

Our planet speaks out much more clearly than our politicians. Even before the summer time, India and Pakistan have experienced unprecedented heatwaves that are testing the viability of the Earth, with temperatures that have hit 140 degrees. In a tragic example of irony, the region’s coal-burning plants could not manage the demand for electric power caused by the climate crisis they originated.

 

Global heating is more noticeable in the poles than in any other region on Earth. In March, the Conger Ice Shelf, bigger than the Island of Manhattan, collapsed, the first one of its size to do so in four decades of satellite observations.

 

Voters not only see the climate crisis unravel in front of their very eyes. They also realize that the solutions are obvious.

 

Meantime, the US Congress, perhaps the entity that can do the most in the global climate fight, remains in an unforgivable parliamentary limbo. The Democrats should give up negotiating with a party of climate deniers who keeps playing the violin while the planet burns. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-SD), for instance, stated that, “It’s not near the crisis that the alarmists have made it out to be.”

 

It’s past time for President Biden and the Democratic leadership to reject this nonsense and deliver on their promises of action on climate, care, jobs, and justice. Our communities and our planet urgently need investments in transitioning to clean energy, reducing pollution, cutting costs for working families, creating good jobs, and promoting environmental justice.

 

In recent days, Fight for Our Future rallies drew tens of thousands of people across the country saying “enough is enough” to Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Democratic members of Congress. Our elected leaders have had enough time to hem and haw over a bold package of climate investments. Now, we ask that they show true leadership and swiftly create and pass a budget reconciliation bill that invests in climate action at the scale necessary while ensuring economic equity and environmental justice for all.

 

The support for this bold climate action is overwhelming. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 81 percent of Latino voters support tackling the climate crisis, including almost 40 percent who declare that doing so is a top priority. For 71 percent, this is not a distant problem but a crisis that impacts their lives directly.

 

In general, Americans also overwhelmingly support climate action. A recent national Gallup poll revealed backing for credits to install clean energy systems in homes (89%), setting higher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles (71%) and providing tax credits to individuals who purchase electric vehicles (61%).

 

Voters not only see the climate crisis unravel in front of their very eyes. They also realize that the solutions are obvious. On May 30th, for the first time ever, California, the world’s fifth largest economy, was 100 percent powered by renewable energy.

 

Once again, it has been demonstrated that humanity does possess the resources, the technology and the popular will to solve the climate crisis. What we still lack is the will of our representatives.

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the US Congress, listen: Never before did so many demand something so urgently.

 

Javier Sierra writes the monthly bilingual column Sierra & Tierra.

 

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