To the editor:
I’m assuming the average reader is a humanitarian, someone who cares deeply for humans and the human condition. Climate chaos is marching towards the greatest humanitarian crisis in all of human history. Since 2008, catastrophic weather has displaced an average of 24 million people per year. That number could climb to anywhere from 140 million to 1 billion by 2050.
In our own country many thousands have been displaced from flood and fire, especially in the past 15 years - Katrina, Sandy, Puerto Rico, California, Texas, the Bahamas, the Mississippi Valley, and so many more. In that length of time Utah has experienced a surge of severe weather-related events combined with deteriorating air quality from forest fires and heat-related medical emergencies.
Another common interest is the economy. 2019 is the fifth consecutive year (2015-2019) in which 10 or more billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the United States, unprecedented. Insurance companies tell the story well and are now refusing to insure properties in certain flood and fire prone areas as FEMA struggles for enough resources to meet their increasing demands.
We must address the climate crisis for economic, health, and national security reasons. We are humans after all. We care not only for our immediate welfare, but for those who come after and for those beyond our immediate community.
Is hope on the horizon? I say a resounding yes! I see it in my student’s eyes and actions. I find it in some of our political and business leaders on the local, state, and national levels. Yes, they are humanitarians as well!
Perhaps the most impactful action we can take as individuals is to thank Utah Sen. Mitt Romney for joining the newly formed Senate Climate Solutions Caucus and encourage him to sponsor a Senate companion bill for the HR763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.