Editorial: we need to talk

By: Cody Boteler, Senior Editor

You know what’s a giant problem? We don’t talk about climate change enough. The national media doesn’t. This publication doesn’t. Our politicians and leaders don’t.

We ignore climate change, and it’s going to kill us one day if we keep ignoring it.

Over the entire course of the Oct. 13 Democratic primary debate, the words “climate change” were only said 22 times. Three of those times were from Anderson Cooper; two were from a video question.

That just isn’t enough. Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley said something about the “cascading” effects of climate change being a big national security issue, but was cut off by time. Only Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont called climate change the most direct threat to our national security.

The other candidates said that the biggest national security threats came from other nations, terror groups or nuclear proliferation.

The Defense Department, of course, said in 2014 that climate change “poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.”

All of the candidates mentioned climate change in their opening statements, except former Sen. Jim Webb. That’s not enough. It’s not enough.

Ironically, I don’t have a lot to say. I don’t know what to say except that we need to talk about this more. We need to take it seriously. We need to act.

Our climate is changing. The Chesapeake Bay is warming. Ice sheets are melting. Droughts are intensifying. Sea levels are rising.

Yes, there is drastic income inequality. Yes, there are wars. Yes, there is hunger. Yes, there is poverty. Yes, there are murderers and privacy threats and problems of race and inequality.

But none of that will matter if we don’t have a place to call home. The most important issue we’re facing is our changing climate, because our environment directly plays into everything else that happens.

The Defense Department admitted that climate change is posing immediate risks.  It’s time that our national dialogue reflected.


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