The Mountain Times

°F Sun, April 20, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Climate change is here, with a vengeance

Dear Editor,

2012 was the warmest year on record. Heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, typhoons, storms, floods and hurricanes battered vulnerable countries across the globe. One-third of the world's population lives in countries with moderate to high water stress; land degradation affects 1.5 billion people. Ice caps are showing unprecedented melting, permafrost is thawing, and sea levels are rising. The "normal" weather that we grew up with exists no longer; instead the "abnormal" has taken its place.

Hurricane Sandy rampaged the coast of NY and NJ, with billions of dollars in damage while a water war is being fought in the west over a river that irrigates agriculture in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas; the water level on Lakes Michigan and Huron are at the lowest level ever recorded, with two-thirds of the US in drought conditions, impacting food, health and wildlife. Climate change is here, with a vengeance. And Big Oil and Coal are demanding more water, for drilling, fracking and mining, while there isn't enough to sustain humans.

We need to take action NOW! If we do not make changes now, stop the XL Pipeline, and leave the oil, gas and coal in the ground, there will be no recognizable future for our children, grandchildren and future generations.

I am sickened by it all: the corporate bullying and lies, their brazen fear tactics, and power over democracy through money - they cannot be allowed to continue their toxic contamination and exploitation of our food, air, water, humanity and planet. We can fight back, and we must. We can march, and make our voices heard.

And if not now, when? If not us, whom? What is the legacy we want to leave: a dying, toxic planet, filled with cancer, obesity, war and despair, owned and run by corrupt corporations?

Or a thriving, healthy, green, peaceful and sustainable planet?

Join us in the largest climate rally in US history in Washington DC, on Sunday, Feb. 17, 12-noon - 4 p.m. on the National Mall. There are buses leaving from Burlington, or you can take the train from Rutland, Castleton (with three of us from Addison County), or White River Junction in Vt. or Port Henry, NY, or carpool. Check out www.350.org for more information.

We need to stand up for our fragile planet, and we need you with us!

Bethany Barry Menkart, Forest Dale