Last year, more greenhouse gases were emitted than ever before. So clearly, governments’ efforts have been ineffective to reduce climate change and protect our future.

Young activist Greta Thunberg confronted world leaders boldly about this in her speech to the U.N. in September: “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. … People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

Unfortunately, the science is clear. She is right about each of these points. When moist air stays above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, our bodies cannot cool themselves and people die in just a few hours.

Right now, one-fifth of the world’s population lives in areas that experience such heat waves, and with business as usual, by 2100, half of the world will have 20 days of such deadly heat each year, and virtually all life in the ocean will die from heat and acidity.

I ask all of our representatives to join Rep. Chellie Pingree in supporting the two bills this year that are powerful enough to actually reduce climate change, the Green New Deal and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. And I ask us all to let our leaders know that we will vote with climate in mind.

Richard Thomas


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