Your Jan. 3 front page angered me in the wake of December’s U.N. Conference of the Parties 25 climate summit. You featured a story about Australian wildfires, which have killed a half-billion animals and have produced more emissions than Australia’s otherwise total output. Next to this story was one about Maine’s increasing tick population, citing the tenfold rise of anaplasmosis in the past seven years. In October, a Press Herald article foreshadowed the end of Maine’s lobster boom by 2025, due to increasing water temperatures.

Thank you for routinely highlighting climate devastation. However, in doing so, you also highlight the absence of national will.

Although we have solutions, what we lack in the fight against human-caused climate change is urgency: urgency that the world is burning and that rising global sea levels could cost $1 trillion annually (nearly 10 times the yearly cost of the Afghanistan war, by some calculations). We need that same urgency that saw us race the Soviet Union to the moon and left us with huge innovation.

Instead of anchoring the Paris accords and ushering environmental accountability into the new decade, the summit fizzled with compromises and postponements. The U.S. had the chance to take the lead, yet our delegates blocked even nonbinding measures, encouraging the reduction of global emissions. We have 10 years. We don’t have the luxury of caring anymore. We need to recognize the urgency of climate change and fight for action while we still have the opportunity. The climate is our generation’s Space Race.


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