Support change now
On April 22, a billion people will participate in Earth Day activities worldwide. In our own region, Earth Week will include free entry to state and national parks. There will be celebrations, festivities, nature walks, fun runs, tree plantings, exhibitions and even shopping discounts.
In the meantime, CO2 levels are continuing to rise, and our time is running out. But we carry on burning up fossil fuels and burning down our children’s future.
This year, we need to make Earth Day count for something. We need to make our political leaders take bold, bipartisan action before it is too late. This is why I am asking for this newspaper to endorse HR 763 — The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
This policy will reduce America’s emissions by at least 40 percent in the first 12 years, it is good for people, good for the economy, and is bipartisan. (Read more at https://energyinnovationact.org).
I am deeply ashamed of my generation for how foolishly we have put our beautiful planet at risk, and jeopardized our children’s future. For this reason, I am also calling on all the readers of this newspaper to support the bill. This Earth Day, please call your elected representatives, and ask them to support HR 763.
Levy or bond
The Lake Washington School District predicted their growth problem years before it began 10 years ago. Since then, instead of building more schools and modernizing existing buildings already housing thousands of students, they tore those buildings down and replaced them. Design specifications for replacements required much larger buildings housing fewer students than the schools destroyed. They’re currently spending an additional $235 million to replace even more buildings.
They now claim that they need a levy to fund additions. That’s not true. A bond would be much less burdensome to their constituents. It could be paid back for around $6 million per year over 20 years. If this levy passes, we’ll add an additional $20 million per year to our existing school tax burden for 6 years. The truth is, it’s much harder to get 60 percent of the voters to pass a bond issue than it is to get 50 percent of the voters to approve a levy.
Taxpayers entrusted the district with over a billion dollars hoping to modernize our schools and handle growth. It’s gone, yet our schools are in a shambles. Thousands of kids and their teachers still struggle in substandard and overcrowded facilities, old and new. I can no longer support a school system that I believe created and condones these unacceptable conditions and acts against the best interests of its constituents. Expect “more of the same” if this burdensome levy passes.
Drop meat for Earth Day
April 22 marks a half century of celebrating Earth Days, but do we observe it? Beyond Earth Day there is a growing national debate over the Green New Deal. We can each do our part by reducing our driving, use of electricity and consumption of animals.
Why the attack on meat and dairy? A recent article in Nature argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, air and water pollution, and depletion of soil and freshwater resources. Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires a massive shift to plant-based eating.
Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating machinery to grow and transport animals. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and animal waste ponds, respectively.
Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force behind wildlife extinction.
In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.
Let’s celebrate the observance of Earth Day at our supermarket.