A voice on climate

Send a message to world leaders by joining national letter-writing campaign

Of all of the crises underway at any place in the world today, the single most disastrous one is the rise in CO2 emissions at levels that jeopardize the planet’s ability to sustain us and future generations. Simply put, climate change is the No. 1 issue facing mankind.

Yet, we remain complacent.

We do not address it adequately because we’re constantly in search of the path of least resistance. We do not address it adequately because we are driven by our need to consume. We do not address it because the answers are complex and will require the collaboration of not only our allies, but also our enemies.

Next month and into December, world leaders will meet for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. It’s an annual affair, but they have yet to sign a legally binding agreement that will mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions and steer the planet away from calamitous scenarios, such as further increases in temperature and drought, sea-level rises and famine.

This is an issue for every man, woman and child on Earth and for generations to come. But only those of us here today have a voice for what happens tomorrow. We urge everyone to use theirs to join the News & Review and such environmental luminaries as Michael Pollan and Bill McKibben, among others—farmers, scientists, parents, authors, politicians—in a letter-writing campaign that sends a clear message to world leaders.

Melinda Welsh, the Sacramento News & Review’s editor-at-large, is spearheading a national campaign in which the public is invited to pen letters to future generations of their own family that predict the outcome of the climate talks. Late next month, on the run-up to the conference in Paris, some of the letters will be chosen for inclusion in this and other newspapers around the country. To learn more, visit www.LettersToTheFuture.org.