Write for the planet

This country has got to move beyond the partisan bickering and science denial regarding global climate change. We’ve got to find a way to get past the disagreements and misunderstandings about localized weather. We’ve got a find a way to consensus in spite of the fact that world’s largest, richest and most contributing corporations will fight to their bottom dollar to convince people that people aren’t hurting the planet, that people aren’t killing the planet.

Our world has tried to work together to come up with new ways to cooperate, including timelines for diminishing carbon dioxide emissions. That was Kyoto 1993, and while there were 193 parties to the Protocol, in these days of ever increasing environmental degradation, it was widely regarded as a failure—primarily because wealthy polluting companies and individuals were able to use their money to fund political dissension. Truly, the political partisanship that has disabled our country’s democracy has many of it’s roots in industry’s desire to continue destroying the planet.

Honestly, though, it’s hard to see a way to success. It seems very difficult to change a mind once it’s made up. Neither side can undermine the other side’s argument by attacking its logic because people—after decades of training from partisan politicians—interpret opposing viewpoints as personal attacks.

Failure is not an option, but giving up on the idea that we can work together as a planet of diverse countries, agendas and points of view is not an option either.

But maybe if the viewpoints come from our friends and family and experts and thinkers we respect, maybe people will be able separate from the personal biases and think about the future and the world we’re leaving for our children and grandchildren.

The following is an excerpt from a piece by News & Review CEO Jeff vonKaenel. His whole piece can be read on page 3 of this week’s Family Health supplement. We’d like to see Reno’s political and environmental luminaries, educators and students, children and grandparents to speak up. Won’t you write a letter to help save the planet?”

“This December, the world’s leaders will come together for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris. This will be one last chance to decide how much we are willing to sacrifice for our children, their children, and their grandchildren, and for the wonderful planet that has enabled our very existence.

“We need to imagine those precious children in our future. … This coming Thursday, News & Review is launching a national letter-writing project featuring letters from authors, artists, scientists and others. These letters are written to future generations of their families, predicting what happens at the upcoming Climate Talks in Paris and imagining what the world will be like that we leave to our great grandchildren.

“In November, just before the Climate Talks begin, some of these letters will be published in this newspaper, as well as in alt weeklies across the country and on partnering websites.

“I invite you to write a letter. Post it online at www.LettersToTheFuture.org . Your letter will connect with thousands of people, who you may not know, but who you share a planet and a future with.”