Letter: Climate Change

Letter: Climate Change

An Existential Threat

To the Editor:

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the president’s bold new plan to cope with climate change, through maximum use of his executive authority to by-pass GOP obstructionism.

The president clearly understands that climate change poses both an immediate threat to our health and ultimately an existential threat to human existence.

The president’s plan announced Tuesday, June 25, is a comprehensive approach to cutting the pollution that causes climate change and threatens public health, setting us on a path to make our communities healthier, safer and more resilient.

As Virginians, we should be especially grateful and supportive of the president’s plan because rising sea levels, dangerous storm surges and intense hurricanes already pose serious threats to coastal cities in the Southeast, and climate change will intensify these impacts.

My 27 years of active military service included nine years of wartime service in Vietnam. Now out of uniform, and a permanent resident of our great commonwealth, I am joining fellow Virginians, many of whom are veterans, to fight a war that strikes closer to home—a war on public health in the immediate future and a long-term existential threat.

Fuel industry and congressional allies are already trying to block EPA’s efforts to develop the new standards for power plants. This attacks our children and families. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that global warming will cause an additional 2.8 million cases of asthma attacks and other respiratory problems by 2020.

The long-term threat is existential. The rise of sea levels flooding coastal cities may spawn civil wars as people move inland and wars among nations in a desperate struggle for clean water and other resources.

Andre Sauvageot

Col., U.S. Army (retired)