I am reminded of the dramatic footage from the 2016 climate-related Ellicott City flood. A human chain formed to resist the raging rising water and rescue a woman trapped in her submerged car. As a democracy, we, too, must show up to bridge the political divide and work toward cooperative climate solutions. Even on days it feels as though we may get swept under, it is our privilege and responsibility to step in and reach out, to work for what we value together: a sustainable, safe, livable world.
Kim Metz, Ellicott City
Regarding the Nov. 26 front-page article “Climate report says last hope lies in drastic emissions cuts”:
Over the Thanksgiving table I thought about how we “adults in the room” have compromised the next generations’ future for our current comfort, giving them far more occasion for blame rather than gratitude. That fact should make it hard to look our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews in the eye as we celebrate holidays together.
It is time we make up for our neglect. Talking about climate change is the most effective way to get started. Then we could take action right away, sending messages to our senators and representatives demanding that they pass climate legislation now. After that, we should tell our favorite candidates this: “I won’t give you a dime or work for you or vote for you unless you get serious about climate change.” And we can enlist help from our kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to make a plan for reducing our carbon footprint.
Sally Kelly, Chevy Chase
We have another warning about dire consequences for the planet by the end of the century if we don’t start cutting greenhouse-gas emissions by 7 percent or more beginning in 2020. That will require big changes in our habits and behaviors.
Cutting down thousands of acres of trees and covering them with concrete for new toll lanes on the Beltway and Interstate 270, as Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and the Maryland Department of Transportation are proposing, will commit us to more single-occupancy cars for the next 50 years. This is the wrong direction and is not compatible with the goals of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Transportation and Climate Initiative or the pressing reality of global warming.
Converting several existing lanes on the Beltway and I-270 for rapid-transit buses from outlying communities and high-occupancy vehicles would be a better solution. If we want our children and grandchildren to be able to continue living on Earth, our leaders must have the will to listen to the scientists, vote “No” on the toll road project and, instead, plan and incentivize convenient reliable mass transit for most daily commuters.
Olivia Bartlett, Bethesda