Every day we hear of the intense heat wave baking the South and Southwest, pushing the mercury to record-challenging levels in areas notorious for their searing summer temperatures. Some 300 high-temperature records have been broken, 40 million people have been on alert for potentially deadly heat, and area wildfires continue to burn. Yet, the Associated Press article “Heat wave gripping West amid fear of new, hotter normal,” June 17, is written in such a calm tone. Shouldn’t the media be sounding the alarm for us to pay more attention and do our part to combat this situation?
Scientific studies indicate we have entered a new era in which the occurrence of extraordinary global-scale heat waves cannot be explained without admitting to human-induced climate change.
But why blame the media? Look at the lack of concern demonstrated by New York state legislators, who ended their session without taking any meaningful steps toward fulfilling the Climate Leadership and Protection Act, which mandates 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo should take measures that are within his power and deny authorization for new gas plants and gas infrastructure, such as Danskammer, and to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck rule to mandate targets for electrifying truck fleets.
In November, New Yorkers have a chance to vote in favor of a proposed state constitutional amendment stating that “each person shall have the right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”
Perhaps voter approval will remind legislators that they, and all of us people of goodwill, have a moral obligation to preserve the sanctity of our environment.
Sister Doreen Glynn