Marilyn Sewell | Climate Change: The Time to Act Is Now – The New York Times – Letter to the Editor


“To the Editor:

Re “Earth Is Nearing the Tipping Point for a Hot Future” (front page, March 21):

“I can’t begin to express the deep grief I feel after reading about the new U.N. climate report, which spells out our challenge more plainly than past reports and is more specific about time lines.

As your article says, we need to cut greenhouse gases roughly in half by 2030 and stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by the early 2050s if we are to have a 50 percent chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Considering the actions of the leading offenders — China, the United States and other countries — it is patently clear that we’re not going to make even this conservative goal.

Humans will not disappear from the earth, but we can expect apocalyptic death and destruction, hints of which we’re already seeing: floods, fires, famine, frightened migrants chasing safety and authoritarian governments rising to control borders.

I’m 81, and I’ll be dead by the time the worst happens, but my grandchildren will not. Can we not think to protect future generations, and the earth they’ll inherit? Our problems are not chiefly economic and political — our problems are spiritual: They have to do with values and meaning.

Marilyn Sewell
Portland, Ore.
The writer is minister emerita of the First Unitarian Church of Portland.

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