I’ve been watching for 30 years how politicians around the globe either do nothing about climate change or do too little, while climate scientists grow increasingly desperate at what they observe. What we experience today surpasses even the most pessimistic predictions from yesterday.
Global temperatures have already risen by 1 degree Celsius with catastrophic consequences, especially for communities in the global South. Scientists are now expecting a 2-degree warming within 20-30 years. My youngest child will be in her forties. We are taking an ever increasing risk of reaching tipping points that would trigger runaway climate change and our own extinction.
It is absolutely immoral to count on our children to invent schemes for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere while we resist curbing our fossil fuel consumption and resist using readily available renewable energy technologies.
It is absolutely immoral to continue handing subsidies and tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry that insists on ever more extreme forms of extraction to benefit its bottom line.
It is absolutely immoral to keep leasing more public lands and oceans to these companies when we know how they poison our communities and when we know we have to keep those fuels in the ground.
We have advocated, we have petitioned, we have demonstrated, all to ask our federal government to stop offering new drilling leases in our oceans. The Gulf of Mexico and our Gulf communities are to be treated as sacrifice zones no longer. We demand action.
It is our moral duty to stand up and put our bodies on the line. We owe it to our children, grandchildren and all future generations. We owe it to all life on this earth.