Climate action

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Nero got famous for fiddling while Rome burned. We’re going to outdo Nero: We’re going to be remembered for fiddling while Planet Earth burned.

The National Climate Assessment (“Study Warns of Drastic Pa. Climate Change,” May 7) warned us that human activity is polluting the Earth to such an extent that mass destruction is inevitable. In response, the congressional Republicans took immediate action: They decided to discredit the report.

It’s time to get serious. We have to convert from our present slash-and-burn economy to one that inflicts less damage on the planet. We have to curb our present population growth, learning to accept an average family size of two children per family, which would bring us closer to a population that the planet can support.

The thing is that it’s up to us to get any action started. Our congresspersons aren’t going to do it; they depend on Big Business for the money to get themselves re-elected. We can’t expect network TV or our local newspapers to do it; the consequent loss of advertisers and subscribers would put them out of business in no time. That leaves it up to us to force the government to take action.

This is an election year, and we need to vote for those candidates — and only those candidates — who will discuss this issue. That would be a start. But, in any case, this matter is so important that we can’t leave it up to the experts.

PAUL A. ALTER
Wilkinsburg


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