October 1, 2020

Stevens County Times

Your spot for community news in Stevens County, Minnesota

Letter: Lessons from the pandemic to the climate crisis

Scientists warned us that the coronavirus was going to be a major problem in the US. They urged the government to get ready and to help our hospitals to be prepared to respond. Their predictions were dire. The federal government did not adequately respond and now people, including those working in the hospitals, are dying as a result. This is a miniature version of the coming climate crisis. Scientists are warning us about how bad things can get. Scientists are warning that we need to act now to transform our industries and to change our behavior to help the environment.

The partial shutdown of global economies gives evidence that transportation and industrial methods can have a very negative effect on our environment. Air quality worldwide is extremely good right now. Good air quality is tied to better health. Although the downturn in the economy is having very negative effects on people’s lives, we should take the lack of pollution as a lesson. Can we transform our industries to pollute less? Can you make different transportation choices? Consider walking or riding a bike to work and the store. Morris is small and friendly!

Pay attention to how your elected officials acted in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Did they listen to scientists? Did they follow the advice of the experts on the pandemic? Why should we believe that they’ll act differently when it comes to climate? Vote for people who listen to experts and will make decisions that will help guide us in a direction to minimize the impacts of the climate crisis. Their response to the pandemic is showing us their true colors.

Chris Atkinson

Morris, MN