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LTE Tina Ingmann: Urges everyone to break spiral of climate silence

Urges everyone to break spiral of climate silence

 

I eagerly watched all three presidential debates, hoping climate change might finally burst onto the national stage. I was, of course, disappointed.

Maybe I was naïve to think that companies funded by oil and gas advertising revenue would entertain a discussion on global warming.

The media isn’t alone in avoiding this topic. According to Yale climate communication experts, we are trapped in a “spiral of silence” about climate change. Seven in ten Americans rarely or never discuss it, even though a majority is “worried” or “somewhat worried” about global warming.

After all, who wants to be the wet blanket bringing up such an uncomfortable and complex topic? Climate silence is real. Defense specialists acknowledge climate change as a major security threat; therefore, isn’t discussing it our patriotic duty?

Meanwhile, growing numbers of faith leaders urge climate action as a moral imperative as millions face displacement, hunger, drought, severe heat waves, flooding, wildfires and violent storms.

 
We have almost run out of time to restore a stable climate. The longer we wait to drastically reduce emissions, the more difficult our task. The window to transition to a clean energy economy may be as short as a few years.

Big media is not telling the story, so we, the people must step up. I believe that when enough of us come to terms with the full implications of the climate emergency, our collective outrage will break grip of the bottom-liners who would rather have us passively accept climate chaos as our fate.

 
We must use our voices to resist these forces. Otherwise we might have to tell our grandchildren: “We all knew something was wrong, but no one talked about it, so it didn’t seem urgent.”

Each one of us can take action on climate today by breaking the spiral of climate silence.

Tina Ingmann

(Letter to the editor, published in the Hampshire Daily Gazette  November 2, 2016)