I just entered my 80th year, and although I might be a little late, I’ve decided to make a change in my life. I’ve decided to take a page from Dylan Thomas’ poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night.”

Thomas believed that “Old age should burn and rage at close of day.” I agree. He also believed that old folks should “not go gentle into that good night.” That we should “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Again, I agree.

Continuing to follow Thomas’ admonitions, I want my words to have “had forked lightning.” That my “frail deeds” will “have danced brightly in a green bay.” I want to have “caught the sun in flight” and to have sung about it, with no regrets. And, I want to see with eyes that “blaze like meteors” and are “gay.”

More to the point, I have five children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. And if, or when, one of them were to ask me: “What did you do to fix the climate change problem?,” I won’t have to look down and mumble a half-baked apology that I had done very little. That I had been too busy, too old.

Actually, I’ve done a few things. I own a 14-year-old Prius that still gets 45 mpg. I visit the local recycle facility once a week with bins of plastic, paper, cardboard, Styrofoam, glass and metal. And I try to moderate our home thermostat so that our heating and A/C bills don’t break the bank.

But there’s something else I need to do that dwarfs all else, and that’s to convince as many people as possible that climate change is the single most important issue in the 2020 election — not immigration, health care, national security or jobs. In fact, all these other issues are in various ways tied to climate change.

The Trump administration, plus numerous members of the Senate and House, denigrate the science behind climate change. To make matters worse, they’re trying to roll back every environmental regulation made by the previous administration — regulations that were put in place to make our planet safer for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

If these same people are re-elected, I fear that by 2024, the added environmental damage they will cause will make any future efforts to curb climate change more difficult, if not totally meaningless.

That’s because self-reinforcing feedbacks in the carbon cycle and planetary reflectivity, that are already happening, could eventually trigger a cascading set of tipping points that would lead the world into a hothouse climate state. Issues regarding health care, immigration and national security would increase a thousand-fold due to intensifying heat waves, droughts, floods, crop failures, fires, extinctions and rising sea levels. The result could be a world of anarchy — a terrifying place for future generations.

So please, vote wisely.

Dave Bary lives in Galveston.

Locations

(25) comments

Steve Fouga

Cue the deniers... You know who you are... [cool]

Carlos Ponce

Looks like a member of the Church of Climate Change was the first to post.[rolleyes]

Charles Douglas

Cue who? Read Romans 8 and Jeremiah 12. You should know that sin is the biggest hazard to the world. All of creation is waiting and even groaning while awaiting for man to get his head out, and get it right as to who he is...or suppose to be in God. As for me and my house, we will follow the advice of the one who created the world as to when it will end or be destroyed and not some unbelieving scientist, who was crrated by the one WHO CREATED the world, but...as some say on this forum on other threads,......everybody has a choice. I will amend that by adding until you die, then the accounting starts!

Gary Scoggin

(Steve, you are correct, I can’t believe I am even bothering to reply here. Where does our church of climate change meet, anyway?)

Bailey Jones

I'll bring the tacos!

Carlos Ponce

"Where does our church of climate change meet, anyway? In your mind. Your specific branch is the Church of Man-made Climate Change.

Ed Buckner

Dave Bary, you nailed it. i shared your column of Facebook, for what that's worth.

Carlos Ponce

Climate change has been with us since God created climate. It's a natural phenomena.

Gary Scoggin

Lung cancer has been with us since God created lungs. Man learned to smoke and the rates went up. Water has been with us from the beginning. Man congregated around it and water got dirtier. Etc. etc. etc. Man has shown time and time again that he is capable of impacting God’s creation. Yes Climate has varied for millions of years (or 3000 or so years if you think that way). The difference now is the pace at which it is changing, especially given the hypothesis that we are in a period of average solar output, not at a period of high output.

Carlos Ponce

"the pace at which it is changing" Hmmm.....But if you want to read the real reason: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Luke 21: 25-26 God's power is greater than man's.

Ron Woody

Hear! Hear! Could go on and on, but why?

Charles Douglas

Want to know another reason why I don't pay these climate change people no attention? Here it is. When you compare America's amount of pollution to those of China, India, Russia, and other world polluters, there is no comparison! Our air and waters are far cleaner than their's! China, and others like them, are not going to rip hundreds of thousands of jobs, and factories out of their economies to facilitate prosperity someplace else! I'm from East Texas, get China and India to go all out, destroy their economies, send their jobs to South America, like America is being asked to do, then I might ponder the validity of all those lamenting about climate change. Until then, to me it is just a plot to strip this country of it's wealth and power, relegating it to just a member of the pack. I love this country, I left home and put my rear end on the line to FIGHT FOR IT, and die for it if it had been necessary! I will continue to support those who I think love America too. Not China! Not Canada! Not Russia! I'm an AMERICAN, and proud of the opportunities I have had as an African-American to come from poverty to prosperity in the best country in the world. Everybody got their opinion. I just stated mine and why. "POBODY IS NERFECT!"

Bailey Jones

Are you interested in America taking the lead in the new clean energy economy? Or are you happy to burn that sweet east Texas coal while Denmark, Germany, India and China create the next great industrial age? Do you want America to be ready when clean energy inevitably becomes cheaper than oil, gas and coal, or shall we leave America struggling to compete with our higher energy costs (to go along with our higher labor costs)? Has holding on to the past EVER worked to America's advantage?

Charles Douglas

I see much of what you are elaborating on here comes from the point of assumption and fear! Do you know what happens when a man assume? I cannot regurgitate it for you here. As to operating on the fear of China, India, and Denmark outproducing or out thinking America to the point of destroying one of the greatest economies in history, well... lets just say I was not built nor raised like that. It's all a marage...dreamed up to drive fear in others by the leftist, power hungry individuals in this country in order to allow a country like China take over as the number one SUPERPOWER on the planet! China was was a poverty stricken, starving wasteland a few years ago, much like Vietnam, and now because of people like Bush, Clinton, and Obama, selling the American taxpayers down the river with ridiculous trade deals and imbalances with China, they now rival us as the most powerful economic nation in the world! Thank the Lord for THAT BAD MAN WHO IS THE PRESIDENT of the USA now! I send him money, I send Lindsey Graham money, I send John James money, who is running for the Senate in Michigan too. I, as a good American will do all I can to KEEP AMERICA GREAT! You are not going to change my mind with smoking mirrors of fear. You do you and rest assure I will keep doing me. There is enough room for us both here. Now for the sake of not being argumentative, I digress.

Charles Wiley

I call BS on this one! Lets list our national defense, including border issues and veterans affairs a bit more important than this issue. We need be attentive but never at the expense of these other matters. Follow this advice and the world will still be here after Trumps reelection. I guarantee it!

Charles Douglas

I agree Chief! You are as right as East Texas rain.

Jarvis Buckley

Climate change. We are such a small part of the Earth. Dimmer rats have no issues.

Jarvis Buckley

Excuse me I meant Democrats have no issues.

Gary Miller

Jarvis! You were correct the first post.

Gary Miller

What I see is China, India and other partly civalised countries hope on hope the Climate change advocates in the US will destroy the best country ever created so they can take over. If this warm cycle lasts another 300 years, the normal time frame, and continues to get warmer at the same rate the global temp might or might not increase 2 or 3 C. before the next cold cycle starts. The next cold cycle will be Climate Changing again. What will we do then?

Gary Miller

Planet Earth has a temp control system that keep day time summer temps from increasing much. If temps increase water evaporates, rain falls and temps fall. Earth is a water world. It can not get much warmer because rain fall caused by evaporation cools it. Snow fall and snow melt flooding is planet earth cooling itself. Snow is created by a layer of warm air over cooler air. When it melts it sucks heat out of the atmosphere. Earths cooling system at work. A third of the planet is too cold for unprotected humans.

Gary Miller

If Earth is getting too hot as the climate change advocates claim why do we, as far north as Houston, need shelter and warm clothing a third of each year. A furnace or fire place is a requirement for our shelter in two thirds of the planet. The climate is pretty much the same as it was before AC was invented but we lived here and thrived. Home cooling wasn't as important as home warming.

Paula Flinn

Climate deniers reject what the majority of scientists who study the changes are saying. They must think that if they deny it is happening, it will go away. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. When the polar caps and glaciers stop melting, Greenland and Antarctica quit losing tons of ice, when the oceans quit rising, and the dangerously close to sinking cities, like Galveston & Houston, quit sinking, I will believe the climate deniers.

Carlos Ponce

"When the polar caps and glaciers stop melting, See "With Ice Growing at Both Poles, Global Warming Theories Implode" https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/19121-with-ice-growing-at-both-poles-global-warming-theories-implode AND "Why Is Antarctica's Sea Ice Growing While the Arctic Melts?" https://insideclimatenews.org/news/31052016/why-antarctica-sea-ice-level-growing-while-arctic-glaciers-melts-climate-change-global-warming "Greenland and Antarctica quit losing tons of ice" See "Greenland Ice Sheet growing like crazy" https://www.iceagenow.info/greenland-ice-sheet-growing-like-crazy/ AND "Greenland Ice Sheet's 2017 weigh-in suggests a small increase in ice mass" https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/greenland-ice-sheets-2017-weigh-suggests-small-increase-ice-mass AND "ADD GREENLAND TO THE LIST OF GROWING ICE SHEETS" http://www.longrangeweather.com/ArticleArchives/GreenlandIceSheet.htm Paula, even President Trump believes in Climate Change. "Man - Made" Climate Change not so much.

Jose' Boix

Really; is "Climate change single biggest issue in 2020 election"? The "single biggest issue" above and beyond such others as: national & international relations, immigration, budget/balance of payment/national debt, healthcare, social & ethnics issues...Just my thoughts!

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