[Nancy Macy is a prominent Santa Cruz area environmental activist. I thought this was a detailed and well written letter, so I’m passing it along, and encourage you to do likewise. -Thomas]
Here is a letter my sister and I composed and are sending to family and friends throughout the US. I hope you will do something similar. Feel free to use any of this if it helps. Thanks Nancy Macy [deleted]
October 20, 2004
Dearest Family and Friends,
We decided we had to write to you to express our concerns about the importance of this election, because of an issue that is being ignored, in spite of its overwhelming importance to us, to our children, and to our planet. This issue is global warming.
The consequences of global warming can no longer be ignored. It¹s not just that polar bears are losing their habitat as the ice floes melt in the arctic, not just that coral reefs are bleaching and dying as their waters heat up, not just that whole island nations are being submerged as the seas rise. Global warming will affect us all. In California wewill have water shortages as winter snow is replaced by rain. This will cause either huge floods, or the rainwater will have to be stored in expensive new reservoirs. Tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever will migrate north into California as the temperatures rise and rainfall increases. The eastern U.S. coastline will change radically as lowlands are flooded much of the Gulf Coast within the next 70-80 years, and Manhattan Island lose land mass. Weather extremes such as tornadoes and hurricanes will increase, with enormous social and financial impact. Increased water shortages and eternal droughts will affect the Prairie states, and worsen tensions between Western states. Water will become more precious than oil, and disputes over water will increase armed conflict around the world. As land becomes uninhabitable, whole populations will migrate to cooler climates, causing massive social disruption. Florida had four hurricanes in a few short weeks this year country and around the world as global warming progresses. We are having small tornadoes here in Richmond, California, already. The climate models all agree on the major effects: the weather is only going to get worse and worse. We must take action now since our government is ignoring this problem.
Our President has sided with his friends in the oil, coal and power industries, and has caused a desperate situation to worsen. President Bush still refuses to acknowledge the fact of global warming, and the importance of taking strong, effective steps to reduce the emissions that cause global warming. He refuses to work within the Kyoto Treaty, which is taking effect in December 2004. We have lost credibility in the world for our failure to take responsibility for our own pollution.
Mr. Bush¹s claims that reducing emissions will damage the economy are NOT correct. The Global Warming articles in Business Week of August 16, 2004 confirm this. (www.businessweek.com) Economists all agree: there will be some job loss in specific industries such as coal mining, but our economy will actually benefit by implementation of limits on carbon dioxide emissions. New industries will spring up to provide the needed products for reducing emissions, creating thousands of jobs. Huge companies such as BP (formerly British Petroleum, now Beyond Petroleum), IBM, Royal Dutch Shell, Boeing, and many others have already reduced the carbon dioxide emissions of their operations. They have found that investments in energy conservation and changing their business processes are SAVING them HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.(www.pewclimate.org) Again and again it has been proven that environmentally responsible business practices, especially conservation, are money savers and moneymakers for business.
In addition, Mr. Bush is responsible for widespread and unprecedented manipulation, distortion, and suppression of government science on a wide range of issues relating to public health and the environment. It is now unstated policy to ignore scientific information and research when they disagree with it, and they try to hide it. This has been documented over and over by the Union of Concerned Scientists, among others, who have documented hundreds of examples of this. More than 4000 scientists have publicly signed a statement of concern, urging us to speak out against this effort to mislead the country. This report and their reports on the effect of global warming in California, the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Midwest are found at the UCS website, www.ucsusa.org. (We apologize to those of you who do not use the internet. Your local library will be able to help you find information on this issue, and the other issues covered in our letter.)
Mr. Bush has undermined every important environmental Law of the past thirty years — all which had passed with bipartisan support. The Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act have been responsible for the improvement to the air in Los Angeles, the improvement in the Hudson River, and all the environmental improvements we¹ve seen since their passage. We have been enjoying the benefits for decades. Protections of our air, water, rivers, wetlands, oceans and deserts, their many forms of life, and our health! have all been drastically worsened by hundreds of changes in regulations; by removing funding for enforcement of the law; and by initiating moratoriums on regulations and relaxing rules. Mr. Bush is implementing policies that are bringing commercial development and resource extraction into areas preserved for generations as wilderness. These policies will continue and be exacerbated by four more years of the President¹s actions. The country cannot stand four more years of Mr. Bush. Our environment will be devastated if he remains in power.
Please vote for Senator Kerry for President. He understands global warming and the importance of a healthy environment to a healthy economy and healthy communities. His environmental record is at 100% FOR the environment, according to Environmental Defense and other institutions which track such records. He will engage the international community again on this most important issue of global warming. He will restore the hard-won protections of our environment put in place under President Nixon. He will work with the developing countries that have no carbon dioxide emission limits in the Kyoto Treaty to help them implement energy policies that reduce the total load of carbon dioxide emissions. China, India, Brazil, and other booming economies in the third world are facing huge environmental problems, and are already coming to recognize that they will also need to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other global warming gases. We have to face this problem NOW in order to prevent major disaster for our children and grandchildren. It is our responsibility! Please vote FOR Senator Kerry.
Global warming is THE MOST IMPORTANT PROBLEM facing us. The war on terror is big, but global warming is MUCH more important in the long term. We must act NOW.
If you have questions on global warming, what it is, more specifically what will happen soon, please contact Martha. I have been studying this for over 5 years, and am familiar with the issues.
Sincerely, with love,
Martha Booz and Nancy Macy
[contact info for both available on request]