I spoke recently with Elena, one of the five college students who are in Maine to raise awareness about climate change.

Elena and the other Climate Riders are using only bicycles for transportation.

Elena spoke passionately about wanting the same thing that I had received, a long life on a beautiful planet, with a stable climate that produces enough food. I have two sons her age, and I want the same things for both of them and Elena.

At an event put on by the Climate Riders, a group of us talked about how extreme weather events and a warming climate already are causing food prices in Maine to increase. We explored what would need to change to protect Elena’s generation and someday, my grandchildren.

The national Republican leadership would like to stop our efforts to develop renewable energy, and President Barack Obama wants to increase the amount of renewable energy the U.S. uses only from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2020. Climate scientists, however, say that in seven years, we would need to increase our renewable energy to 80 percent if we wish to keep our climate manageable.

Obama knows the science, but it seems that politicians fear leading unless there is a groundswell of support to back them. Without that groundswell, politicians have not pushed for the more rapid changes that would truly safeguard humanity’s future.

Don’t our leaders realize that American parents would gladly change their way of life to protect their children? Our leaders will not challenge business as usual unless American citizens make a great deal of noise and demand that they act.

It is up to us to make some noise, and we can start by calling our congressional delegates and urging them to take up the banner of change.

Richard Thomas

Waterville

350 Central Maine

[email protected]

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