Climate change is not a distant problem – it is here. It is causing severe and unpredictable weather including, paradoxically, both flooding and drought. Normal patterns are being replaced by the abnormal.
We don’t have to look far to see its impacts. In Virginia, we are now at increased risk from code red air days, excessive heat, and tick-borne illness.
At the world’s largest naval base in Hampton Roads, military leaders recognize that sea level rise is an imminent threat which is why they have been preparing for it for years.
Virginia’s unique Tangier Island could be uninhabitable in as few as 25 years.
A recent UN report says that 1 million of the planet’s species are at risk for extinction – including many within our lifetimes – and human behavior, including climate change, is driving this.
We have a moment in time – ten to maybe fifteen years – to act aggressively. The longer we do nothing, the more catastrophic the consequences will be for humans. As a mom on Mother’s Day, this threat weighs heavily on my mind.
However, there is hope. Groups like ours – 1Planet – are activating women at every level to act, organize and, most importantly, vote for action on climate change. In November, voters will choose the candidates to send to the Virginia General Assembly where, last session, foes of the environment, renewable energy, and climate change solutions threatened all citizens of our state with their inaction. We must elect delegates and senators who will act swiftly and boldly on climate change.
We have the ability to reduce carbon pollution by setting meaningful renewable energy goals for the state, investing in clean energy technologies and boosting energy efficiency and so much more. But the time to act is now, before it is too late.