Thomas Sheffield

Earlier this week, our nation saw one of nature’s biggest events. We bore witness to a total eclipse of the sun. For about 2 minutes, areas of our nation were left in the dark during daylight hours as the moon passed right between the Earth and the sun. For about 2 minutes, we all bore witness to the same event, and there was no question about it. Scientists, politicians, weather men, Republicans, Democrats, members of all races and sexual orientations agreed about what was happening. Although we lived in different parts of the nation, people traveled from all over and schools and businesses closed so we could all have a chance to see this once-in-a-lifetime event take place. We must treat the issues of global warming, climate change and environmental justice the same way and come together to resolve them. Some groups would like for us to stay in the dark a little longer for their benefit.

According to an article in the journal Science, the economic damage of climate change will affect more people in the South. The hottest parts of the country already have the greatest economic disparities. Global warming will cause an even greater impact. For each degree that the temperature rises, we should expect the U.S. GDP to drop about 0.7 percent. This means greater economic opportunities would shift to the north and west, leaving those in the south behind and people of color even further behind. The article suggests climate change may start the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich the country has ever seen. Unmitigated climate change will affect the areas that traditionally vote Republican.

I am having a hard time believing our president is in the dark about climate change and environmental justice. I am believing the public denial is a ruse to increase the financial gain of the top 1 percent. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The rich stay healthy while the poor stay sick. I am not OK with that. There is something you can do. There is a way to use this eclipse to your advantage.

First, let’s wake up and wake up our friends and family to the issues surrounding climate change. Secondly, register yourself — and encourage your family members to register — to vote. Next, stay in the ear of your representative. Call them and let them know what you think and how important the environment and climate change are to you and the effects of it in your community. Finally, make changes in your home to lessen your carbon footprint. We must not let anything eclipse our goals. Let’s make sure we come back out the other side of the eclipse brighter and better than we were when we entered it.

If you have ideas on how to do better and capitalize on your opportunities, please feel free to contact me at thomsustainableconsulting@gmail.com. Or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #Wordsactionchange

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