At the Democratic debate of July 30, Marianne Williamson, like an Old-Testament prophet, issued two dire warnings: Unless we immediately and seriously tackle the causes of climate change, life on earth as we know it will be imperiled, and unless we stop the influence of big money in politics, provide fair access to voting, and greatly reduce the existing glaring economic inequality, our democratic way of governing will disappear. Exactly how we provide access to healthcare, and whether unauthorized crossing of our border should be dealt with in criminal or civil courts won't really matter in comparison.
In addition to such now well-publicized consequences of climate change as severe weather events and the flooding of coastal lands, the UN report also predicts negative effects on agriculture, making food more expensive and less nutritious.
If you still have doubts about climate change, consider any efforts to minimize it as insurance. If the scientists' predictions are correct, but we don't take them seriously, it will be too late. According to The Washington Post, a solid majority of American teenagers are convinced that humans are changing Earth's climate, and that it will harm them personally. "You are stealing our future," as Greta Thunberg puts it.
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What can you do to influence public policies? Be informed by watching debates, attending candidate forums, and reading about candidates' positions. Then support those who share your views, monetarily and by writing letters. Support the anti-gerrymandering amendment to the Illinois constitution at next year's election.
Juergen Schroeer, Normal