EDITORIAL: Mother Earth’s on Life Support — Of Course Climate Change is Real!

In this Jan. 10, 2015 file photo, demonstrators stand in front of the White House in Washington, during a rally in support of President Barack Obama's pledge to veto any legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline say the privately-funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs and make the U.S. dependent on oil from friends, rather than foes. Critics claim it will be disastrous for the pollution blamed for global warming and put communities along its 1,179-mile route at risk for an environmentally-damaging spill, all for oil and products that will be exported anyway. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

D.C. will join a host of other committed friends of the Earth from across America and around the planet in the annual honoring of our world on Saturday, April 22, Earth Day, 2017.

Here in the District there will also be opportunities to be part of a March for Science rally and a variety of teach-ins on the National Mall that will bring scientists and supporters together for a common cause: to educate communities and our leaders.

Already, climate change has impacted the environment in negative ways that threaten the lives of each person on Earth. But it’s the future with which we should particularly be concerned.

Unpredictable temperatures and global warming, an increase in severe weather events from sudden floods to extensive droughts and famines, an unprecedented increase in the number of endangered species on the brink of extinction — even the inability to secure clean water — have all become commonplace.

This is our reality. And time is not on our side.

Meanwhile, America’s leaders, from the White House to the “outhouse,” want us to believe that warnings of doom and gloom are simply overrated — that they are false notions based on invalid facts and convoluted research.

To that we can only say one thing: shame on our president and Congress for their failure to lead the world and to remain at the forefront of the global battle to save our planet.

We can use technological advances to achieve more sustainable energy and to develop an entire new industry of businesses and jobs. We can reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions — putting our money where our mouth is and initiating actions based on the commitment that 195 countries made in December 2015 when the U.S., France, China and the European Union, among others, adopted the Paris agreement on climate change.

What we do today and how countries work together will determine whether our children and our grandchildren will inherit a livable world — a world that can sustain life. We can invest in their future today — and we must.

To be clear, we have little time to take steps backwards — the planet and Mother Nature will not wait for us to make up our minds and do the only thing that makes sense — to save our planet from the foolish exploits and decisions of those who would prefer to live for today and ignore tomorrow.

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