Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 30, 2017

Can’t put our heads in sand about climate change

By Jim Turner | Apr 20, 2017

To the editor:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” was a popular slogan used by the Republican Party in the 1980s. It was a way of stifling progress that most of the public is only too happy to hear because it means nothing needs to be done. Things can remain as they are. It is usually used by conservatives as they have a greater stake in keeping things as they are, but the Democrats use it as a tactic as well. It is very effective.

The problem is that the tactic is evaluated more for its effectiveness than whether or not it is ethical to do. Some issues clearly are about pointing out that something is broken and whether we like it or not, we need to fix it.

Find the will to fix it because it is the responsible thing to do. It is also true and only fair to say that there are times when the people with the wrong motives are the ones who keep insisting something is broken when it isn’t. It is not the slogan that is at fault, it is how and why it is applied that really matters.

The debate on climate change and global warming has gone on for over 25 years now. The response by an alarming number of people used to be that it was a hoax perpetrated by some liberal scientists.

As recently as 2012, most if not all the Republican candidates for president said the issue was not “settled.” There are many self-interested groups that have a stake in the American public believing there is no global warming, or that it is a hoax of some kind.

What they are really doing is encouraging us to keep our proverbial “heads in the sand.”

It serves no good purpose to keep insisting that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Not when it is used disingenuously or even cynically to advance the interests of the few over the many. It can take a long time to prove what is broken and what needs to be fixed.

Finally, after 25 years, 70 percent of Americans believe there is incontrovertible proof that global warming exists and that it does need to be fixed.

It is very important to avoid making this a partisan issue. It can be difficult to see the truth.

It takes courage and a commitment to change. It usually involves a big sacrifice of some kind and patience to wait for positive results. But we all know it is, in the end, worth it. And we also know that it is the right thing to do. Let’s all unite behind the effort to address this important issue.

And as Earth Day (April 22) approaches, we can all remember the vital need to preserve a healthy planet for future generations.

 

– Jim Turner, Fairfield

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