To the Editor:
I recently returned from El Salvador, one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change. In our experiences during visits to rural communities that depend on growing subsistence crops, campesino families are dealing with massive crop failures because of severe drought. Infrequent but stronger rains are causing destructive flooding and exacerbate El Salvador’s growing water crisis.
Experts attribute these changing weather patterns to global warming and predict it only will get worse. While gang violence and poverty often are cited as reasons behind migration, food insecurity and lack of access to potable water also are driving away many people who join the perilous journey of migrant caravans and ultimately arrive at the inhospitable southern border of the U.S.
Migrants need to be treated with dignity and allowed asylum when their lives are threatened, and Americans must take responsibility for the man-made existential crisis that is affecting the entire planet.
The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population but produces 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than any other country. To reduce carbon use enough to sustain life on Earth, it will take all of us working together. Please ask your senators and representatives to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act up for vote soon. Consider joining our local Citizens Climate Lobby and help promote bipartisan support for a carbon fee and dividend. Meetings are at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Ridgefield Presbyterian Church.