It is critical for people to discuss climate emergency. The truth is frightening and apocalyptic fear is valid. Accept those feelings. At 1.1 degrees, it is already too hot. Past our tipping point, we must declare. We must act.

Since 1912, we have known that fossil fuels affect climate. In 1967, S. David Freeman had the first energy-related role in government, advising  presidents Johnson, Nixon and Carter. Yet, we have an abject failure in leadership.

Eighty-three individuals own half of the global economy, do irreparable damage and create threat multipliers (language used by the American defense despite Bush’s global warming denial, preferring the less threatening sound of “climate change”). President Obama led the nation through a positive-only storyline and squandered the “critical decade” agreed to respond to the existential threat of global warming.

Yes, science is slow, but scientific reticence provides exponential change — ahem — accelerated global warming. If we reach net zero by 2050, we have a 50/50 chance to limit to 3.2 degrees and protect billions (source, local leaders session: Wake up Australia; 2020). If we do everything we can to stabilize, now, ASAP, and go into emergency mode, we may be able to avoid a Mad Max breakdown of civilization.

Lewiston officials must break alliances with CMP and Nestle and demand they create a path by declaring a climate emergency. Nothing says “I love you” like saving a dying planet while building a sustainable economy that eliminates hunger and mass migration.

Heather Berube, Lewiston

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