Combating warming takes global effort

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ms. Johnson made some good points in her Aug. 25 letter but doesn't seem to recognize the root of the issue.

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What's really sad is going go to the grocery store and seeing 10 gas-guzzling Hummers in the parking lot because 10 insecure drivers think it's a wonderful status symbol that validates or revalidates their manhoods. What's sad is that the United States makes up less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet is responsible for 25 percent of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

What's sad is that the effects of global warming will be felt the most in the world's poorest countries. The social conflicts experienced worldwide are often due to conflicts over energy extraction and consumption. And often these people do not have the financial or political clout it takes to stand against corporate polluters and the oil industry. Do we really need another road? Hasn't America done enough damage to the global environment?

Preventing or slowing climate change will take a worldwide collective effort to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. One step is the use of public transportation such as the Alaska Marine Highway System.

There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of happiness, so long as the path does not infringe on others' basic human right to live healthy lives. Environmental justice, human rights and sustainable development are all relative, and all actions have a ripple effect. Every dollar we spend is a political statement. The road is not a worthy investment.

Jennifer Hanlon


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