Month 7, Day 16: You Can’t Always Say What You Want…

My original draft of this letter to Ben Nelson led off with the phrase, “you unspeakable turd,” but I decided to be more polite.

Dear Senator Nelson,

I was distressed to read that you plan on voting against cloture on the upcoming climate bill. Leaving aside the question of the political implications of a failure to support your own party in a simple cloture vote, I want to say that your unwillingness to support meaningful climate legislation is based on faulty reasoning.

You are quoted as saying that “A carbon tax or trade piece would significantly increase the utility rates in Nebraska for businesses, agriculture and individuals,” and thus make it clear that you are placing the interests of your state above the interests of the nation as a whole, and the world as a whole.

Fine. That’s your prerogative. But your stated position is remarkably shortsighted. A recent study by Purdue University scientists predicts that because of the effects of climate change, the upcoming decades will see a dramatic increase in so-called “killer heat waves” in the Western and Central United States. Let’s say your state gets through the 2030s with only three or four crippling heat waves (fewer than expected for your neighbors to the South); that doesn’t mean the following years are going to get better.

They’re going to get worse. A lot worse. And it won’t just be in the Western United States. Everywhere around the globe people are recording the hottest temperatures they’ve ever seen, and not just on isolated occasions, but day after sweltering day after sweltering day.

We are at a point in history where only strong action today can prevent a catastrophic future for our children and their children. No matter how you look at it, that’s more important than this year’s utility bills. If we don’t act now, our great-grandchildren may not be alive to curse us for our inaction.

Please change your mind, and support cloture on climate/energy legislation.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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