“As the pandemic began its global march,” they write, “President Donald Trump failed to act quickly and decisively, likely increasing its toll and worsening our pain and suffering.”
The Redfords say this as a direct result of Trump’s “failure…to embrace or even understand sound scientific consensus about what must be done to protect this nation and its people.”
And they see the ramifications of these deficiencies extending beyond even the massive impact of the coronavirus crisis. The Redfords remind us that, even after the virus is defeated, “the potential calamity of climate change…looms on the horizon.”
U.S. environmental policies, they say, “are held hostage by stakeholders desperately clinging to their profits and power.”
But the also see reason for hope in the current crisis as it relates to climate change.
It has been through “the leadership of many governors…front-line workers — doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, of course, but also grocery store staff, food bank volunteers, warehouse workers and postal carriers” that we have made progress against the virus. And the Redfords say, despite the tilt of the White House, a similar collective action could save us from climate change.
“Big cultural shifts do not begin with treaties, laws and policies,” the op-ed continues, “They start on the ground and in the hearts of people…COVID-19 has shown us the power of sound science, true leadership and early action. We must honor this knowledge if we want to avoid what is coming.”
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