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The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Martin O’Malley: Best Choice on Climate


letter to the editor graphic

Greg Margida,

Climate change is not just an environmental crisis—it is a humanitarian crisis. As a major world power, the United States has the responsibility to lift up the leader that will best address the humanitarian crisis of climate change. Martin O’Malley is the only candidate who has put forward a climate plan while also having the prior experience necessary to enact climate solutions.

I am a fourth-year biology major with a background in organic chemistry. Recently, I was selected to be a part of a group of eight undergraduate and graduate students from the United States and Canada to represent the American Chemical Society at COP21, the United Nations climate conference in Paris that took place this past December.

My experiences at COP21 were eye-opening. “Houses are destroyed. People die,” I was told by Yamelakesire Tamene Bekele, a representative of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in Ethiopia. She explained how the floods have gotten worse in Ethiopia over the years due to climate change and the damage has gotten greater, but what she said next really stuck with me: “Climate change is a global issue. It crosses boundaries.” And she is exactly right.

The effects of climate change are felt most severely in developing countries that are the most prone to things like drought, floods, tropical storms and even malaria, but do not have adequate funds or infrastructure to protect themselves. Situations like the one in Ethiopia are going on in many countries around the world.

It is time for Americans to recognize climate change as a humanitarian issue, and an urgent one, too. O’Malley understands this already.

COP21 delivered what we are now calling the “Paris Agreement” and we need new leadership in the next President to continue to build on President Obama’s progress.

O’Malley is the only candidate for climate solutions that will not only build a strong clean energy economy, but also set a strong example around the world.

Governor O’Malley has set a bold, progressive goal of powering our electric grid with 100 percent clean energy by 2050. In contrast, Secretary Clinton’s climate change ideas promise “deep emissions reductions by 2050” but set meager goals that in some ways are lower than Iowa’s current law. Senator Sanders offers an idea to work “toward a 100 percent clean energy system” but gives no target, no follow-up and no plan for how to make this goal a reality.

O’Malley is the only candidate who not only promises to have us on track and has laid out his plan, but has also shown his commitment to results by getting it done in Maryland.

During his time as governor, O’Malley developed the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent by the year 2020—emissions have dropped by 10 percent already.  He is the only candidate who actually has experience with combatting climate change.

As president, O’Malley would continue his record of finding climate solutions.

O’Malley’s climate policy includes the creation of a Clean Energy Jobs Corps, which will partner with communities to make them environmentally healthy. He would also require all new federal buildings to have a net-zero carbon footprint and have all federal infrastructure projects meet climate resiliency standards. Further, he vows to reject further projects similar to the Keystone XL pipeline which exacerbate climate change and reinforce our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

O’Malley is committed to the actions that will solve the climate crisis, not just the rhetoric that politicians in Washington use to show concern for climate change.

Renewable energy is our future, and O’Malley is the candidate to take us there.

Finding solutions for climate change is not just about keeping trees healthy—it is about keeping people healthy. It’s about keeping our economy healthy. It’s about keeping our nation secure.

On climate, O’Malley is the best choice for President and I will be proud to caucus for him on Monday, Feb. 1.

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