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Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Climate change: U.S. is easing its guilt with $3B pledge

The United States is pledging $3 billion to a U.N. fund to help developing countries adjust to climate change [“U.S. pledges $3B to help poor nations with climate change,” Nation & World, Nov. 14].

Imagine this wave of fortune for countries like Bangladesh with 156 million people who are already suffering in poverty, stricken with coastal storms and inland droughts who will likely need to evacuate their country entirely by 2050. Some of these funds will go to helping them prepare for deeper destitution. The rest of the money will help them develop cleaner energy sources that emit less carbon. I suppose this gesture is designed to relieve some of our guilt more than it is to accomplish anything meaningful.

Guilt for what? They’re suffering the consequences of our carbon emissions. As the political climate of the Earth is gaining ecological consciousness, we’re aiming to kick the can down the road for a few more decades. The Keystone pipeline would bring jobs and cheap gas, delaying our need to change anything at all for a good long time.

We’d rather ease into sustainable living, if you don’t mind. That’s why we’re sending $3 billion. If we really wanted to help them breathe easily, we’d stop choking them with our oblivious habits of consumption.

Tim Reilly, Seattle

Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: accountability, climate change, global warming

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