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Our young are terrified by climate change; Trump doesn’t care

Our young are terrified by climate change; Trump doesn't care

I often ask people to describe how they feel about their future given the specter of climate change, using just one word. The words I hear are painful — “fearful,” “concerned,” “terrified,” “frightened,” “hopeless” and — the most painful — “black”, from a 20-something. The words I hear are not unusual — over half of U.S. teens feel afraid or angry. And I have also heard apathy — no one cares. Most of those I ask are college students with their life ahead. Ask someone younger for their one word. Start with your children or grandchildren. Their word may frighten you.

The evidence to justify their words is all around us. The inferno in the west, increasing extreme weather, the now unstoppable melting of the Greenland ice mass, and Antarctica melting six times faster than in 1990. And the lower half of the U.S. becoming far less suitable to live in and grow food over the next 50 years. The science is solid, the evidence is blatantly obvious unless you are blinded by an unwillingness to see — to accept the truth.

The Trump administration is utterly failing our young — our daughters, our sons, our grandchildren. Trump and his Republican allies don’t even recognize climate change as something critically important to their future. Shamefully, on Nov. 4 the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. And how does a young person react to the president of the United States saying “I don't think science knows” when challenged about his views of the cause of the fires in California? Not exactly words of hope for our youth.