I’ll clean up my room when grown-ups clean up the planet!

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This letter to the editor was first published on CTMirror.org

Last week the children of the world put a preponderance of the world’s adults on notice that the elders of this planet cannot continue to rob them of their future. And a 16-year old girl gave voice to their concerns, putting the United Nations (and the U.S.) to shame, predicting that little of value would be done to address the coming climate catastrophe. The tepid applause to her impassioned speech was also predictable.  The climate movement is upsetting the status quo.

Those children and young adults came, not just by the thousands, but by the hundreds of thousands.  Millions of children and young people took to the streets to tell the mega corporations, the CEO’S, Wall Street and the politicians of the world that their greed for oil, coal and gas is killing the planet on which we all must live.

When crops fail from global warming or flood from excessive rain, we will all be affected by food shortage. As warming seas deplete marine life, a basic component of the food chain will be destroyed.  As seas rise, millions will be displaced. As wildfires increase, their carbon debris will pollute the air we all must breathe.

Despite the gravity of climate change, plans for halting and finally reversing this world-wide threat are challenged in the U.S. on the grounds that “we can’t afford it.”

But apparently, we can afford a bloated budget for the Pentagon. Current projected budget for overall military operations in 2020 is projected to be $750 billion, an amount that constitutes over half of the entire disposable federal budget.

Payroll taxes from workers and employers contribute 81% of the funding for the federal budget but that budget is sadly deficient when it comes to the overall well-being of the workers who pay for it.

In the U.S., we have the technical and economic resources to transform the country to a green economy that decreases our carbon footprint while creating more jobs and preserving our children’s future.

Statistically, the U.S. military creates about seven jobs per $1 million of spending, according to a study from the Costs of War Project, while clean energy and infrastructure each support ten jobs for the same amount.

For example: Just 11% of the current annual budget would build enough green infrastructure to supply sustainable clean electricity to almost every household in the country.

A green economy would have a far greater positive effect on climate, health and social well-being per tax dollar than on those currently spent on war-related jobs.

As campaign season intensifies, make sure to ask your legislators and candidates to start connecting climate survival to demilitarization by insisting that they support investment in world construction, not world destruction.

Kathleen Mary Tepper



Grorge October 6, 2019 at 8:53 am

Kathy. If moving to wind and solar power works in Germany it can work here too, right? Germany is produing more co2 now with wind and solar than it did before. See, they shut down oil and coal electric plants only to find wind and solar are not reliable. Now they cannot rebuild coal and oil plants fast enough.
Try reading this..before Florida is under water like Al Gore said 30 years would happen by now.


John Miller October 6, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Good point George. If I’m not mistaken, Germany shut down their relatively carbon free nuclear power plants and have had to resort to using coal to make up the difference when their renewables can’t get the job done. Another misleading and factually incorrect issue in the article relates to federal spending. The author needs to learn the difference between mandatory and discretionary spending. The 2020 federal budget totals $4.746 trillion. Of that total, almost 60% or $2.841 trillion will be for mandatory spending for such things as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs. Another $479 billion will go to pay the interest on the national debt. The remaining $1.4 trillion is discretionary spending and pays for everything else including defense. While the Pentagon’s budget may in fact be inflated, it represents 6% of the total budget. Do us all a favor and get your facts straight.

niz October 6, 2019 at 8:54 pm

I am not genius, but I read and what this person says needs to happen is interesting to me, maybe you too. Dylan Ratigan
1. Geoengineer atmospheric cooling
2. Plant billions of trees
3.Convert buildings & transport to zero carbon
4. Issue new data set that distinguishes between creation/destruction and values adaptability/resilience
5. Rank Choice Voting
6. End Gerrymandering
7. Enjoy!

Paul Lanning October 6, 2019 at 11:06 pm

Labelling of Social Security and Medicare as “entitlement programs” is misleading. These programs are government-backed insurance policies paid for by mandatory contributions deducted from the beneficiaries’ earnings. FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

John Levin October 7, 2019 at 11:24 am

I’m with Mr. or Ms. niz! I spoke to one young person in Montgomery, Alabama last summer who said: “people older than 50 shouldn’t be allowed to vote on matters related to climate change”. Interesting thought. Perhaps not (yet?) legal, but a compelling and logical sentiment.

Paul Lanning October 7, 2019 at 2:43 pm

From food-processing to net neutrality to tax audits to tailpipe emissions, Trump is achieving a century-old conservative goal: curtailing government regulation of commerce.

John Miller October 7, 2019 at 3:14 pm

You might want to check the numbers Paul. FICA taxes haven’t covered the cost of these programs for quite some time. What is payed out to recipients is covered by IOU’s to Treasury. Accounting done the Bernie Madoff way (oops) the government way.

Paul Lanning October 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm

FICA deductions aren’t covering Social Security payouts because nearly 3 trillion dollars contributed to the Social Security Trust Fund have been used for other purposes. The Social Security Trust Fund is the nation’s #1 domestic creditor.

John Miller October 7, 2019 at 7:54 pm

Bingo!!! As I said, accounting done the Bernie Madoff way with a forward by Jeffery Skilling. No matter how one chooses to view this Paul, the one thing that seems to be constant is that the entire process is as corrupt as hell.

Thomas Belmont October 8, 2019 at 12:37 pm

climate change? A matter of recorded history going wayyyyy back. Gore made a lot of money peddling it. Others see personal fortunes in its propaganda. College teachers have indoctrinated the youth with it. That’s our tomorrow…our problem (or their problem). CO2 a pollutant?? my Lord, we face a new Dark Age.

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