Toddlers will melt your heart with their innocence, trust, and wide-eyed wonderment. Their mischievous curiosity and determination to sit, stand, crawl, walk, run, talk, and read rouses us to wonder what great contributions they will make to humanity when they’re grown. One can see why pro-life supporters oppose abortion.
A vexing question is, where’s the fierce opposition from “pro-life, sanctity of life people” to political policies that jeopardize today’s toddlers’ futures once they’re outside the womb? A large majority of pro-lifers vote for the political party whose policies support for-profit wars, assault weapon ownership, foster environmental degradation, and deny climate change.
Out of the above policies, the most formidable threat to our children’s futures, along with the rest of humanity, is climate change.
Climate change is causing massive hurricanes, torrential rain events, derecho windstorms, and tornadoes that devastate communities and agricultural areas and displacing millions of people. Drought-induced wildfires have ravaged huge areas of Australia, California, and other areas around the world. All of this is happening now, and climate change is just getting started.
Humans, on average, pump around 110 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every 24 hours. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, CO2 was ~280 parts per million (PPM) in the atmosphere. Now it is ~410 PPM.
The heating planet is melting icebergs around the world. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that between 2014 and 2018, one trillion tons of ice melted. That’s enough water to fill a pool the size of New York state 23 feet deep. Now, the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica is rapidly melting, guaranteeing an additional two feet of sea-level rise. The Thwaites is only one out of 198,000 other glaciers around the world that may eventually melt, adding to sea-level rise.
The United Nations released a report in 2018 compiled by 91 climate scientists from 40 countries that gave this stern warning: We must cut CO2 emissions in half by 2030 and eliminate them entirely by 2050 to assure human survival.
Two years have passed, and we’ve done absolutely nothing meaningful to achieve that goal. In fact, according to a U.N. Emissions Gap Report, world governments are planning to produce 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with keeping the global temperature within the established 1.5-degree temperature limit.
Additionally, the Trump administration is working fast and hard to promote fossil fuels, making it impossible to reach that goal. Not only are they condemning American citizens, they’re sealing the fate of all life to an uninhabitable planet.
So, how old will today’s toddlers be in 2050 when, if we fail to cut carbon emissions to zero, they’ll have to try to survive in a hostile atmosphere? Are any of them your children or grandchildren?
If your pro-life beliefs are that important to you, how hard will you fight to get our government to cut CO2 emissions to zero by 2050 in order to preserve today’s toddlers’ sanctity of life?
Richard Whiteford is an independent journalist and a climate change consultant and educator.