Open Letter to Congressman Mike Johnson Paper
Assignment (30 points): Letter to Congress
Your congressional representatives make decisions nearly every day that affect the environment (and thereby your health and the next generation’s future world). Decide what you feel is the most important environmental issue that we have discussed in class. It can be a specific issue (such as industrial emissions) or an inclusive issue (such as the human population crisis). Write a letter to your elected official in the U.S. Congress (there is a link on Moodle that will assist you in finding out the names of your congressional representatives). Explain to him or her (1) why you feel that this issue is important (include the science behind the issue) and (2) give them an educated recommendation regarding what should be done to solve the problem. Limit your letter to two double-spaced, typed pages. Your letter needs to be submitted through Moodle and NOT emailed to me. The submission window on Moodle will close at 11:59pm Thursday, November 19.
The following are two examples of letters involving climate change. The first is a letter written in 2014 to House Representative Michael Grimm from New York. The second is an excerpt of a letter sent to former President G.W. Bush in April 2006 from several U.S. Senators.
An open letter to Congressman Grimm:
Kudos, Congressman, for your great help for Sandy victims and in getting the flood insurance bill passed.
I urge you to continue these superb efforts …[since] every science academy and over 99 percent of the peer-reviewed articles on the issues in scientific journals agree that climate change is largely human-induced and poses a great threat to humanity.
As you know, for the first time in human history, atmospheric CO2 recently passed 400 parts per million (ppm), well above the 350 ppm that climate experts feel is sustainable, and these experts are warning that we may be on the verge of a disastrous climate tipping point.
Please make working to avert a climate catastrophe a major priority, Congressman, so we can leave a decent world for future generations.
[The writer is Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island]
The world’s temperature is rising, with 2005 being the warmest year on record. A scientific consensus exists that human activity is the leading cause of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere. The catastrophic effects of global climate change — rising sea-levels, changes in precipitation patterns, increased droughts and floods, and threats to human health — must be dealt with soon. We applaud your Administration for pledging close to $5 billion this year to further study this problem. However, more pro-active policy measures are needed.
Accordingly, it is vital that government scientists be allowed to speak freely and openly about the threats of climate change, as well as the possible causes and solutions. Both policy makers and the public are entitled to hear scientific findings and research without political influence or bias. Politics should never interfere with science. …
Most scientists agree that human activity is a key cause of the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, which leads to increased global temperatures. Scientists and many world governments also believe that an international response is vital to save the global environment. …
We look forward to working with you and your administration on the issue of climate change. As the most advanced nation in the world, we must lead by example, and show our global partners that our top priority is solving the climate change problem with sound, unbiased science.