Immediate action is needed to save our planet

By Bernie Heideman


Dear Editor:

The reality about corporations is that corporations and their directors are mandated to shareholders to make a profit. They are NOT mandated to protect the long-term health of those who consume their products. They are NOT mandated to protect children from obesity. Neither are they concerned with the environmental consequences of their food processing.

It is the role of the government to regulate the way in which corporations act, and their direct or indirect consequences on health.

Recently, it has been reported that the fossil fuel industry has known for more than 35 years that fossil fuel emissions contribute to global warming and that this industry has hired "scientists" to confuse the issue through biased research. The sugar industry is doing the same thing to protect its profits.

It took 50 years from the first major requests for the control of tobacco to a global convention to protect the public. This took too long and cost too many lives. We cannot let the same tactics delay progress again. The product might be different, but the tactics are alarmingly similar. There is scientific agreement that man has contributed to global warming. Climate scientists agree that we contribute to climate change with our lifestyles. How can the world burn the equivalent of a full Lake Powell of oil every six years and not have some effect? There has been a documented steady increase of CO2 in the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

We don't know the changes in our lifestyle that will be required to survive. But if the alternative is mass extinction, what is the choice but to begin? Our grandchildren demand that we wake up and get going on building a sustainable world.

It is time to wake up and make sure the politicians we hire are not making the problem worse. It is the role of governments to regulate the way in which companies act, and their indirect consequences on health. But if we hire industry representatives as the watchdog, we will only get behavior that supports industry. This includes elected politicians as well as corporate executives hired to work for the government. Do you feel comfortable with a former executive of Monsanto directing farm policy? The conflict of interest is too great for me.

Our representative (Scott Tipton) doesn't believe that man contributes to global warming. When he was in Delta, I asked him directly and got an evasive answer. Our senator, Cory Gardner, believes the climate is changing but refuses to acknowledge man's part in it. Other Colorado representatives who don't believe in man's contribution to global warming are Rep. Ken Buck, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Rep. Doug Lamborn. Senator Michael Bennet believes human activity has contributed to global warming.

Think for yourselves. Preserve this planet for our grandchildren!

Bernie Heideman
Hotchkiss