My Mom Invites Obama to Read The Climate War!

Sunday, July 4, 2010 (Listed under Environment)


My poor mother.

After enjoying a performance yesterday at the American Ballet Theatre, my mom and I stopped for dinner at Cafe Fiorello. I had just finished reading Eric Pooley's NYT best-selling The Climate War and my mom was half way through her copy. A former art authenticator and long-serving Metropolitan Museum guide, I am sure my mom was looking forward to a little "girl time," a light-hearted summertime night-out with her visiting daughter. 

But as the first glass of Syrah was delivered, the conversation shifted quickly to Pooley's political thriller and our collaborative frustration over the ineptitude and apparent indifference of Washington to push climate action through the Senate. This was not a girls' night-out as much as it was a grassroots mother-daughter climate rally! How could we make a difference, we wondered? How could we illuminate and influence the priorities of Senators we didn't know?

Arriving home this afternoon from my ceremonious 4th of July run around Central Park's Reservoir, I found my mom smiling as she reviewed and edited her letter to President Obama. This was a special letter because it was inspired by the knowledge of an American mother (and grandmother) who recalled over last-night's dinner that in times of crisis every voice must be heard.

My mom handed me her letter smiling and added, "Now, maybe tonight, I'll actually get some sleep!"

Below is Virgilia Klein's appeal to President Obama. I think it is great. I hope every parent, every student, every child, and every son and daughter will take the time to stand up for climate action, clean energy jobs, corporate accountabilty, and enforcement of existing air and water quality regulations.

Happy 4th of July! Thank you, mom, for making this one so special!

July 4, 2010

Dear President Obama:

The way it looks now, it is very possible you may be a one-term President. Please take a moment to think about this possibility. Listening only to your conscience, please ask yourself this question: what is the most desperately urgent problem that I must tackle in the two years that are left...and what can I do that will literally disrupt the status quo and ultimately change the country and the world for the better?

Forgetting the powerful oil lobbyists, forgetting election calculus, and forgetting the political debates between advisors in the West Wing, perhaps you'll conclude (as I have) that attacking the global threat of climate change with fortitude, incisiveness, and headstrong determination is today's single most essential challenge! Mr. President, you (and only you) have the enviable position to make it happen!

Aware that global atmospheric carbon is approaching 400 ppm and that we are speeding toward an irreversible climate calamity, the only meaningful response is for you to make climate action, green jobs, and carbon pricing a top priority before Congress departs for their summer break. Whatever it takes is what must be done!

Please President Obama, rise to the podium and let us hear your passion, conviction, and commitment to the single-most important issue of our time.

Please President Obama, read Eric Pooley's NYT best-seller, The Climate War, Naomi Oreskes' Merchants of Doubt, James Hoggan's Climate Cover-Up, and James Hansen's Storms of my Grandchildren: The Truth about the Climate Catastrophe and our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

And finally, an excerpt from For a Coming Extinction, by W.S. Merwin, a life-long environmentalist and our new Poet Laureate was quoted in a NYT July 1st article:

Grey whale
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
Tell him
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing

With sincere hope for our future, our planet, our oceans, and your legacy,

Virgilia Klein
New York, N.Y.



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