Letter to the Editor: Earth Day Is a Time to Celebrate, Reflect, Hope

Many people already know that April 22 of each year is Earth Day. This is a day for us to celebrate the complex beauty of our planet and reflect on how we can all live more sustainably. 

This year, however, there is something else to reflect on. April 22, 2022, marks the one-year anniversary of President Biden’s pledge to cut greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030. With this pledge, I had hoped that this year on Earth Day, I would be celebrating our country’s new climate legislation and our steps toward a better future. Unfortunately, after one whole year, negotiations in the Senate to pass climate legislation that would significantly reduce emissions, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, are still ongoing. 

Time is truly running out to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. According to the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, the window may already have closed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C. This does not, however, mean that we cannot try to limit global warming to 1.6 or 1.7 degrees C. There is still time to hope, take personal actions and push for government action through policy. We cannot squander this opportunity to pass climate legislation that lives up to President Biden’s pledge. A key component of that legislation must be a price on carbon.

I urge all of you to contact your members of Congress, as I have repeatedly done, to let them know that you are in favor of strong climate legislation. I truly hope that on Earth Day next year, we are finally able to celebrate our government’s climate action. 

Anna Schuh

Seymour, Wisconsin