We citizens are justifiably enraged that General Motors delayed admitting its ignition switch problem when documents clearly indicated they knew about this danger for more than a dozen years. In the words of GM CEO Mary Barra, GM’s “incompetence and neglect” resulted in at least 13 deaths. “We didn’t do our job. We failed to protect our customers.”
As abhorrent as this is, a larger crisis is looming. Congress is failing to protect its citizens and the future of our democracy through incompetence, greed and insidious power politics.
For more than 25 years we have known that the science behind global warming and climate change is solid. It is no longer acceptable for Congress to delay addressing potential solutions to this growing crisis, or for many representatives and senators to deny its very existence. Currently, millions of people are adversely affected by this growing crisis, but within the decade, the entire planet will be irrevocably altered.
GM has finally accepted its responsibilities and is bringing penalties to those responsible and financial settlements to affected families. But what are the penalties for the climate-change deniers in Congress, including our own Rep. Glenn Thompson? Looks like no penalty at all. Their shortsighted vision and cavalier arrogance affects our future as a civilization. Risks and catastrophic effects of climate change must be addressed by our representatives now, while they still have a chance to do their jobs and protect their “customers.”
Micaela Amateau Amato