Letters to the Editor for March 13

What constitutes a national emergency?

Climate change is a national emergency. The latest scientific reports say we only have a dozen years to possibly slow the progression of the horrific storms, droughts, fires, and floods we now experience. Unless we act quickly to bring down greenhouse gases, our planet may become uninhabitable.

Gun violence is a national emergency. Since the Parkland, Florida mass shooting one year ago, in which 17 children and adults lost their lives, our country has experienced 350 mass shootings. This is nearly one mass shooting every day! Every day four or more people are shot, excluding the shooter. Tomorrow it could be your child.

Poor, threatened, Latin American women, men, and children who try to slip into our rich country is not a national emergency. We know that the numbers of people trying to illegally cross our borders has greatly decreased over the years. We know that the vast majority of drugs do not flow into America where Trump wants to spend billions on a fence building fiasco.

We need to ask who is going to make all this money for building and overseeing the wall and more detention centers? How much better could those billions be used to care for our true national emergencies?

The poor are not coming to get us in the night. The real horror of our country is not dealing with the perilous present that will continue to take the food, shelter and lives from those we love.

Robin Ivey-Black, Olympia

We need a Green New Deal

Climate change is happening now. As a parent, I am terrified for my babies. My son is 19 months old and my partner is about to give birth to our second child. It feels like we are having a baby on-board the Titanic. To think of how I will raise them and ensure their safety sometimes keeps me up at night.

The latest UN climate report says that we have until 2030 to reduce global carbon emissions by about half. We must take action now to meet this challenge.

The Green New Deal (GND) offers our best chance to overcome the challenge of the climate crisis. The GND would get the US to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 while providing millions of living-wage jobs. Legislators must work collaboratively with the people hit first and worst by climate impacts -- typically Indigenous people, people of color, and poor people (the majority of whom are white) -- to ensure just, equitable solutions are central to the GND. I strongly urge our Washington Senators and Representatives to co-sponsor the resolution for a Green New Deal proposed by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey.

Robert Marino, Olympia