Letter to the Editor: What Our Children Need Most From Us is Action on Climate Change

Those of us who are caretakers invest so much of ourselves into our children. We dedicate our time, talent and treasure to provide healthcare, clothing, nutritious food, education, dance lessons, sports equipment, and all of the other manifestations of our love and care. Time and attention are the greatest of these gifts since what children need more than anything else is to feel seen, heard and loved. Given all of this, how are we ignoring the most essential thing we are not providing for our children, a stable, healthy environment in which to spend their precious time on this, their only home, planet Earth? Our children are suffering, and will continue to suffer, the consequences of climate change on many fronts (https://www.climatepsychology.us). These fronts include economic insecurity and physical threats, but they also include an unseen toll that is being taken psychologically. There is a mental health crisis heavily impacting on our children. They are suffering on a continuum from PTSD to increased levels of anxiety and depression. PTSD is impacting on children who are repeatedly exposed to life threatening natural disasters while others are suffering due to their understanding of the inevitable threat to their future well-being. These impacts are magnified by a loss of trust in the adults that could be acting to mitigate climate change but time and again choose short term gratification over long term solutions.

When you go to the voting booth in November, take into account our collective responsibility to steward the earth for our children and safeguard their hope for the future. Vote for candidates that will act decisively on the issue of climate change, and vote “Yes” on the Environmental Bond Act of 2022. Time is running out to raise ourselves in the eyes of our children, and be the caretakers they need to protect them from this greatest of all threats to their well-being.

Janine Melillo
Peekskill, NY

 

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