The following is one of a series of blogs/columns from former Cheshire High Young Democrat presidents that will be published on the CDTC website. The blog below is from former Cheshire High Young Democrat president Monica DiLeo.
My name is Monica DiLeo, and I’m 23 years old.
In 2040, I’ll be 45. When I see myself at 45, I hope for a family, a career that I love, health, a community like the one I was raised in Cheshire, and the ability to make a positive contribution to it.
There’s one more thing I hope for at 45, something that is a necessary step in order for me to have the opportunity to achieve my other hopes--that we take action on climate change now to prevent the most serious consequences we face from becoming reality.
On October 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report detailing the impact if the atmosphere is to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). The report details the world we can expect to face if temperatures rise by just 1.5 degrees Celsius-- worsening food shortages, disappearing coastlines, and intensifying droughts and wildfires. And we can expect this by 2040, if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate. Prior reports had focused on a 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degree Fahrenheit) increase, the level to which the Paris Agreement seeks to limit warming.
The optimistic news for a young person like me is that we have the tools at our disposal to thwart the worst impacts. To prevent 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, according to the report, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050.
As the Trump administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and has systematically worked to disassemble environmental protections, the people that I have been most grateful for, and most inspired by, are Connecticut Democrats.
As an undergraduate at Yale, I had the opportunity to work with the Connecticut Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3). The GC3 was created by Governor Malloy in 2015 to take a comprehensive look at Connecticut’s strategy to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. Earlier this year Governor Malloy signed two pieces of legislation he introduced that will improve Connecticut’s ability to be resilient against climate change and also increase the usage of renewable energy. It is so inspiring to me that Connecticut has remained a leader in combating climate change as President Trump and Republicans in Washington have led us down a nonsensical and damning path.
We may have President Trump for two more years, but there is so much that can be accomplished despite that fact when we have a state government that follows the science and makes combating climate change a priority. I have more hope for the world that I will live in at 45 knowing that states like Connecticut are doing the morally just thing for my generation and those to come.
So get out on Tuesday, November 6 and commit to electing Connecticut Democrats.
(Here is a direct link to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that Monica DiLeo discussed - http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ .)