Editor: As a fourth generation Arizona native and intern with climate advocacy group Defend Our Future, I feel it’s our duty to protect our fragile desert environment.
The issues Arizona faces are all too real and are in need of immediate action, as estimates show that by 2050 Arizona could experience triple the amount of heat wave days than it does now.
This should be of grave concern to us all, with Arizona having endured more heat-related deaths in 2017 than any year prior. Alarmingly, 200,000 Arizonans under the age of five and over the age of 65 are living in poverty and will be more susceptible to the dangers of rising temperatures, worsening the human toll if we do not act now.
But there are signs of hope: in a recent poll by AP-University of Chicago, researchers found that 86 percent of Democrats, 70 percents of Independents and 52 percent of Republicans believe that climate change is both real and needs to be addressed now. Clearly this is an issue that transcends political boundaries and unites us around perhaps the most elemental of concerns: self-preservation.
However, Senator McSally thus far hasn’t given any indication that she plans to address the effects of climate change on Arizona. Moreover, she has taken $745,597 from the fossil fuel industry over the course of her career as an elected official.
On the other side of the aisle, Senator Sinema has yet to capitalize on the forward momentum and elevate climate change as one of her primary issues. So to both Senators, if this letter makes its way to you, on behalf of all Arizonans I ask that you commit to take action on climate change, as many of us here already have, and help us address this issue while we still can.