Some recent New York Times opinion pieces weighed in on current national political struggles as well as the long-standing global effort to halt dangerous climate change.

On Sept. 30, David Brooks presented on “Why we need to spend $4 trillion,” reminding readers that “policy can change history” and arguing that the administration’s spending packages should be implemented. They would help end the feeling of economic abandonment by too many citizens, he argued, and the hopelessness and indignity of millions of parents “having to raise their children in poverty.” They would serve the moral and cultural purpose of conveying to all — not just affluent Americans and the most wealthy — that “you are at the center of our national vision.”

An Aug. 19 guest essay by four youth climate activists — Greta Thunberg and co-authors from Mexico, Bangladesh and Kenya — pointed with alarm to the “World Being Left to Us by Adults.” It referenced the recent “code red” report by the world climate scientists, along with a “Children’s Climate Risk Index” report by UNICEF, both published that month. It reminds readers and the world’s political leaders that “climate change is the single greatest threat” to children’s future everywhere. Its extreme-weather hazards, and diseases, hunger, increase in poverty and other harms from them will risk calamity for almost half the world’s children, the young authors state, if the global climate-warming emissions are not halted quickly.

The many climate provisions in the president’s economic package, including a phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies, energy-efficiency measures and a Civilian Climate Corps, would go a very long way toward this urgent goal and are highly popular with the voting public. Our Congress — and world leaders heading to the COP26 climate summit this month — should listen to and act for the betterment of the children.

Frances Lamberts


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