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With Christmas coming, we need to curb our consumerist mentality

In 2009, China surpassed the United States in the emission of fossil fuels. However, we have been emitting CO2 from fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution in the mid 1800s, and our population is much smaller. Per capita, we are still far ahead on CO2 emissions. Most of the people here in the U.S. are living a pretty comfortable life. China is trying to come out of the Third World. Right now, they see us living well, but not doing much about fossil fuel emissions. We have even withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accords. So they wonder why they, in trying to leave the Third World behind, should worry about CO2. We need to set an example.

In China, there are days when the smog is so bad that the people have to wear masks to go outdoors, or not go out at all. Unfortunately, we do bear some responsibility for this. We are a consumerist society, and many of the goods that we consume come from China. We demand, they provide, meanwhile producing not only the products, but a great deal of fossil fuel emissions, mainly from coal. We need to curb our consumerist mentality. Christmas is coming, and we need to change our habits. Can we buy at thrifts stores, consignment shops or antique stores instead of new? Do we need it or just want it? And please, conserve fossil fuels; avoid drive-throughs; and eat less methane producing beef.

JAHNN SWANKER-GIBSON

Johnstown