A few weeks ago we celebrated the 4th of July. Every year I look forward to celebrating our nation’s anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776. It’s a holiday when we often enjoy barbecue, spend some time outdoors, and watch fireworks in the evening. This year we celebrated with friends and relatives and did just that, and it was nice.
When reading the Columbus Dispatch newspaper on that day, I was struck by a letter to the editor, which, in my opinion, beautifully captures many of my sentiments regarding this holiday. It was written by E. Marianne Gabel from Delaware, Ohio. I’ve reprinted it below and I hope you enjoy reading her letter as much as I did.
Jefferson would support a carbon-free world
On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson recorded the temperature in Philadelphia as 76 degrees. The forecast for July 4, 2019, in Philadelphia is 92 degrees.
If he were here today, I believe Jefferson would say this:
“These times call for a new Declaration of Independence — from the ruthless King Carbon, whose offenses we would never tolerate from any nation.
“King Carbon has changed the climate, attacking us with heat, wind and water.
“Invading our communities with heat, King Carbon holds us under ‘house arrest’ in artificially cooled air or desperate without it. He has attacked France, our ally in 1776, with temperatures as high as 114 last week.
“He has burned our parched forests and their towns; his storms on land and sea have blown our homes away and terrified us; his armies of invasive insects and plants wreak havoc on our woodlands and farms. We cannot find peace even in nature.
“King Carbon’s armies of rain have flooded our nation’s heartland, left our farmers helpless.
“Let us now join in a Declaration of Independence from King Carbon — and pledge to each other our tireless work toward a carbon-free world.”
E. Marianne Gabel, Delaware
I think Thomas Jefferson would agree with what Marianne Gabel wrote on his behalf.
The actual Declaration of Independence is truly a remarkable and inspirational document – e.g., the first sentence of the second paragraph:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Our country has often, but not always, lived up to these ideals. Our country’s history has some stains of which we can’t be proud (e.g., Howard Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States). Furthermore, we will likely suffer more. But, in spite of the times we have fallen short of our ideals, recalling those times when individuals sacrificed, and placed the needs of our country ahead of their own interests, to fight for these ideals – these are the examples we can truly be proud of. Declaring war on “King Carbon” should fall into this category. I hope so.
I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July Holiday.