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When I was little I never thought I would be so interested in the effects of coal on climate change or the economy, but here we are. It’s time to put another “big lie” to rest, that being the denial of climate change.

We find ourselves in a sudden maelstrom of outrageous storms, catastrophic and deadly heat waves and sudden freezing in areas where it has seldom, if ever, been seen before — Houston. Seattle. Portland. We have all witnessed unprecedented, record freezing for the former and sweltering, deadly heat for the latter. We have seen Category 5 storms at an alarming frequency. Hurricanes like Maria, those historic floods in West Virginia, terrifying fires all along the West Coast and all over Australia last year.

We all know that climate change is real. We all see it. It’s just who profits off of it that really gets people indoctrinated into the “owe my soul to the company store” coal loyalty that we see here in our beloved state. At this point there can be no more denial; there is only a conversation about what we are going to do about it.

We are at an emergency juncture. We must transition away from coal. I know, this is West Virginia and that sounds scandalous and a particularly pugnacious thing to say but, “It is what it is.” So what can we do about it? That’s an essential question. How can we both create jobs for the good people of West Virginia who have been displaced by a changing energy economy, and simultaneously work to end climate change? West Virginia can be part of the solution. We need to be.

The time is now.

Insist that Sen. Joe Manchin reform the filibuster so that important legislation can go through while we have elected the Democratic majority. The minority should never rule the majority! And, even with Mitch’s minority rule, we now see a coalition of Republican senators forming a global climate change task force so really, there is no more party line division on this issue.

Call and email Senator Manchin and demand that he reform the filibuster (or eliminate it all together).

Anyway, we have got to do something about these issues — now. If I’m wrong, I challenge you to prove it.

We are all in this together.

Marilyn Monahan

Charleston

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