Senator Casey, Sir :
I am obligated to write you again because I am so adamant that life on our planet for our offspring is in jeopardy as Pope Francis emphatically expressed in his encyclical specific to climate change. Though I am not Catholic, I respect a leader of over one billion persons living on our Earth today as having the best scientific information available to him to make the best judgements for his parishioners.
At eighty years of life, I live my waining years through the eyes of my grandchildren. Senator, Sir, if not now, eventually you too may feel that anguish of an unrealized potential your progeny may miss. Case in point : the young years of my grandson, Connor Kurtz.
Like you, my grandson, Connor Kurtz, is Catholic from birth, will graduate near the top of his class next semester from Catholic University, Washington, DC. You may know of him since he was elected to the Daniel Boone School board while still attending high school, the youngest school board member in the state. Connor interned last summer for Parliament, London, UK ; this summer after crossing the US by train he is interning at the San Diego International Airport. Like you, Connor had to run for reelection which he did and won both sides of the ticket in the primaries.
A Grandfather nine times over, my duty to Connor and other offspring later, at the sunset of their lives, is daunting. Will the World hear Pope Francis's plea and by absorbing it become the foil between the believers and the doubters. Or, will the rich pummel the meek with advertisements which play on deception and denial extolling the virtue of the extraction industries and, by doing so, move our Planet past the tipping point of "no return". Politicians seeing short term, the next election, will decide on solidifying election donations but statesman, owning up to a greater power, will side with posterity.
Senator, the unrelenting question continues, has our World ever seen detrimental change to it that modern man hasn't been party too ? The whale population, fishery decline, poached ivory tusks, deforestation, water table decline, smog, and radiation, among the numerous examples. Man is of this sphere no differently than the multitude of other species here now and already gone. Because man has an ever evolving brain that has developed far beyond any other species he has effected change on this Planet, it seems, faster than civilizations can keep up with. Being of this Planet is not enough, we must live on it in concert with all other life forms.
This is the message Pope Francis asks me to absorb. You, as a statesman, I feel, need to council with your emotions and reality and, with listening to the leader of much of our World's population as a guide, make the hard choice between today and posterity.
Ronald C. Downie