By Sarah “Steve” Mosko
In November, residents within California’s 45th Congressional District will be deciding whether to entrust Mimi Walters with a 3rd term in the House of Representatives. She is facing a tough reelection battle, so in a race where every vote counts, it’s incumbent upon voters to take a serious look at her performance record before entering the polls.
Because the projected impacts of unchecked global warming are so dire, climate change has become the number one challenge facing humanity. Worsening storms, droughts and wildfires, catastrophic sea level rise, mass species extinction, disrupted food supplies and political and social unrest are all in the offing if we fail to transition from a fossil fuel economy to one based on renewable energy sources.
Though poorer communities and nations will be impacted most, material wealth cannot guarantee that our children and grandchildren will be spared serious consequences.
The years 2016 and 2017 were the first and third hottest on record, respectively. Many residents of Orange County have personal stories of how climate change is already touching their lives.
The Yale Program on Climate Change Communication tracks public opinions on climate change, down to the individual district level. It turns out that California’s 45th is very much in step with the nation as a whole: 71 percent in the district believe climate change is happening, 74 percent want carbon dioxide regulated as a pollutant, and 72 percent believe future generations will be harmed.
As a public servant, Mimi Walters is obligated to represent the views of her constituents, especially on an issue as vital to public security and prosperity as climate change. But, does she?