The Tea: Jay Inslee is with it. Other candidates need to carry on his message

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The Tea: Jay Inslee is with it. Other candidates need to carry on his message

Tommy Mozier, Opinion Editor

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He dropped out of the presidential race on Wednesday, but Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign platform deserves all of our attention. Inslee dedicated an entire presidential campaign to defeating climate change, but consistently polled at the bottom of the Democratic field. 

Writer and Harvard doctoral candidate Clint Smith captured Inslee’s platform perfectly during the second Democratic debate on July 31, tweeting: “I appreciate Jay Inslee because he is really like nah y’all don’t get it the earth is melting.”

He’s right.  The ice sheet covering Greenland was melting at a rate scientists did not expect to see for at least 50 years as candidates attacked each other over health care plans. The sheet that covers 80% of the island lost more than 55 billion gallons of water from July 30 to Aug. 3, according to a report by Business Insider. 

That’s enough to put the entire state of Florida under five inches of water. All in five days. 

Despite the obvious warnings, many people remain remarkably unbothered by the impending danger of climate change. Although more people support policies that protect the environment and deal with climate change than 10 years ago, that number is only between 44%  and 56%, according to a Pew Research Center study.

That’s because climate change is like the Night King in “Game of Thrones.” Although he was created to destroy all of humanity, he spends most of the show confined to the north behind a rather large wall and is only a threat to the Wildlings, in this analogy the poorer, hotter countries of the world that climate change affects more. The people of Westeros, in this case wealthier regions like North America and Western Europe, prioritize other issues believing the threat is too far away and the warnings are overblown. 

But, climate change is already killing us. The super-hurricanes, forest fires, droughts and melting ice sheets of today will seem tame in the near future if we don’t act now. We, the young people of the world, will bear the brunt of climate change. The older generations are leaving us frighteningly unprepared.

Jay Inslee will likely be remembered as another failed one-issue candidate. We can only hope his message will endure. As remaining candidates debate over issues like health care, immigration, taxes and impeachment, each must be asked repeatedly how he or she plans to save the planet. No other issue is as important.