Richard Wildermann of Seabrook Island is the winner of the latest Golden Pen for his Aug. 12 letter about the need to address climate change in light of the then-upcoming United Nations Climate Change Summit.
“Well-intentioned but unkept promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have failed,” he wrote, noting that most heads of state, except for President Donald Trump, realize that we “must put in place exacting and enforceable plans if we are to avoid pervasive upheaval in the decades ahead.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he wrote, was urging world leaders to come up with “concrete, realistic plans for establishing sustainable ecosystems and agriculture” by developing “resilient communities and infrastructure ... adapting to climate impacts and transitioning to renewable energy.”
Mr. Wildermann called climate change “the preeminent crisis of our time” and urged elected officials to set aside “petty politics and act on principle to ensure a future for our children, our country and the world.”
He also lamented that the Trump administration was unlikely to “participate constructively at the summit. Therefore members of Congress from both parties must assure summit participants that in the post-Trump era the U.S. will meet its obligations to safeguard future generations.”
Mr. Wildermann concluded by saying “people everywhere” were demanding decisive action, and many states were doing their part. “But the federal government cannot stand idly by, isolated and scorned, as the world’s disparate countries valiantly struggle together to come to grips with humanity’s greatest challenge.”
The Golden Pen is awarded monthly, and winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.