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Last week, I had the opportunity, with a group of other Montanans, to meet with Sen. Jon Tester. In introducing myself, I told the senator that — given the state of ecological devastation (and economic instability) — I choose not to have children. I have always wanted to have children.

The first thing the senator said was that “The climate crisis is the single biggest threat we face.” He continued, “we must end our reliance on fossil fuels.” Of course, I agree.

Sen. Tester was less clear about whether he would deliver on the critical $3.5 trillion climate-centered infrastructure package that is now before Congress. This package mandates a Civilian Climate Corps, the end of fossil fuel subsidies, and a real investment in the 100% green economy we need.

I grapple with whether to have children because I do not feel confident that they will be guaranteed their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every person must have fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, and safe and healthy communities to live in.

Government is how we care for one another. Fundamental to care is a safe, livable climate. We have the technology, we have the resources, we have the people to begin this work now.

Isabel Shaida


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