President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush,

Our world faces a growing challenge that threatens our economic prosperity, the safety of our society, and all our ecosystems. Climate change and global warming are issues that cannot be ignored; as a nation we cannot meekly follow the will of entrenched oil and industrial interests.

Climate change is not a distant issue for other countries and other generations to deal with. Munich Re, the world’s largest re-insurance company, estimates that as natural disasters increase, by mid-century costs will rise to hundreds of billions of dollars annually. And already we face 4 times more natural disasters, costing 14 times as much as faced 40 years ago. And global warming threatens our lives as well: Chicago’s worst natural disaster ever was the 1995 heat wave that killed 583 people.

I urge you to reverse your stance on the Kyoto Treaty, and step forward as a true leader to face this challenge honestly. As the world’s largest polluter, our unilateral refusal to address climate change is ignoring our global responsibility and embarrasses us in the eyes of the world. By revising your approach you could establish a legacy that will benefit our generation and every generation yet to come.

We must become a player in the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and then develop a strong action plan involving businesses, all levels of government and individuals to meet our commitment. The achievements of this significant global agreement must be the start of a long-term program to make the deeper cuts in pollution needed to stabilize our climate.

Thank you sincerely,