By Robert Redford

Collusion, obstruction of justice, impeachment or not, greedy tax breaks, medical care for all or none, refugees seeking compassion at our borders — as a citizen, I care deeply about all these things. But I also fail to see how any of it will matter without a planet to live on.

We are approaching an irreversible tipping point. The science of climate change is backed by examples of the damage mankind has caused all around us, every day and everywhere. None of us are immune anymore; no matter where we live, no matter our political party.

I can’t think of anything that should compel and demand our attention more. What will it take for our short-sighted leadership to stop questioning the reality of this global crisis?

It’s hard to believe, but 49 years ago a new awareness of our environmental responsibilities was born. The founding of Earth Day marked an important moment in time, a pivotal recognition of how precious and fragile and sacred our connection is to our natural world. And on this Earth Day, I find myself searching for words to express my sense of urgency on behalf of our one and only home — to create yet another new awareness of those same responsibilities.

President Trump has promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, appointed climate change deniers to head the EPA, weakened protections for clean air and water, and tried to cut funding efforts to advance renewable energy. He has made terrible decisions followed by worse decisions.

It’s heartbreaking, yet we’re all in this mess together.

It’d be pretty thoughtless to pretend we’re not divided right now in America. There are many complex reasons for this, but I stubbornly continue to believe that more unites us underneath it all, and that when push comes to shove, we all want a better and healthier future for our children and grandchildren.

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