Dear Congresswoman Blackburn,
Thank you for your service to Tennessee, the beloved state I have called home for the last 11 years. I truly appreciate and am grateful to you for your service, and I admire your dedication to public service.
I was born and raised in a small town in the bootheel of Missouri. Our trips to the big city of Memphis every Christmas to Goldsmith's department store to visit Santa Claus was a major highlight of my year. I grew up going to Kentucky Lake where it meets the Tennessee River.
From a young age, I dreamed of playing the Ryman someday and have had the good fortune of doing so many times. And I have deep affection and respect for the many wonderful artists who come from here.
Like so many folks of my generation, I was raised at a time when video games and cable TV did not exist. Our entertainment consisted of a bicycle and nature, and my imagination grew monumentally because of my parents' belief that there is no more beautiful exhibition of God's handiwork than nature itself.
I was happy to hear Vice President-Elect Pence mentioning you this morning as being on his transition committee. It made me feel proud and empowered that our Tennessee congresswoman will be representing us to the new President and Vice President. I hope you are in agreement with me that America is already pretty darn great but that there are plenty of areas to be addressed that could better life for everyone, which is why I am reaching out to you today.
I am writing to you, my congressperson, in this very public fashion, because I know there are people who feel the way I do about the beauty of nature and the urgent importance it holds for our future generations. I am not writing to you as a Democrat or as a "famous recording artist" but as a concerned citizen and as the mom of two little boys.
I know there are those who look at 70° winters and dying coral reefs as cyclical occurrences. I have heard you say those are your beliefs many times. It is easy to deny man's impact on climate change until you read the science. I have poured over all five of the IPCC assessments (definitely not my favorite nighttime read!) in order to arm myself with knowledge from scientific experts all over the world in order to understand what the arguments might be that this is purely cyclical. There are no arguments.
I am not a scientist. I am a mom, an artist, a former public school music teacher, and an American citizen. Science was never my favorite subject, however my nine-year-old lives and breathes science. He would rather be face down in the ocean observing the smallest of creatures than anywhere else. He and his little developing brain give me hope that he will play a role in the future of conservation and environmentalism. However, I fear that by the time he is old enough to understand the damage that has already been done, his generation will be forced to bear the weight of the decisions we adults are making right now.
I implore you, Congresswoman Blackburn, to reconsider your stance that the melting of the glacial shelves is a fluke. I beg you to consider that there is a way to ask our businesses to approach the way they do business in a different manner in honor of their own children and grandchildren's future. I know no one wants to discuss regulations and that climate change is a nuisance to large corporate factions and the way they do business here and around the world. But, is it not unfair to our young people that we are ignoring both the science and the timeline that exists to turn this around? It must be addressed now. A planet that cannot sustain humanity will create problems that will be much worse than a warm winter and rising tides.
I invite you to join me here in Nashville to meet with moms and dads that feel the way I do and to talk about the future of our planet. Our young people are already concerned about it whether we agree with the science or not. You are a brilliant woman with the power to create a legacy that generations of young Americans would be hugely grateful for. I realize what a polarizing topic this is, and that some folks on the other side of the issue are concerned about jobs going away. Conservation opens new and expansive job creativity, and you could be at the forefront of that here in Tennessee.
I look forward to speaking with you about this further.