Do you think your house is going to burn down? Probably not, but you buy fire insurance anyway, right? Especially if fires keep breaking out in one part of your house or another, right?

So, think of the United States as your house, and add the word “flooding” to fire. Isn’t it time we as a nation bought some insurance against the increasingly damaging wildfires and storms that are ravaging our country?

Wildfires are burning within sight of Los Angeles. Texas has seen three “500-year storms” in the past three years. Irma, the first hurricane after Harvey’s record-breaking rainfall, broke almost all wind-speed records. Scientists say that the warmer than normal waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean are partly to blame for the power of these storms.

What schoolchild cannot connect the dots? What homeowner wouldn’t be scrambling to buy insurance against next year’s fires and storms?

It’s way past time for Congress to buy some insurance against these extreme weather events. The first, simplest, most effective national insurance is called “carbon fee and dividend.”

It would place a constantly rising price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and return the proceeds to all American households. It would make polluters pay, mitigate climate change, improve our health and grow the economy.

Write Sens. Angus King or Susan Collins or Rep. Chellie Pingree (or all three!) urging them to sponsor or support such a bill. Urge Pingree to join with a Republican to enter the U.S. House Climate Solutions Caucus.

Or join the local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby (CitizensClimate Lobby.org), which is at the forefront of the effort to enact this important first insurance in the intense fight against all the upcoming storms we all face.

Peter Monro

Portland