“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Think climate change, due largely to human-caused carbon emissions: We are our own worst enemy.

Decades ago, when scientists first started warning about climate change, they cautioned that if something was not done soon, our children and grandchildren would one day sadly ask, “Mom, Dad, Gram, Gramp, why didn’t you DO something?”

The good news is that many people and organizations are finally doing something (beyond changing light bulbs).

The University of Maine System Board of Trustees recently voted to divest from all direct holdings in coal companies – the first university system in the United States to divest from any fossil fuels. Dirigo!

A huge number of respected scientists and economists recommend that United States start pricing carbon, as some 40 other countries already do.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in a New York Times column, “Every economist I know would start cheering wildly if Congress voted in a clean, across-the-board carbon tax.”

Henry Paulson, former treasury secretary, says, “Citizens should demand that Congress enact a carbon tax.”

“Demand”? How does one go about demanding action from a polarized Congress? Just continue to lobby politely? Or is it time to pound fists on tables?

Well, I’ve decided to type this letter with fingers on just one hand. I’m using the other hand to pound the table – CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? – to demand that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, as well as Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin, sponsor/support carbon pricing, preferably 100 percent revenue-neutral legislation that prompts a market-driven conversion to clean energy.

Exercise Maine’s official motto, as UMS trustees just did: Dirigo!

Fern Crossland Stearns