From Aug. 25 to 30, Houston received over 10 times more rain than we did in all of August. What could a storm much milder than Harvey produce in the city of Portland? According to an analysis of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, published last year, and other sources, Portland has had three damaging rain events in the past 10 years: 2007 (Patriots Day – 3 inches-plus); 2014 (6 inches in 24 hours); and 2015 (5.6 inches in 24 hours).

These storms resulted in property damage but no loss of life. I’m sure that city officials are using this analysis to find local solutions for flooding and sea level rise.

Extreme weather events like Harvey are caused by global climate change, which is caused by the use of fossil fuels. Many of you have taken steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption by your homes and cars, but we can do more on an even larger scale.

World leaders are now working toward a unifying action to limit the use of these fuels. The World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund are planning, with over 40 countries, on putting a price on carbon emissions.

Led by the European Union, Canada, Mexico and, yes, China, the plans increase the cost of fossil fuels and return the amount of increase to the public in various ways. These plans are aimed, using market forces, at securing financial stability, international trade, high employment, economic growth and poverty reduction – and by the way, mitigating climate-related damages.

I’m committed to leaving behind a livable planet. It will take much more than recycling and conserving energy. By voicing our concerns to elected representatives, we can do our part for unity in action. I joined Citizens Climate Lobby and learned to empower my efforts. I highly recommend them (

Susanna Adams


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