In response to Marc Thiessen’s Feb. 2 commentary, “Trump’s speech nailed it, so let’s see what he does now”:

I have to ask how a speech that ignores America’s (and the world’s) most pressing problem could be said to have “nailed it.” Climate change is the elephant in the room that our administration has willfully refused to acknowledge, other than offhand references to it as a Chinese hoax. President Trump hailed the prosperity his policies have brought the nation, but there will be no prosperity if climate change is not checked.

In addition to the financial costs associated with increased extreme weather events, clearly outlined in Peter Garrett’s Feb. 3 letter, “Curbing climate change will also rein in recovery costs,” sea level rise threatens most of the world’s cities, including those on our Eastern Seaboard.

Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia is routinely flooded, and it will cost billions of dollars to keep the station effective and protect the surrounding area. Over 2.5 million Miamians could become sea-level-rise refugees by 2100. Migratory pressures from abroad, because of sea-level rise, drought and other climate-related effects, are steadily increasing, and no wall is going to protect us from the resulting global unrest.

Trump touted bipartisanship, but neglected to mention its most significant example: the Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House, which is comprised of 34 Republicans and 34 Democrats who are developing climate solutions.

The tide is beginning to turn, but it needs to turn faster. We must encourage Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin to put increased pressure on the administration to acknowledge this threat and take action.

The most effective action Congress could take is to pass carbon fee and dividend legislation such as that proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which places a steadily rising fee on carbon-based fuel and passes it on to American households.

Sarah Braik


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