U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has plenty of political capital. Witness how the country held its breath before she eventually voted for Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. She dominated the news.

However you feel about that vote, there is a different, urgent issue on which I would like to see her exert leadership and garner the country’s attention.

In light of the U.N.’s recent dire report about climate change, let’s call upon our senior senator to use her political capital to push legislation for a solution.

We need a national, bipartisan approach. Bipartisan, because without both parties on board, nothing will be accomplished, and we can’t afford to wait.

Multiple studies have shown that a fee on carbon at the source will spur a reduction in carbon emissions in the most cost-effective way. Market forces will create the incentive to reduce greenhouse gases. Under a carbon-fee-and-dividend policy, revenue from the carbon fee will be returned to households to protect them from increased prices. The dividend means the carbon fee is revenue neutral, and will not grow the government.

Having such a national policy will allow business to plan for the long term and will include every part of the economy. This solution is backed by business groups, the nonpartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby and even conservative groups such as the Climate Leadership Council.

To Sen. Collins, I’d like to say: “Be a climate hero. Co-sponsor legislation with Sen. Angus King. Reach across the aisle. Defy the naysayers who claim consensus on this issue is near impossible.”

Most Mainers understand the facts and want a solution. Tick-borne diseases, massive power outages, severe weather events, destructive storm surges combined with sea-level rise, ocean acidification decimating our fisheries – we are not immune. We can’t kick this can down the road. Our children are counting on us.

Nancy Heiser