Thank you for giving the National Climate Assessment above-the-fold placement in the Nov. 24 Press Herald (“Climate change’s grip ‘intensifying,’ ” Page A1). If we are to have any hope of leaving a livable planet to our descendants, we need to attend to this warning now.

As the article states, we’ve wasted 15 years, which has greatly complicated the task of dealing with carbon emissions. In actuality, we’ve wasted 30 years since NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen testified to Congress, laying out the problem essentially as we understand it today.

We, as citizens, need to write, call and email our senators and representatives, letting them know we want action. That is something concrete each of us can do. There are actions that government can take, must take, to prevent climate disaster, but apparently won’t unless we let them know we care.

We need a price on carbon emissions, correcting the free-exhaust market failure that’s at the root of our problem. A carbon fee and dividend program, returning all funds to citizens, per capita, has been advocated by Citizens’ Climate Lobby and other groups and economists. Information is available at citizensclimatelobby.org.

Climate change is the greatest challenge to the future of human civilization and to the survival of many other species. The stable temperatures and sea levels that have permitted the rise of civilization over the last 7,000 years will come to an end if greenhouse-gas emissions are not essentially curtailed over the course of just a few decades. The National Climate Assessment lays it out. It’s up to us to respond. Let your voice be heard.

Allen Armstrong

Portland


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