Every time I go to Baxter State Park, I’m reminded of Gov. Percival Baxter’s words when he dedicated the park, which began: “Man is born to die. His works are short-lived.”

This is true for many things, but it’s not the case with climate change.

More and more, we’re seeing the devastating effects of climate change, which is largely driven by human activities. Unrelenting wildfires, extended droughts, rising temperatures, disastrous flooding – and if we don’t act, these will only get worse.

A lot of Mainers are taking individual action to help, such as investing in solar, buying electric or hybrid cars and switching to heat pumps.

But the scale of the changes we’re facing can’t be addressed by individuals alone. We need the government to act.

The good news is, the Senate has an opportunity to do just that by including a price on carbon as part of this year’s budget reconciliation plan. A carbon fee, with a rebate paid to households, is the single most effective measure for lowering future temperatures. This will also allow us to meet President Biden’s goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

This is a crucial moment, which is why I’m asking Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support a carbon price. Doing so is an essential step to ensure that the legacy we leave is one we can be proud of, and a work that will be long-lived for generations to come.

Erica Bartlett
Portland


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