Page 3A, Portland Press Herald, June 15: “Flooding pummels Yellowstone.” This comes as the Midwest and East Coast sizzle from a heatwave and other parts of the West burn from an early wildfire season amid a persistent drought. A climate specialist said, “A warming environment makes extreme weather events more likely than they would have been without the warming that human activity has caused.”

The same day, you reported: “Dangerous Heat Wave descends on Midwest and South.” (This topic was updated June 16, saying thousands of cattle are dying in this heat.)

I’m a retired physician, and I’m worried about the present/future effects of climate change on health. There is significant impact now from: direct heat-related illnesses, and for those with pre-existing diseases (cardio-respiratory and kidney); drought and its impact on marginal farmlands worldwide, plus rising deaths due to thirst and famines in developing countries. Air pollution is estimated to shorten global life expectancy by two years!

It may not now seem a propitious moment to add a fee on fossil fuels at their sources, but the costs, sickness, suffering and death will continue to accelerate. We can pay now, or pay much more later.

We must enact a carbon fee and dividend as per HR 2703, the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act of 2021. Contact Congress – urge them to take action now.

For more information, look at the Citizens Climate Lobby website,

David Smith

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