As another round of United Nations negotiations about climate change wrap up in Warsaw, I’m struck more than ever that all politics is local.

Here in Maine, the climate crisis threatens so much of what makes our state home — lobstering, farming, maple syrup tapping, ice fishing, our rugged coast, mild summers, fall foliage, great skiing and so much more.

Protecting our state and solving the climate crisis is going to happen only when we as citizens come together to compel our leaders to act. And bold, meaningful action is urgent.

To be specific, the most important step that our country can take in 2014 to start to solve the climate crisis is for President Barack Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to follow through on their commitment to establish strong carbon standards for new and existing power plants, which are by far the nation’s biggest polluters.

But it’s not going to happen unless many, many of us in Maine and across the country join together to overcome the power of the fossil fuel industry, convince our lawmakers to indeed lead, and in the process lay the foundation for the transformational change in our energy future that’s needed to preserve our state and planet.

Emily Figdor, directorEnvironment MainePortland

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