Here is one of those clever quotes you have probably heard before: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

Climate change is no longer a debatable theory, its effects are all around us.

Last year was the warmest year on record by far and sea level is rising due to rapid melting of the polar regions, the Greenland ice cap, and the retreating glaciers. Predictions of climatologists for 2100 vary between a two- to four-foot rise. Millions of people will be forced to migrate to higher elevations, millions of acres of land will be lost to cultivation. If you thought the war crisis in the Middle East presents immense refugee challenges today, climate refugees will likely present challenges hundreds of times greater by the century’s end.

Mitigating climate change is in the interest of every country and citizen, but especially so for the United States. Why? Because on a per capita basis we are by far the greatest fossil fuel consumers, and it’s primarily the burning of coal, oil and gas that are effecting climate change.

The solution is both simple and yet difficult to carry out: We must use less carbon, each and every one of us.

The alternatives to burning carbon are actually quite reasonable and will bring plenty of rewarding employment for displaced fossil fuel workers. Wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and tidal all bring us renewable energy that doesn’t fill the atmosphere with soot, acid rain, mercury and a host of other toxins, and with no carbon dioxide. What’s not to like?

We will need fair incentives to move away from fossil fuels. A carbon fee and dividend system is one example that has been shown to effectively do this. Please research this and consider adding your voice and be part of the solution.

Chris Beeuwkes

Mercer


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