As reported in “Summer’s weather was disastrous—and hot” (Sept. 20), climate change is already costing taxpayers significant amounts in disaster relief (from floods, droughts, severe storms, and heat waves) and increased energy costs (longer periods of high temperatures, especially at night), not to mention its effects on agriculture, fishing and tourism here in Maine.

Reports from the Risky Business Project, Citigroup and even our Department of Defense all assert that addressing climate change now will save money and lives in the long run. What can we do to ease these costs now and in the future? We can find ways to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists and economists agree that this can be achieved most effectively by putting a price on carbon. The best scenario would be carbon fee and dividend legislation that would put a price on carbon and return all of the money to the American people (see for more information). While this may seem impossible in today’s political climate, developments like the House Climate Solutions Caucus, which includes 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, show that both parties recognize the urgency of the problem and can work together to limit the risks.

As citizens of this country and this planet, we have the right and responsibility to be good stewards of our environmental and financial resources. I urge you to let your voice be heard by contacting your legislators and voting in November for candidates who will make climate change solutions a priority.

Caroline Karnes


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