On June 30, 49 U.S. scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society, sent a letter to Congress expressing the “urgency of boldly addressing climate change.” The letter warns:
“To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced. … Rapid action is necessary to avoid potentially disastrous consequences for health, biodiversity, food security, water availability, and national security.”
And on Aug. 9, 60 U.S. health organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Florida Public Health Association, sent a letter to Congress declaring climate change a health emergency and asserting:
“Congress’ current work on legislation to invest in infrastructure and other priorities must yield a package of climate change measures that meet the urgency of this moment by achieving a roughly 50 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. … More intense and frequent wildfires, strong storms and persistent extreme heat are already causing physical and mental harm.”
A $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill is now being considered in Congress. This is a crucial opportunity for climate action that can’t be blocked by the filibuster. Please contact your representatives in Washington and urge them to include a price on carbon dioxide emissions in this legislation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Explicit carbon prices remain a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies.” It’s the single most powerful way to reduce emissions.
Terry Hansen is a resident of Hales Corners, Wis.