Opinion » Letters

Demand action from Congress

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During 2018, global greenhouse gas emissions continued to increase and the resulting climate disruption losses were devastating. These extreme losses occurred in many places. In California, drought-driven wildfires resulted in scores of deaths, staggering personal financial loss, and significant economic injury to businesses. Climate refugees, previously only in distant countries, now include U.S. citizens in Northern California and asylum-seekers at our southern border.

However, next year offers some real hope. Congress could pass the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Congress could also implement a "Green New Deal" to tackle global warming and poverty by providing economic opportunities for disadvantaged and marginalized Americans as we transition to renewable energy. Doing neither will lead to greater and greater climate disruption losses. Doing both will greatly reduce U.S. fossil fuel emissions over the next decade. During 2018, climate scientists have repeatedly warned us that we are, literally, running out of time in which to make the required emissions reduction. Therefore, before it is too late, we can and must demand congressional action in 2019, which will significantly reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Sharon Rippner

San Luis Obispo

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