A. Giest: Opportunity to take steps

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Despite the climate denial engrossing the country described in David Sirota’s column (“Finding agreement on climate change,” Jan. 15), this year has already witnessed floods of data verifying the ominous effects of global warming.

One week into 2013, 2012 was confirmed as the hottest year on record. Then the federal government released a new National Climate Assessment draft report reiterating that temperatures are on the rise. The mounting evidence calls for action on global warming.

The report mentions specific Maine and Northeast data confirming that heat waves,  rising sea level, coastal flooding and extreme precipitation will continue to plague the area and can be attributed to human-induced global warming. Without action, implications will be seen day-to-day by the environment and economy and leave people vulnerable to catastrophes, like Hurricane Sandy.

As the public waits for consensus, decision-makers have the opportunity to take immediate steps that will limit global warming and prevent dangerous emissions.

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Right now, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency should finalize the proposed carbon pollution standard for new power plants and then immediately start the process for limiting industrial carbon pollution from existing power plants. That is the single largest source of carbon pollution, and it can be curbed if decision makers don’t delay.

Alison Giest, Portland

Field organizer, Environment Maine

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