The public has an important opportunity — and civic duty — coming up with the next election.

Many issues are important — health care, opportunity and good education for all — but after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 700-page report from scientists in 91 nations, it became obvious to me that the environment has to be the first priority. Otherwise, the sea level will rise and consume coastal regions; or the nation might suffer drought, forest fires and intense storms.

Bettyann Sheats has a wonderful legislative record, runs a good business, served in the military and is endorsed by Maine’s Sierra Club. Maine needs her.

The Sierra Club also endorsed Janet Mills for governor and Jared Golden for Congress.

Bruce Poliquin voted for a huge budget deficit that could mean reductions to Medicare and Social Security. He has voted against environment issues.

I support Bettyann Sheats, Janet Mills and Jared Golden.

Jim Wellehan, Auburn