As severe storms race through America, spawning tornadoes, hail and floods, I wonder what must occur to move people to take action on mitigating climate change? Some already have loved ones affected by wildfires, intensified by high temperatures and drought. My household needed to dig a new well in 2016 due to prolonged drought conditions. Many have been impacted by the spread of Lyme disease-carrying ticks. Grandparents are concerned for the future of their grandchildren who will live with sea-level rise and a more challenging climate.  That morning cup of coffee could suffer due to coffee rust — a disease which has spread along with increased weather variability, decimating the crop in Central America.

The longer people wait, the higher the cost of recovery efforts. In a statement to the Climate Leadership Council, 3,500 economists agreed that the quickest and most cost-effective solution is a carbon fee and dividend. That would slow the potential severity of climate change while reducing respiratory ill effects of burning fossil fuels.

HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, would put a fee on fossil fuels and distribute the revenue to American households. All individuals would receive the same dividend but the fee will incentivize customers to use less carbon-intensive products while promoting innovation in alternatives. Distributed revenue would ease the transition for consumers. Rep. Chellie Pingree is a cosponsor.

I urge Rep. Jared Golden and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support carbon fee and dividend legislation.

Action is more productive than hope.

Roberta Brezinski, Durham