Humanity is running out of time to prevent the irreversible impacts of climate change.

Unprecedented forest fires, drought and floods are already commonplace. Climate change is taking its toll on the economy, public health and safety.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), annual occurrence of the billion-dollar weather/climate disasters in the US more than doubled in the recent five years (2016-2020) as compared to the past four decades (1980-2020).Bold and swift action is required to prevent irreversible changes to the earth’s climate.

The Department of Defense recently recognized climate change as a national security threat. However, the federal government’s environmental spending has been woefully inadequate, especially compared to the massive defense budget which has been steadily growing. The government must reassess its priorities and allocate sufficient funds to equitably decarbonize the U.S. economy.President Biden’s Build Back Better framework is the first major proposal of the executive branch addressing climate change. The proposed $555 billion investment would not only bring us closer to carbon neutrality but also create next-generation clean energy technologies and good-paying jobs.

Build Back Better would provide the much-needed investment to make our communities more resilient and address legacy pollution in our communities.The Build Back Better Bill sets the floor for what must be done for our environment, communities and future. Members of Congress, including Sen. Susan Collins and Congressman Jared Golden, must work together to improve and pass the bill without delay for the good of our country and our future.

Kerem Gungor, Sabattus

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