Dear Editor: The “Climate Science Special Report” recently issued as part of the federal government’s quadrennial National Climate Assessment again establishes that greenhouse gases are responsible for the ongoing climate change. Climate scientist James Hansen found that summer temperatures have shifted “drastically.” They’re now far hotter than in earlier decades. The United Nations also said recently that this year will be one of the three hottest years worldwide since records began being kept, with 2015 and 2016 being the other two.

All this not only increases the ferocity of hurricanes and wildfires but makes Wisconsin’s rainstorms bigger, increasing our floods. The Government Accountability Office says that the federal government spent over $350 billion over the past 10 years on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That doesn’t include the cost of this year’s hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and droughts.

Since greenhouse gases are causing climate change, we must cut our emissions of the most important greenhouse gas: carbon dioxide. How? By telling Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Ron Johnson to support a carbon fee and dividend bill. And, by urging our member of the House of Representatives to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which already has 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisconsin District 8, is currently our state's only member of that caucus.

Confronting climate change won’t be free, but the cost of continuing to ignore it will be truly catastrophic.

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Dan Dieterich

Stevens Point

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