Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Texas, and now Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. The number of casualties and financial burdens imposed are still unknown, but are certain to be staggering. By all accounts, we are watching an historic human and environmental tragedy unfold.

That is why it has been gratifying to see Americans respond. We’ve seen a rise in charitable contributions and truckloads of goods being transported to areas in need. This is what makes America great.

I would not want these acts of kindness and generosity to halt. For those who want to address the problem at its core and make sure this never happens again, however, working against climate change is the real and long-term solution.

Hurricanes such as Harvey and Irma are not random occurrences. They are directly connected to climate change.

Learn everything about it, make lifestyle changes to reduce your use of fossil fuels, and team up with groups taking action. Write to your local, state and national leaders telling them to connect the dots between these and other weather events, and to take swift and prudent actions to avert calamities of these sorts in the future.

Marilee Sushoreba, Madison