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Letter: Climate changes require citizen action, legislation

Regarding the March 2 letter, which called on scientists to examine more than just the past 200 years of earth’s history, in fact, climate scientists include millions of years of data – examining things like ice cores, fossils, tree rings, sedimentation – in their analyses.

They have found that, when atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations increased, Earth warmed, and when those concentrations decreased, Earth cooled. This happens because GHGs allow direct sunlight to pass through, unimpeded, down to Earth, but they absorb the light that is reflected upwards.

When, in Earth’s past, GHG concentrations changed slowly, Earth’s climate also changed slowly, and most plant and animal species were able to adapt.

Unfortunately, Earth is warming very rapidly. The change that we humans have put into motion, largely by burning coal, oil and natural gas, have raised GHG concentrations more than 45 percent. As a result, we have begun the sixth mass extinction, increasing the extinction rate at least 100-fold.

Fortunately, bipartisan bill HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, proposes a way to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2030. It puts a fee on the fossil fuel emissions causing this swift warming. The fee would drive down carbon pollution by encouraging consumers to move toward cleaner, cheaper options. The net monies collected from the fee would be allocated, in equal shares, to Americans to spend as they see fit.

All readers concerned about climate change should urge local members of Congress Brian Higgins and Chris Collins, to support this legislation.

Paige Dedrick

East Aurora

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