Your article about the rapid melting of Greenland’s ice sheet ("Greenland's loss of ice accelerated by heat wave," Aug. 2) made me wonder what it would be like to walk around the Roanoke City Market in 108 degree heat – the temperature in Paris on July 25. While heat waves are nothing new, what’s happening this summer is. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, June was the hottest June on record for the globe, and nine of the ten hottest Junes have occurred since 2010.
For readers who are concerned about climate change, I want to point to a solution that is currently being considered in Congress: the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763). This bill collects a fee on the sale of fossil fuels and then distributes this revenue to every U.S. citizen equally on a monthly basis. Extensive studies predict that this policy will reduce greenhouse gases 40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, while driving innovation, creating millions of new jobs, and improving air quality, all without costing the government a nickel. And maybe most important, it’s something that both Republicans and Democrats can support.
Many of us wonder what we, as individuals, can do to help solve climate change. I would suggest two things. First, take a few minutes to learn about H.R. 763. Second, if you think the bill has merit, write or call your member of Congress and encourage him or her to co-sponsor it. Local Congressman Morgan Griffith in particular, as a member of the House of Representatives bipartisan Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, is in a unique position to help this bill get the serious consideration it deserves. Studies show that members of Congress do pay attention to calls and letters from individual constituents.
If we fail to solve the problem of climate change, it will not be because we didn’t know how. It will be because too many individual citizens like you and me failed to make our voices heard.