There is little doubt that the unusually quick and harsh drought season of this past summer and early fall, as addressed in your article, “Drought worsens in South, including Va.” (October 11), has had a noticeable impact on many residents of Roanoke, the New River Valley, and beyond. According to a 2016 publication by the EPA, Virginia’s climate has warmed by about one degree within the past century and continues to increase. This means that prolonged heat waves and droughts will, in all probability, become more common.
This rapid ebb and flow in weather conditions can make a person feel scared and helpless in the face of potentially worsening extremes. It is during this time of uncertainty that I remember the words of my favorite author, Octavia E. Butler: “All that you touch, you change. All that you change, changes you.” With her message in mind, I’ve started to look for ways to say something, to make a small impact, to write this letter and send a message of hope to those of us who feel like we can’t make a difference in a world in which so many things are out of our control.
Lately I’ve been discovering the steps I can take to help push our government toward effective climate change solutions. Through this process, I became involved with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and learned about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763), which, if passed, would create a carbon tax whose revenue would be distributed equally to citizens through a monthly dividend. This bill encourages a market shift toward renewable energy sources – resulting in an estimated 40% decrease in emissions in the first 12 years, and a 90% decrease by 2050 – and is supported by both Democrats and Republicans. If you support this bill, I urge you to call our 9th District Congressman, Morgan Griffith, at 202-225-3861, to ask him to become a co-sponsor.
As a millennial, my generation, as well as all future generations, will be profoundly impacted by the decisions we make today. I have hope that we can shape our changing world together.