Letter to the Editor:

If huge snow and ice storms and severe cold weather occur, does it mean that there is no global warming? There is no human-caused climate change. Mother Nature cannot be manipulated, right?

It certainly feels that way this winter. But just because some of us have suffered through a particularly cold and snowy period doesn’t negate the fact that our globe is warming as we continue to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the warming we’ve seen since the late 19th century is unprecedented over the last 1,000 years.

Perhaps even more important is that ocean temperatures are increasing at a rate of 0.12 degrees centigrade per decade. While this doesn’t seem like much, this increase has a tremendous effect on climate because oceans cover approximately two-thirds of the earth’s surface. 

As a result of this climate change, more severe weather in the form of torrential rains, tornados, hurricanes, droughts and snow is occurring. Crops and livestock are being lost and ocean levels are rising. 

Can we stop global warming? Yes, we need to reduce our increasing use of fossil fuels that are pumping greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. 

To this end, a bill in congress, HR 763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, has been introduced on a bipartisan basis. Republicans and Democrats are working together. The bill calls for a fee on carbon with the resulting money being paid back to the citizens in the form of a dividend. When enacted, this bill will be beneficial for the economy and revenue neutral. A complete summary of the bill can be found at citizensclimatelobby.org.

It is time to act. Call Rep. Sean Duffy at (202) 225-3365, Sens. Tammy Baldwin at (202) 224-5653 and Ron Johnson at (202) 224-5323, and urge them to support this legislation. 

Patricia Pesko

Rice Lake