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Letter: Weather events prove we need to take action on climate change
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In 2015, we saw record severe rainfall events in the U.S. as well as a record-setting year for wildfires. Each of the last 16 months has set a record for the hottest month ever recorded in history. We had Hurricane Sandy go straight up the coast in 2012 with devastating results. Now we have had two hurricanes this year travel directly up the coast. Matthew has been disastrous.

Sea levels continue to rise at an increasing pace, and coastal flooding during high tides is becoming epidemic. We have had terrible droughts in California, Texas and even in Georgia, and the southwestern U.S. is in the midst of a decadeslong severe drought.

Something is fundamentally changing about our climate. How long can we deny climate change without incurring even ever increasing disasters? It is time for us to wake up!

Fortunately, now we have the means to combat climate change while actually stimulating the economy. Investing in clean energy such as solar and wind can help lead America into a new era of greatness, for it would create millions of new, good paying jobs.

One innovative, conservative idea is Citizens Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend plan, which would place a fair price on the external costs of fossil fuels and refund all of the money to us, the citizens. This would allow the free market to take over, create millions of new jobs, and reduce greenhouse gases by 52 percent over a 20 year period. During a time of divisiveness, this is one idea that we can all come together on.

Conservative, effective, market-driven and jobs producing — a great combination!

Vernon Dixon
Hiawassee

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