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Opinion: Why climate action must happen now
CLIMATE

There should be no doubt that Americans know we are in a climate crisis. Climate and environmental scientists have been warning us about this crisis for over 40 years! Many of us failed to believe the warning and since the problem didn’t affect us personally, we didn’t see a reason to act.

Now, climate is affecting us, our families and our communities in adverse ways. Our weather events are more severe and more frequent. The slight change in the Earth’s temperature, brought about by the burning of fossil fuels, is affecting our water and food supplies that are essential to our survival. That’s the bad news.

Now the good news! The Biden administration has passed three bills that will help us get out of this crisis. First, the Inflation Reduction Act grants $150 billion in permanent tax incentives to accelerate America’s move to renewable energy. Billions more will help to electrify America’s transportation system. There’s money for de-carbonizing heavy industry, as well as $60 billion for environmental justice programs. According to the best estimates, this legislation puts the United States on track to cut emissions 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and could generate as many as 9 million new jobs in the United States over the next decade.

In addition to that, the Biden administration has passed the first infrastructure bill in 60 years. It includes billions of dollars to upgrade our electric grid and to install EV charging stations around the country.  In addition, this administration passed the Chips bill, which allocates billions of dollars for research and development of the microchips needed to build electric cars and computers.

So, we are on the right track, but we need each citizen to also take action. The North Georgia Conservation Coalition hosted a community forum last week at the library in Dawsonville for the purpose of empowering citizens on ways they can help solve the climate crisis.  We have practical ideas on what every citizen can do to help reduce their carbon footprint. Please contact us if you want more information at ngcc2035@gmail.com.

Linda Ryan

Flowery Branch