Thanks for your article “Warm-up Wake-up Call” [Chicago Sun-Times, Dec. 30]. We often think of climate change as a problem impacting the U.S. coasts. But this article highlights that there are downsides that go well beyond pleasant spring-like weather enjoyed during Christmas.
As our Illinois climate continues to warm, we’ll see even more extreme rain events in the spring and much hotter and drier summers. The economic impacts will include crop yield loss, expensive infrastructure investment to handle increased storm water run-off, and Lake Michigan water degradation. The health impacts will result from poorer air quality from increased smog and increased incidents in tick-borne disease.
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Verified by the research of 14 Midwest universities, these are our “costs of doing nothing.” The “something” we can do is to call or write our congressional representatives to act by putting a price on the carbon emissions that are warming our climate. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763) that prices carbon emissions without harming the economy, jobs or consumers. Acting now will reduce costs and increase quality of life later.
Andrew Panelli, Homer Glen
In 2020, fight poverty
In 2020, the United States must unveil a national plan to combat poverty. It is an issue that few people or leaders discuss. This legislative package must include provisions that crack down on predatory lending, tax cuts and incentives for those struggling most, and a public option on the health insurance market. These three proposals will help the poorest Americans and raise the standard of living for us all.
As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all ships. It will lower the cost of living on multiple fronts for a vast majority of the American people. There is no way our nation can attain prosperity, health and strength if we leave half of the nation behind. Congress must get to work before one more man, woman or child suffers unnecessary damage. These three proposals will lift our economy and provide our people much-needed hope. This is the best New Year’s gift we could give the American people. We have the power to soar toward better days.
Henry J.H. Wilson, Barrington