The Midwest is not immune to climate change

As our Illinois climate continues to warm, we’ll see even more extreme rain events.

SHARE The Midwest is not immune to climate change
People ride bikes on the Lakefront Trail during record high temperatures for Chicago on the day after Christmas, Thursday afternoon, Dec. 26, 2019.

People ride bikes on the Lakefront Trail during record high temperatures for Chicago on the day after Christmas.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

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.

SEND LETTERS TO:letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

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

The Latest
“That’s where you build fandom, grow revenue, and that’s where all the players will benefit versus adding a roster spot here and there.”
Reflecting on one of the most iconic photos of his presidency, former President Obama said, “I think this picture embodied one of the hopes that I had when I first started running for office.”
Four cities bid for the 2024 Democratic convention by the Friday deadline: Chicago, New York, Houston and Atlanta.
The Alpha and Delta variant waves left 342 Chicagoans dead in less vaccinated parts of the city. That toll could have been 75% lower if more people had been inoculated, University of Chicago Medicine researchers found.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn was authorized by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to open talks with Democrats to “negotiate the possibility of gun legislation that will spare us the tragedies we’ve seen,” Sen. Dick Durbin said.