Hurricane Dorian and its aftermath have recently dominated the news. As our climate warms, scientists predict we can expect more powerful and frequent storms. In very simplistic terms, more heat means more energy and that produces greater frequency and storm strength. Our local climate is warming as well, and we can expect and have already experienced more tornadoes and torrential rains with damaging floods.
Dr. Victor Gensini, a meteorologist from the University of Northern Illinois, researches tornado trends across the U.S. On average, Wisconsin gets 23 touchdowns per year, which is about five more than we got in the 1970s. In 2018, Wisconsin recorded 32 touchdowns.
Five-hundred-year floods are becoming more common; just ask officials from Bayfield and Ashland counties. They have had two in the last decade with devastating effects on their infrastructure.
Sadly, the known solution to this problem is not being addressed by our government. It is well-known that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, the majority of which come from the burning of fossil fuels. We can slow and eventually reverse this warming by reducing carbon emissions. Some forward-thinking members of Congress have introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This is a bipartisan effort which has support from both conservatives and liberals. The revenue generated is sent back to each household to shield most families from the economic impact of the carbon fee. It will create jobs and is good for the economy and revenue neutral. Unfortunately, not all members of Congress are on board.
Obviously, “Big Oil” and coal are against this bill and are lobbying hard to suppress it. They stand to lose billions in revenue when alternative forms of energy are further developed and become mainstream. They also stand to lose billions in corporate welfare subsidies.
I encourage you to send your representatives in Congress a message that we can reduce damaging hurricanes, storms and tornadoes by supporting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Tell them not to listen to Big Oil. Call, email or write Sen. Ron Johnson (202-224-5323) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (202-224-5653). Both have websites and email addresses. As Congressman Duffy has resigned, let us elect someone that has an environmental conscience and will address climate change as a top priority.