Letter: Lewis, Kind, please join climate caucus together

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Like all of my neighbors reading about Harvey's devastating path through Texas, I have a strong desire to help our fellow Americans. There are so many good organizations mobilizing to help and we encourage everyone to step up and offer support if they are able to do so. We learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina, but not enough to protect the people of southeast Texas.

Disaster relief is important but does nothing to mitigate future events. Climate scientists predict that all of our coastal areas will experience more severe weather events more frequently than ever before. We need a bipartisan combination of approaches to protect these coastal communities. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will save taxpayers billions of dollars in the long run.

One of the first steps is supporting policy to address climate change. I urge Congressman Jason Lewis, R-Minn., and Congressman Ron Kind, D-Wisconsin, to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus. This caucus with 52 current members is so bipartisan that it requires members to join as pairs — one Republican and one Democrat. The carbon tax and dividend proposal is a conservative market based solution that can motivate and accelerate meaningful decreases in emissions contributing to climate change.

Please join us in asking our representatives to support current disaster relief and to fund future mitigation efforts that take climate change and extreme weather events into account. As one Republican Louisiana congressman has said, "We're not going to get involved in that political argument, We're just going to concentrate on developing the best plan possible using the best science available." We can't afford not to act.

Peggy and Randy Decker

Cannon Falls