Readers respond: We can’t afford climate change

Within the flurry of election news, The Oregonian/OregonLive published “Why megastorms will become more common, according to science” on Nov. 8, covering impending “megafloods” that may soon endanger the Pacific Northwest. This is another reminder of how we are bankrupting our future by continuing to use fossil fuels. The Science Advances study highlighted in the article estimates $1 trillion in damages from a megaflood scenario modeled in California in 2010. We are already realizing these costs closer to home. The federal government created $422 million in block grant funding to rebuild from the Labor Day 2020 fires. This is just part of the real costs of those fires: the burning of 2,800 structures, destruction of four Oregon towns, evacuation of 40,000 people, and the deaths of 11 individuals. As the elections close, let’s encourage our newly elected officials to do what makes economic sense: pass substantial climate legislation and pass it now. That means holding our Oregon legislature and governor to the commitments laid out in HB2021, promising 100% renewable energy by 2040. Our newly minted federal representatives need to go further to reign in America’s costly carbon pollution. Our current federal representatives can do more this year by passing the Growing Climate Solutions bill through the U.S. House and into law. The bottom line is that we can’t afford to keep polluting. Not only will passing climate legislation save our future economy, it will save the lives of Oregonians as well.

Dylan Hinson, Portland

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