Like President Trump, I’ve often joked during a cold snap that “we could use a little bit of that good old global warming.” Our little joke, however, overlooks two key facts.

First, weather is not climate. Weather happens day to day. Climate represents long-term patterns. A warming climate doesn’t mean we’ll always have warm weather. Cold weather — even record cold — will still happen. That doesn’t mean the earth isn’t warming. Despite the bone-chilling temperatures in New York on New Year’s Eve, this past year will still be one of the Earth’s warmest on record.

Second, climate change doesn’t just mean warming. We may also see other changes, including more intense storms, more or less rainfall, or a shifting jet stream. Any given location may experience one or more of these changes. Not every place will get warmer; some could even get colder. All of these potential changes threaten human prosperity, health, security, and food production.

We need to protect ourselves from climate change —whatever form it takes. The carbon tax and dividend proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a positive step; it would reduce risk while also spurring economic growth. Write your members of Congress and ask them to support a carbon fee and dividend. Learn more at https://citizensclimatelobby.org/.

Teresa Welch

Corvallis (Jan. 1)

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