Let’s get our priorities straight as we face the 2018 midterm elections. Our planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

With no changes in current efforts to curtail levels of greenhouse gas emissions and other sources of global warming, our planet could reach the crucial threshold of 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030.

The consequences of our failure to exercise long-term thinking and take appropriate action will include extreme drought, wildfires, catastrophic flooding and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people. Yet, most current polls, including the prestigious Pew Research Center, list the economy, immigration and health care (No. 1) as voters’ major concerns and priorities.

I live in a lovely house near Ocean Park, Washington, just 12 feet above sea level. As an octogenarian, I suspect I won’t live to experience the horrendous effects of our failure to adequately address climate change. But millennials certainly will — and they rank climate change as their number one concern.

It’s time we stopped listening to climate-change deniers and started listening to well-informed global citizens like Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, James E. Hansen and a host of noteworthy scientists who urge us to hold a new conversation about climate change, and do something about it.

Robert Brake

Ocean Park, Washington

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