I applaud The Astorian for its coverage of climate change. Left unchecked, it will upend our economy, as documented in the fourth National Climate Assessment.
Impacts can be seen outside of a scientific report. In 2015, abnormally high ocean and air temperatures in the Pacific Northwest offered a preview of a future climate. Farmers, fishermen and foresters were confronted with a low snowpack, drought, toxic algae blooms and two million acres of forest fires.
I want to clarify a detail in the June 8 editorial "Our View: Cap and trade bill would be disastrous." The editorial says Oregon would be the second state with a cap and trade program. Oregon would actually be the eleventh.
In 2009, nine eastern states formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), an interstate cap and trade program. New Jersey is in the process of joining.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the industries covered by the RGGI program have fallen by 40 percent while that region experienced higher economic growth than the rest of the nation.
These states are acting because the federal government has failed to address climate change.
A bipartisan bill in Congress — HR 763 — offers a national solution. Funds raised from the largest greenhouse gas emitters would be redistributed in a monthly dividend check to American families. Based on the June 8 editorial, The Astorian might support this bill.
But without nationwide action, Oregon needs to join in the fight. We can’t afford to let 2015 become the new normal.