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Vote to solve climate change

Change just two letters in Bob Dylan’s song, and his prophetic words ring true for our times: “ … for the climes they are a changin’.” The reality of climate change resulting from rising levels of greenhouse gases caused by human activity is recognized as a life-imperiling issue by all but the most obdurate. And this denial by some and inaction by too many will inevitably make today’s problems far worse.

Political pundits speak of “one-issue candidates,” and politicians are sometimes criticized for being exactly that. Yet there is one priority that should be foremost in the mind of every person seeking to represent and serve us in public office. That single issue is to undertake policy measures that will slow and reduce greenhouse gases over time. This will be for me and I believe for more and more voters the “acid test” for giving any office-seeker our support.

Voters in the 7th Congressional District have an opportunity to make their voices heard on this issue in the upcoming primary and general elections. Again this year, the House may consider a resolution introduced by Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana opposing any kind of “carbon taxes” and perhaps blocking other more creative approaches, such as a “carbon fee and dividend” as proposed by the Citizens Climate Lobby.

I urge anyone who recognizes the severity of the problem to ask our Rep. Sean Duffy to not only oppose this resolution, but to take a leadership role in formulating economically sound policies to reduce greenhouse gases. A first step might be for him to immediately join the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. Of course, we voters should apply the same “acid test” to all Democratic candidates running in the primary this August.

As Americans know from our history, when the “times” change, we too can change and adapt to new circumstances. Within our own lifetimes, we’ve seen this most notably in regard to civil rights African-Americans and the role of women. The issue for our times, clearly, is of no lesser importance. The future health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants. Future generations will judge us by how well we mobilize to meet this challenge.

Robert Schlack,

Bayfield, Wis.

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