The hurricane season is again upon us. Laura hit the Gulf Coast with life-threatening winds, ocean surges and rain, creating millions of dollars of damage.

Scientists say rapid intensification (turning typical hurricanes into severe ones) used to be rare but in recent years, more common. They have verified that since 1990, the frequency of Category 4 or 5 has doubled in the Atlantic Ocean.

What is the cause? We have a warmer planet.

Hurricanes draw energy from the ocean water and warmer water provides more energy. Warmer air can also carry more water, increasing rainfall and flooding. Similar logic holds for tornadoes and what was recently identified in Iowa as a derecho storm.

Fact: Storms will be more severe with a warmer planet.

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We haven’t done much to stop the earth from warming; in fact, it is warming at a faster rate than even 10 years ago. If unchecked, global warming will continue to produce more and more severe storms, causing more loss of life and destruction of property. Many say some inhabited areas will become unlivable.

A cause of global warming is increased greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. These pollutants capture the heat and prevent it from radiating out into space. The major contributor is our use of fossil fuels.

We can all take the blame as we drive cars, heat our homes and use electricity. Positive solutions have been developed with the use of solar, wind and thermal energy. However, we need to make the changeover into less polluting energy more rapid.

The House introduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763.Bipartisan and co-sponsored by 81 House members, it would put a fee at the source of the fossil fuel pollutant producer. That fee will increase costs to consumers, but the good news is that the government will return those fees to Americans in the form of a dividend on an equal basis. It is estimated that low- and middle-income folks will actually benefit, creating an economic stimulus. Less polluting energy alternatives will become more desirable and innovation will flourish, reducing costs further and reducing climate change pollution.

HR 763 needs your help. Call your representatives in Congress and tell them that climate change is a major issue for you.

Rep. Tom Tiffany, 202-225-3365,

Sen. Ron Johnson, 202-224-5323,

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, 202-224-5653

Do it for your children and grandchildren. They deserve a livable planet.

Michael Pesko

Rice Lake