The lead news stories lately have been about record heat, drought and wildfires in the western U.S. and Canada, (who hasn't noticed the smoke smell, hazy skies and air quality alerts?) followed by stories of flooding in other parts of the country and world. These fires and floods are worsened by human-caused climate warming.

Burning coal, oil and natural gas releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it acts like a blanket, preventing heat from escaping into space. This added heat raises temperatures and speeds evaporation from water bodies, soils and plants, increasing the severity of droughts and wildfires. This evaporated water — combined with warmer air's ability to hold more moisture — contributes to torrential rains and flooding in other areas. Basically the water cycle is in overdrive.

This June was the hottest on record. But for our children, it will be one of the coolest in their lifetimes unless we rapidly reign in carbon dioxide pollution.

Scientists, economists and business groups all agree that putting a price on carbon is the single most effective policy for cutting carbon pollution at the scale and speed necessary.

Our senators should include this incredibly powerful tool in their upcoming reconciliation package and lead the world in reducing carbon pollution.

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Let our senators know you support a price on carbon pollution in the reconciliation package by using Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s online tool: cclusa.org/senate. It takes less than five minutes to help turn down the heat powering fires and floods.

Dan Herscher,

Birchwood