Ten years ago, I thought, “I will not see the effects of climate change in my lifetime." Now I see I was naïve.

Extreme weather is affecting us now. Near us, Lake Superior is changing. We see fewer days of ice, higher lake temperatures and even algae blooms where there were none before.

I lost almost 30 acres of forest land when banks slumped into the Marengo River because of the 2016 and 2018 500+ year floods. Most of the sediment from those slumps was carried downstream, affecting neighbors by raising the stream bed and washing away good trout habitat. We all lose something with these kind of extreme weather events.

My family saw stark weather on our annual hunting trip to North Dakota this fall. The extreme drought caused the grass to crunch under our feet. Pasture and hay grass barely grew, causing our rancher friend to sell half his herd. And we choked on smoke from western and northern wildfires.

Yikes! What can we do to lessen the future effects of climate change so our grandchildren are not paying the price?

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I think we all need to take personal responsibility for this, doing simple things like supporting local agriculture and gradually changing to renewable energy.

But I think we also need to push our state and federal lawmakers to pass legislation that will help us take responsibility. I personally would like to see a carbon tax that provides monthly dividends to all households.

There are many other options, such as increasing funding to adapt our roads and highways so they won’t wash out from extreme storms. Remember the Highway 2 washout on Fish Creek in 2018? Taxpayers paid to replace the bridge.

Please help however you can to give our children and grandchildren better hope for their future.

Pam Dryer,

Mason