There is an answer to the Jan. 7 Daily Progress letter “Climate panic is needlessly frightening.”

We can deal with the reality of climate change and not cause young people extreme anxiety. We do not need to avoid talking to them about what is happening to the earth.

Kids’ climate anxiety is caused by adults not doing anything practical to reduce carbon emissions and slow down climate change. We must act to help them. Children are writing letters, organizing marches, giving speeches, spreading the word. It helps their fear to do these things and, hopefully, has an impact on those in power.

What is really needed is for adults to stop denying the crisis and choose instead to exert political pressure. If not, our children will deal with changes they did not choose: worse storms, floods, fires and potentially millions of climate refugees.

Turning the heat down or riding a bike is useful conservation, but how likely is it that everyone is suddenly going to conserve energy because they hear it’s a good idea?

We need global solutions to a global problem. The U.S. can be a leader if we can convince Congress that the American people want action on climate change.

There is a practical solution known as carbon fee and dividend. If HR 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is passed, it will put a steadily rising fee on carbon at its source with a border adjustment for anything imported from countries that don’t have a fee, and all the money will be given as dividend checks to the American people.

Young people can take part by sending postcards or emails to their representative (Rep. Denver Riggleman, here in the 5th District).

But it should lessen the fear and anxiety children feel about their future if we can tell them that we adults recognize the problem and are fighting hard to solve it. There is hope to avoid the worst of climate change, but not if we sit on our hands.

Bonnie J. Redding

Fluvanna County


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