Opinion: I hope our elected leaders hear climate change concerns

I’ve just attended Juneau’s Innovation Summit. It just might have restored my hope for the future. One of this year’s Summit topics was “Business in a Changing Climate.”

As a long-time climate change action volunteer, it was amazing and gratifying to see and hear from so many Alaska businesses talking openly and candidly about climate change, its many (mostly) negative effects on their businesses and their efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. I did not see or hear a single person or business shy away from or deny climate change, it’s potential to affect people and business, or its tie to burning of fossil fuels. Indeed, I kept wishing Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young were there to see how concerned Alaska’s business people are about climate change!

Sadly, few of the 60 business people I spoke to knew there was an economics-based solution in Congress now that could build our economy, spark innovation, improve health and save lives and reduce CO2 emissions by 40% in the first 12 years. But they, and you, know now. It is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763, and it is like an America-wide PFD.

Sometimes we think climate change is a partisan issue. This conference reminded me, it is not a partisan or even a bi-partisan issue…it’s an “All hands on deck!” issue.

Our congressional delegation needs to get behind the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act to protect Alaska’s businesses and economy.

Michelle Putz,

Sitka

• Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.