As a kid, I imagined New York City's Statue of Liberty, Empire State building, and Broadway! I imagined skiing at Lake Tahoe and dreamed of seeing Dolly Parton on stage in Nashville, Tenn. New Orleans meant Mardi Gras and jazz by amazing local soul musicians. And I was lucky to do more than imagine Minnesota's famed 10,000 lakes as I hiked its beautiful northern forests.

How things have changed! New York City's big news is flooding from Hurricane Ida, people drowning in their own basement apartments. More than 218,489 acres have been burned in the Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe. Flooding near Nashville took out houses, roads, cellphone towers and telephone lines, with rainfall that more than tripled forecasts and shattered the state record for one-day rainfall. More than 270 homes were destroyed. At least 20 people lost their lives. New Orleans and the Gulf area faced yet another devastating hurricane. Ida was the second most damaging hurricane to strike Louisiana. And Minnesota's lake country has been shrouded in smoke much from Canadian wildfires.

It's time for our leaders to acknowledge the role humans have played in creating these problems. We must assume an active role to help shape a better, more livable future for our grandchildren and all the world's children. As songwriter Carrie Newcomer puts it - “If not now, tell me when!”

A tax on carbon would be a major step in the right direction. Right now legislators are working on a Reconciliation Bill in order to pass a budget. It's important that the bill include legislation to significantly address climate change, and your voice can make a difference. You can learn more about this through a newly forming chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. It's hosting a virtual event at 10 a.m. Oct. 9 featuring well known climatologist and meteorologist Mark Seeley. Register for this free event:

Imagine for the sake of the world!

Linda Nordby Simpson


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