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Address root causes of worsening extreme weather Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Sep. 14, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

Last week’s article in the Catholic Herald highlights efforts to help victims of Hurricane Harvey as well as Bishop Morlino’s collection for Catholic Charities USA. These efforts are commendable.

Now Hurricane Irma has struck Florida. While prayers and relief are needed there as well, we must also recognize that these storms are unprecedented: Harvey unleashed over 50 inches of rain, while Irma’s maximum sustained winds were longer and stronger than any storm ever recorded on Earth. Records aren’t simply meant to be broken; warmer water and air are fueling bigger storms.

Aid after the fact is no longer enough. We must also address the root causes of extreme weather and inequities that cause the poor and vulnerable to suffer disproportionately. Catholic Charities USA and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledge the reality of human-caused climate change and have issued calls to action.

I invite you to join other Catholics in urging our elected officials to address this issue: call or write your members of Congress and ask them to join the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives and pass a revenue-neutral Carbon Fee and Dividend which creates jobs, saves lives, and reduces risk of future destructive storms.

Ryan O’Connor, Madison