Letter: Harvey and Irma say 'wake-up!'

The two severe hurricanes in the last few weeks should remind us of what science has been telling us for years. The climate is warming due to the ever thickening blanket of CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere.

Increased ocean surface temperatures lead to increased atmospheric moisture. The latent heat of this warm moist air fuels more powerful and destructive hurricanes. Climate change associated sea level rise enhances the storm surge because baseline water levels are already closer overflowing. Combining these factors leads to an increased probability of catastrophic hurricanes.

If we want to effectively deal with this threat we need to shed ideological biases and look objectively at scientific information. There are solutions available with bipartisan appeal. A carbon fee and dividend, where a fee is placed on carbon fuels at the source and the proceeds distributed to American families on a per capita basis, would allow the free market to guide us to a low carbon future while stimulating the economy.

James McCoy

Iowa City

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