Future uncertain due to climate change

No, the 2020 election should not be about the Robert Mueller report, but yes, it should be a referendum on the economy — the economies in 2030, 2040 and 2050. Future economies will depend on clean air, clean water and clean power, and forging environmental policy to mitigate human-caused climate change. Imagine June 2040, headlines pursuant to current policy:

• Dow drops another 500 points after four straight years of weather-related agricultural disasters; workers cashing in 401(k)s.

• Pressure mounts to accept several hundred thousand immigrants as southeast Asia cities drift into the ocean and worldwide drought and famine prevail.

• Middle East erupts in conflict over water resources; U.S. reinstates the draft as troop needs cannot be met.

• Another major health care provider pulls out of private insurance markets as public health costs skyrocket.

• The interest on the national debt is more than all other spending combined.

We do not need to be destined to read these stories. H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is a bill pending in the house which could begin to address issues and could garner bipartisan support. Why not make climate issues a common cause? Make climate debate not if something must be done but how to best get it done.

The 75th anniversary of D-Day was a reminder of a nation united in sacrifice to battle for a threatened world. Absent similar unity and action on climate, there is a high risk some of those 2040 headlines will come true. They foretell not only a high economic cost but heartbreaking human cost.

Steven Reusser

Eau Claire