An icy Blue Hill Harbor sits in front of the town's wastewater treatment facility. Credit: Ethan Genter

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Living on the coast of Maine as a student at Bowdoin College, the New York Times’ Feb. 15 article that the sea level will rise a foot by 2050 no matter what we do is very alarming. Many effects of climate change are already locked in, but decisions we make now will make a huge difference in the more distant future. If we do not take effective action now, this first foot of sea level rise will be merely a puddle compared to the floods that will come.

On the brighter side, there is something we can do that will put us well on our way to meeting the most ambitious  climate goal of holding warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this century. Cash-back carbon pricing, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act in Congress, could reduce U.S. carbon emissions 90% by 2050 – nearly the net-zero that is needed – while simultaneously incentivizing the implementation of similar carbon pricing policies around the world through trade.

Maine citizens can take action today to protect our coastal communities. Please call or email the offices of Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, and Rep. Jared Golden to urge them to join Rep. Chellie Pingree in cosponsoring the Energy Innovation Act. Together we can make a difference!

Katharine Gage