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Photo courtesy of FBI.gov. Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston on August 27, 2017 to aid residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Texas Army National Guard photo)

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: A Wake-up Call

We sympathize with all those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We, as a nation, should do everything in our power to ensure speedy recovery. However, it will be tragic if we stopped there. We need to address the root cause of increased frequency and intensity of such events – climate change. Some have labeled such call at this time opportunistic, we believe it is being realistic. Combating climate change should be considered a part of national defense.

Many people are wondering what they can do to impact climate change. We suggest a four-prong approach: (1) conserve energy, (2) maximize the use of renewable energy sources, e.g., drive hybrid or electric cars, buy electric energy from companies with maximum renewable content, install rooftop solar panels to meet your household energy needs, etc., (3) learn as much as you can so that you can calmly counter the shouting of climate change deniers with facts, and (4) write to your congressmen and/or visit their offices to let them know that you care about climate and demand action.

The feasible solutions to combat climate change exist, e.g., proposal by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Conservative Carbon Dividends plan, based on carbon fee and dividend approach. These solutions are economically fair and potentially effective. Interestingly, they are also gaining some momentum in the congress.

Doing nothing about climate change is not an option. We urge all to do the right thing with a sense of urgency. 

Pawan and Susan Handa                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

About Pawan Handa

Pawan Handa recently retired from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company after holding several R&D leadership positions. He lives in Fairlawn, Ohio and his current interests include strategic planning, next-gen workforce, math education and climate change. He is an avid international traveler and enjoys learning about different cultures.

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