I am writing to express my concern about global warming and to urge you to pursue responsible, state-based solutions to this mostly human-caused problem. Specifically, I would like your support for legislation that seeks to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, from our vehicles, power plants, industries, and forest and land-use practices.
While I realize these are uncertain economic times, it is nonetheless sound and prudent management to begin today to reduce the severity of the problem -- rather than defer action and leave a much bigger and more expensive problem for our children. Furthermore, developing clean energy and transportation solutions can create new economic opportunities and jobs for our state.
A recent study authored by some of our region’s top scientists, Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region, found that climate change will likely lead to significantly higher temperatures in our state, as well as more extreme downpours with longer dry periods in between, lower water levels, and the northward march of plants and animals that could worsen our existing problems with invasive species. With summer heat expected to increase 5 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit this century, we are likely to see more heat-related deaths and increased production of ground-level ozone, which reduces air quality and exacerbates respiratory diseases. In addition, agriculture -- an economic cornerstone of our state -- is threatened by the changing climate.
Governor, please protect our ecological heritage and economic base by taking steps to reduce heat-trapping emissions from our power plants and vehicles. I look forward to hearing your plans for a climate-smart strategy for our state, and I hope you will raise this issue with your fellow governors in other Great Lakes states.