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Letter: California wildfires underscore need for climate legislation

Smoke from wildfires in California hangs in the air over the Salt Lake Valley on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

What happens in California doesn’t stay in California. The evidence? A smoky cloud in our valley filling our lungs from two of the three largest wildfires in California’s history. Why is this happening? “Climate change is super charging our wildfires in the West,” says University of Utah Professor William Anderegg.

Despite a pandemic, job losses, diminished feelings of safety and reduced economic security, American concerns about our natural environment and public support for protecting the environment are alive.

The Climate Insights 2020 survey provides a glimpse into American thinking during this unprecedented time in our history. This survey reveals that the majority of Americans believe global warming is happening, poses a threat and requires action. And 74% of Americans believe climate change will moderately hurt future generations, while 3 out of 4 Americans have personally observed its effects.

We have sustainable solutions. Now we need the political will for legislation that puts us on the path to clean energy and livable, healthy communities.

Your civic duty and privilege to vote can be the action you take that opens paths to climate legislation and clears the air for all citizens. Will you join me and many Americans in voting for those who acknowledge our concerns and will work for the stewardship of our earth?

Karen Jackson

Salt Lake City