Maine needs representatives in Washington who take climate change seriously

The vast destruction caused by Hurricane Florence should focus our minds on the power of nature, the reality of climate change, and what our elected officials have and have not done to address the climate threat.

Florence was bigger, wetter, slower and more harmful because of climate change. The science on this is clear. Warming oceans are creating supercharged hurricanes with destructive powers and record-breaking rains that cause more damage and deaths.

And it’s not just Florence. Heat waves, floods, and wildfires also are more frequent and destructive because of climate change, and the increasing human footprint is putting more of us in harm’s way.

Here in Maine, July was the hottest month on record for Caribou, and August was one of the warmest months ever for the Gulf of Maine, already one of the fastest warming water bodies in the world. We’re now seeing heat waves in our oceans and the arrival in Maine waters of squid, black sea bass and even seahorse normally found farther south.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently warned that we may be approaching a point of “runaway” global warming. Ivan Fernandez, a top scientist at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, says