Vulnerable to climate change

To the editor:

The Copper Country is particularly vulnerable to climate change effects. Forest Service and Michigan Tech research shows that our local forests, so important to our economy, culture, and ecology, will be weakened by climate change, particularly sugar maples.

Our many small, impoverished communities will struggle to adapt to increasingly frequent storm events, such as flooding, that damage infrastructure.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s requested federal budget removes many federal climate change-related protections. It cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by several billion dollars reducing its ability to implement climate change programs and policies. It cuts the EPA’s enforcement budget by 40 percent, greatly reducing its ability to protect the American public from climate change.

It terminates Great Lakes cleanup programs making our lakes that much more vulnerable to climate change-related impacts.

He requests the elimination of many Department of Energy programs, such as the consumer-oriented Energy Star program that helps us buy efficient appliances, that will stop us from preventing catastrophic climate change.

Probably even more importantly, he has slashed climate change research budgets throughout federal agencies. This removes our ability to understand climate change impacts and solutions.

How can we protect ourselves from this serious problem if we don’t understand it? This budget would keep us from protecting our beloved local region’s economy, ecology, and culture.

Please join me in communicating your opposition to these measures to Rep. Jack Bergman and Senators Stabenow and Peters.

Kathy Halvorsen