Matt Tucker: Heat waves, climate change and wildfires … Oh my!
The heat we are experiencing, while not nearly as record breaking as what the Northwest is currently enduring, is a reminder that climate change is not some future threat but is happening NOW. The serious consequence of this heat: It compounds the wildfire danger of the drought by drying out our vegetation and soil. Meanwhile, the entire Southwest United States (including the Tahoe region) is in the grip of a multiyear mega drought that has dramatically increased the risk of wildfire. Of course, we’re all concerned about the risk of wildfire to our community, and ourselves but even if disaster doesn’t strike our immediate vicinity this year, we will almost certainly experience a far worse than normal smoke season. Not only does this limit our ability to enjoy the outdoor recreation activities that many of us moved to Tahoe/Truckee for, it detrimentally affects the health of the young, the old and those of us with breathing issues, and also reduces tourist visitation, directly impacting local businesses. The good news is that there is a practical solution to climate change. Putting a federal price on carbon at the source and returning the revenue to households in the form of a dividend would quickly reduce our country’s carbon emissions, create jobs, improve the economy and save lives from air pollution – not only the pollution resulting from the burning of fossil fuels but also by reducing the risk of wildfire and the associated smoke. Please consider writing or calling your senators and congressperson today to ask them to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act HR2307 — which would do just that!
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I am opposed to the implementation of the Truckee Vegetation Management Project. It does not adhere to fire science, town sustainability goals, or modern planning. We must preserve some mature street-adjacent trees for heat mitigation,…