A young conservative's concern for the climate

Updated 1/17/2022 8:31 PM

Thank you for your recent article expressing your commitment to cover the local impacts of climate change here in Chicagoland. Titles about the effects of climate on our infrastructure and health here in Chicagoland are of particular interest.

Having read the IPCC's 6th report, I am concerned about what the highest world surface air temperature warming scenarios (a projected increase of 2.4 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2081 compared to 1850-1950 levels) could mean for those of us in Chicago's suburbs in terms of food availability and the health of our people. Young conservative readers like me care about how climate change will affect the ecosystems and the people of our region.


Growing seasons in the United States are 13 days longer in 2021 compared to the long-term historical average. We are concerned about how changes in growing seasons will affect food availability and prices in our suburbs.

We are also concerned at how bigger temperature swings could affect the people we care about. In 1995, an extreme heat wave hit Chicago that left 700 people dead. The "intensity of heat waves in Chicago are likely to increase substantially," which could mean more people, especially our vulnerable populations like the elderly, are at risk of heat-related death.

As a young conservative, I am looking forward to reading about the coordinated actions our Senators take to curb the carbon emissions that are causing climate change. One method I'd urge our Senators Duckworth and Durbin to support is a "carbon fee and dividend," which incentivizes producers to make reliable energy even as they are incentivized to reduce carbon emissions, all with little net change to our individual budgets.

I look forward to reading more stories on this important issue.

Paul Steenwyk


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