The Maine Sunday Telegram recently published a Washington Post article with a headline that pointed out: “Nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster this summer.” It was on Page A2 but should have been on Page A1, as it reported that 388 people in the United States died of weather events so far this year.

Now that so many Americans are experiencing these disasters because of climate change, we need to demand that our legislators deal with this crisis.

President Biden is trying to do that with his reconciliation bill, which contains plans to slow down climate change. We need 51 senators to pass this, but Sen. Joe Manchin says that we cannot afford to spend the $3.5 trillion.

Actually, we cannot afford to not do this. Sen. Manchin does not seem to understand that this amount will be spent over 10 years and that our GDP for 2021 is estimated to be $23 trillion.

The billions we are spending to recover from these extreme weather events increases every year and will continue to increase if we do not act.

In the first six months of this year, there have been eight weather-climate disasters that have each cost more than $1 billion. You probably noticed the disasters in the past six weeks.

Please ask Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to support the reconciliation bill and to also advocate for a price on carbon. The time to act is now. My request for the Press Herald/Telegram is that they put more of these important climate articles on the front page.

Nancy Hasenfus, M.D.