This paper published an excellent Washington Post article Dec. 30, headlined “2020 took U.S. to punishing new weather extremes” (Page A12). It outlines how extreme weather cost the USA $100 billion in 2020 and how people and meteorologists breathed a sigh of relief at the end of 2020.

The reporters’ descriptions of the Atlantic hurricane season having 2½ times the usual number of hurricanes and of the incredible fires in the West are moving. They explain that thunderstorms and tornadoes were the most expensive weather events in the Lower 48 states.

It is a great article, but the idea that we can breathe a sigh of relief is plain wrong.

The increasing intensity of the weather results from the warming of the oceans, and it is getting worse. We need national legislation to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide, and the carbon cashback approach is considered by many economists and scientists to be the most effective first step.

The Maine Climate Council’s plan is impressive, but since Maine produces 0.3 percent of the greenhouse gases in the U.S., it will not save us. Please tell Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden to pass a carbon cashback bill soon. This will put a fee on fossil fuels and give you a monthly check to cover the increased fuel costs and stimulate renewables. The carbon cashback approach will help middle- and low-income people financially by more than covering the change in fuel prices. Call your lawmakers now, because the weather is getting worse.

Nancy Hasenfus Brunswick