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Letter: It's our responsibility to address climate change

Sen. Mathern writes, "I have joined state legislators across the United States calling on the federal government to strengthen our national climate commitments at COP26 (climate change conference) this week."

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Tim Mathern, Prairie Roots spokesperson, founding member, and board member since 2011. Special to The Forum

The Earth needs our help! In 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical calling for those who have contributed the most to climate change to do their part in restoring our world. As the largest historical contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has a moral and practical responsibility to reach net zero emissions by 2050. I have joined state legislators across the United States calling on the federal government to strengthen our national climate commitments at COP26 (climate change conference) this week.

We see firsthand the impacts of climate change in North Dakota. We face less predictable moisture, flooding and droughts. These threaten our waterways and farmland, and the livelihood of our communities. Just this week our legislative committees approved infrastructure spending in the millions of dollars, much related to climate change.

In these divisive times, there can be reluctance to cooperate, let alone collaborate, with those we rarely see eye-to-eye with. But as a public official who knows North Dakotans as people of faith, it is imperative to not let climate solutions be another wedge which divides us further. Rather, let us “work together in building our common home,” and commit to bold solutions today, to avoid an uninhabitable tomorrow.

Sen. Mathern represents Fargo's 11th District in the North Dakota Senate.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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