Sen. Cory Gardner needs to show up to work on our behalf, act on climate change (letter) | VailDaily.com

Sen. Cory Gardner needs to show up to work on our behalf, act on climate change (letter)

Dear editor: A question brought to the forefront with several lawsuits now before the court is, who will pay for the impacts wrought by human-driven climate change? The question is on the mind of state governments facing huge wildfire-fighting costs and mitigations to address sea-level rise; of municipalities eying infrastructure damage from floods; of farmers facing widespread loss of crops from drought; and on the minds of a bone-dry Southwest facing a dwindling, over-allocated Colorado River system, with tens of millions of people and billions of dollars' worth of agriculture dependent on its flows.

And while the answer to that question may be left to courts to decide, the costs won't lessen if we ponder too long. The fact is we need to act now, boldly and decisively. We need to address the root causes of the climate crisis — burning fossil fuels to power our society. We need leadership from our elected officials. And while Sen. Michael Bennet has stepped up, his counterpart, Sen. Cory Gardner, has been mostly silent on the issue.

Even as the southwestern corner of the state faces an extreme drought of historic proportion, Gardner can hardly be found. In charge of raising money for the D.C.-based National Republican Senate Committee, our senator seems too busy chasing after donors and not looking for solutions to this crisis bearing down on his constituents.

If Coloradans think our elected leaders should spend more time representing Coloradans, and less time courting big-dollar donors to prop up a political party in Washington, D.C., then please call Cory Gardner and tell him its time he shows up to work on our behalf. That it is time to act on climate change.

Pete Kolbenschlag

Paonia