Editor:

On Nov. 23, the U.S. Global Change Research Program — a conglomerate of 13 federal agencies — released the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) as mandated by Congress. The findings of this assessment are dire and indicate that we only have a little over a decade to mitigate the most devastating effects of climate change. Now is the time for our elected officials to take immediate action in addressing climate change and President Trump’s blatant lies about this report.

The NCA4 shows that since 1920, the Western United States has warmed nearly 2 degrees fahrenheit, which should be especially alarming to Coloradans and our elected representatives. With this warming has come reduced snowpack, which makes wildfires more frequent and significantly impacts our economic growth as a state due to decreased tourism during the ski season.

Additionally, the farmers of our great state in particular have been severely affected by the conditions created by the intense drought of the last few years. If the effects of climate change continue to worsen, we could see drastic crop shortages and immense economic fallout.

Unfortunately it seems Senator Cory Gardner has aligned himself with President Trump’s agenda of climate inaction and dismissal. As an intern with the student-led group Defend Our Future, I believe it is the responsibility of all Colorado elected leaders to be forward thinking and protect our health and well being. It is time for Senator Gardner to stand up to the President and express his support for the findings of NCA4.

Megan Thompson

Denver