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Reader: We're officially on climate watch 

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On Nov. 23, the U.S. Global Change Research Program — a group of 13 federal agencies — released the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) as mandated by Congress. The findings are dire and the world's leading climate scientists say 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 between 1901 and 2016, the average annual temperature of the American Southwest (including Colorado) has increased 1.6 degrees, 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.

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 Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner has aligned himself with President Trump's agenda of climate inaction. 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 Sen. Gardner to stand up to the president and express his support for the findings of NCA4.

— Megan Thompson


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