To the editor:
I am writing in response to the report on the Zika virus case in Ohio. The young woman contracted the virus while visiting Haiti, where the mosquito which harbors and transmits the Zika virus is widespread. Its range includes most of South and Central America. Women in Brazil who have been bitten and infected have given birth to infants with small heads and underdeveloped brains. In Brazil alone, close to 4,000 such infants have been born.
The Aedes mosquito already dwells in the southern United States. As the climate warms, its range will move north. If the U.S. population of the mosquito becomes infected with Zika, pregnant American women will be at risk. WHO has published its concerns in this regard.
This focuses the imperative that the world, including the U.S., act on carbon emissions and global warming.
Fortunately, two congressmen, Republican (Carlos) Curbelo and Democrat (Ted) Deutch, both from Florida, have created the bipartisan “Climate Solutions” caucus. Republican Congressman (Chris) Gibson has already introduced a resolution, signed onto by 13 other representatives from both parties.
One of the approaches they will consider is a carbon fee. This is the plan favored by the grassroots Citizens Climate Lobby and several conservative economists, including George Schultz and Henry Paulson, who both served Republican presidents. This ideal, revenue-neutral approach collects the fees and returns them to American households, thus rewarding us for conserving energy.
The time to act is now.
Dr. Alice Frazier