There’s no doubt climate change is real and that it is man-made.

The questions are should we change, can we change and will we change? Not all the fires raging across the country are man-made, and Hurricane Laura wasn’t man-made, but fires and hurricanes are intensified by climate change.

We should change, and we can change. Individual acts like gardens, eliminating plastic waste, using reusable energy and electric cars are important. But that’s not sufficient. The biggest cause of human-induced climate change is carbon emissions. You can pick your target: cars, airplanes, cruise ships and cargo ships, the military (one of the biggest polluters on the planet), the oil companies or the government. Carbon emissions have to go.

If we don’t change, fires, hurricanes, floods, droughts — and the loss of cropland caused by all of these — will intensify every year. If we continue to chop down old-growth forests — one of the best natural defenses against fires — increasingly hot and deadly fires will continue.

If and only if we eliminate carbon emissions do we have a chance of providing a livable planet for future generations.

Bill Dole, Olympia