We have a historic, but short, window of opportunity to pass legislation that will curb heat-trapping emissions and protect Illinois from the worst effects of global warming. If global warming emissions continue unabated, heat waves of historic proportions are projected to become routine in Illinois. For instance, on average Chicago will experience 30 days per year at 100 degrees or more, compared to the historical baseline of just two days per year.

Already, heavy rains are occurring about twice as frequently as they did a century ago, increasing the risk of flooding. If action is not taken to curb global warming emissions, average spring and winter rainfall could increase by 30 percent, while average summer rainfall would decrease 15 percent. Close to 67 percent of Illinois’ acreage is devoted to cropland. If action is not taken to reduce global warming emissions, the changes to Illinois’ precipitation and heat patterns will have profound effects on the agriculture industry in the state.

I urge senators Roland Burris and Richard Durbin to help protect Illinois from the worst effects of global warming by swiftly passing comprehensive, science-based climate and energy legislation through Congress this fall.

Marie Perkins
Oak Park

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