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Interstate 29 flooding

Missouri River floodwaters cover Interstate 680 between I-29 and the bridge to Omaha in June.

If I understood Richard Edwards and Peter Longo correctly ("Let’s be productive, proactive on climate," July 23), Americans like me don’t have to give up a thing to fight climate change.

I can still travel anywhere I want, eat meat three times a day and shop till I drop. Scientists and governmental leaders just need to get their acts together, push a few buttons and sign a few agreements, and we can all just keep going about our high-consumption lifestyles. Any talk about a “dystopian” future with austerity and sacrifice is "nonsense."

Except it isn’t. Checked out the lives of our fellow Puerto Rican citizens lately? Or the people of Syria and Yemen fighting over food and water? Or burned-out Paradise, California? Or our farming neighbors recovering from the Missouri River flooding?

Social and economic disruption from climate change is already here. All over the world, people are already losing their homes, losing their livelihoods and losing their lives.

Pretending, as Edwards and Longo do, that we in America can just carry on with our high-carbon lifestyles as if nothing is happening around us is downright mean. People all over the world are already suffering from climate disruption, and yet all these two academics can do is defend our wasteful consumer lifestyles and urge us to increase our already record-setting carbon footprints.

That's exactly the kind of short-sighted, nonsensical thinking that’s going to push us right into the dystopia at which they’re now scoffing.

Brittany Cooper, Lincoln

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