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To the editor:

I attended the town hall meeting with Mitt Romney but didn't get called upon. It was down to the last question and nobody had brought up climate. He picked a student in the back who asked Romney his thoughts on the climate emergency. "We better hope it's man-made," said Romney, meaning that, if de-stabilized climate is man-caused, the upside is it can have man-made solutions.

I think Mitt Romney, along with the rest of us, is beginning to comprehend the fix humanity is in with respect to greenhouse gas emissions. Earth is rapidly turning into an AIDS patient. Whamo. Another coral reef goes from color to black and white. Whamo. Whamo. Whamo. Invaders have launched an assault on our lifeboat, our life support system. The invaders are ourselves. The days of pretending we don't know what we are doing to ourselves are over.

I propose that fossil carbon is worth more as already sequestered carbon than the value of the energy we get out of it. What are the world's oil and coal reserves worth? $250 trillion? Are humans even capable of saying no to so much money even if it means our extinction? Meanwhile, though, at $24 trillion, an Astro Pro estimate for how much it would cost the USA to go 100% solar, we could harvest $250 trillion worth of energy over and over. As a bonus, we don't extinct ourselves. Our progeny might appreciate that.

It really comes down to character, an ability to choose the long haul over instant gratification. I don't see eye to eye with Mitt Romney on all the details but the important thing to me is he comes across as a man of character. He and the Citizens Climate Lobby agree on this much: 1. A market based solution is preferable to regulatory authority. 2. It has to be bipartisan. 3. For it to make it through our Congress, which is tough by design, your participation is required.

So many people for so long have thought something should be done about humanity's greenhouse gas emissions but there didn't seem to be anything that could be done. That has changed. There is something practical you can do now, which is to get behind HR763 within our Congress, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, and push.

It's appropriate that Mitt Romney chose that student over me. That young man has more skin in the game than I do. I will take Mitt Romney up on what he suggested and write him what I wanted to say: Thank you for helping us on this. How can we help you get solutions to the climate emergency through Congress?

Charles Ashurst