Last week, Paul LePage’s campaign brushed off criticism of his anti-environment agenda by insisting that the “real problem” Maine’s governor should be focused on is the economy. There’s one problem with that argument—unchecked climate change presents an enormous threat to Maine’s economy. Just take it from these Maine businesspeople:

Alan Caron, Blue Loon Lakefront Homes: Climate change once seemed, to many of us, a distant and almost theoretical threat. Not so now. It is already lapping at our shores, invading our forests and taking up permanent residence in our weather reports. Eventually, it will affect every business in the state and prove to be the greatest threat to Maine’s economy since mechanization and global markets sped the decline of our rural areas and mills.

Bill Mook, Mook Sea Farm: Shellfish farms like mine are already at war with runaway greenhouse-gas emissions. To combat ocean acidification, we now buffer the seawater for larval cultures in our hatchery. To counter more intense storms and higher tides, we must overhaul mooring systems that hold millions of oysters in floating cages on our leases. To protect consumers from runoff-related bacterial pollution, we isolate harvested oysters in a land-based facility before big rainfall events. And to ensure consumer safety from Vibrio bacteria, which thrive in warm waters, we now harvest our oysters and move them to mechanical refrigeration within two hours. All of these countermeasures cost money—a lot of money. And we aren’t alone…By 2050, Maine’s lobster population could fall by up to 50 percent, Other shellfish species will likely experience similar declines.

Sarah Alexander, Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association: Climate change is here. The farmers see it every day, every season, have been seeing it for a long time, and I think it brings a lot of uncertainty and unknowns in terms of what the future will look like, and I think it gives a lot of challenges within any growing season.

Read more here about Governor Mills’ efforts to fight back against the threats climate change poses to Maine’s environment, businesses, and families.