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Jennifer L. Thompson writes: "Natural disasters are costing a fortune, natural resources will soon be depleted, and areas that employ and support families are being destroyed. It is time for the government to give the environment priority. The area of the Midwest that I live in was afflicted by major flooding of the Mississippi River in 2008, causing tremendous loss and damage over a widespread area. In 2012, the drought brought the river to levels so low that barge traffic is still impeded today, causing losses to local communities in international trade and business, and more. Yet, these are merely two examples of a nationwide dilemma. The United States must address its environmental issues, and soon."

Inauguration 2013: Readers’ hopes for the next four years

As President Barack Obama begins his second term, Yahoo News readers share photos of something close to them that they hope Washington will address over the next four years.