Climate report means federal carbon bill should be approved

If the impacts of climate change — and their connection to human behavior — weren’t already painfully, bleakly clear after a summer of devastating wildfires, floods and other unprecedented climate catastrophes, the latest scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change renders in no uncertain terms a set of distributing facts.

Among them is a key fact that many have tried to deny — the report states that it is “unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.”

Not only does the report state that “climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying,” but it “finds changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system,” a report summary states.“Many changes are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Some, such as continued sea-level rise, are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years.”

But what can we do?

The report says a solution lies in “strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to limit climate change,” according to the summary.

And while benefits for air quality would come fairly rapidly, it states that global temperatures would still take 20 to 30 years to stabilize.

With this grim forecast in mind, it’s of the utmost urgency that individuals, industries and — most crucially — governments take the needed steps to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

And there is already legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that proposes a highly specific and detailed plan to get bring our nation’s carbon pollution to net zero by 2050. This legislation is The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, known as U.S. House Resolution 2307. It’s a large and complex bill, but largely aims to reduce emissions to net zero by charging a fee on fossil fuels at their source — such as a mine, refinery or first pipeline — and returning 100% of the net revenue to households as a dividend.

“(It will) help reduce America’s carbon pollution to net zero by 2050 and slow the dangerous climate change that is causing so many more weather-related disasters around the country and the world,” according to the Citizens Climate Lobby. “This bill would put a fee on carbon pollution, creating a level playing field for clean energy. The money collected from fossil fuel companies will go to U.S. citizens in the form of a monthly ‘carbon cash back’ payment so that everyone can afford the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources.”

The average family of four, ten years into the plan, could even be paid nearly $3,000 a year from these dividends, according the proposed bill’s website at energyinnovationact.org.

And while some may balk at the suggestion of fees on carbon pollution for these industries, we believe it’s a small price to pay for combating climate change, which not only threatens lives and livelihoods, but by extension, the economy.

Our global society has for years put concerns of gross domestic product over concerns of the planet’s continued habitability, with many saying the costs and inconveniences of reducing emissions are far too great. We have now reached a turning point where no cost, no inconvenience could be greater than the devastation that awaits us if we choose to do nothing.

All things considered, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act has earned our support and urge U.S. House Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, to join us in our support of the bill.

Passing and implementing this legislation will be no small task, but neither will be dealing with continually rising temperatures, sea levels and rates of natural disasters.

We urge our readers — and leaders at all levels — to get involved in supporting this legislation. It could make all the difference for our future — and the intertwined futures of the plants, animals and ecosystems that sustain and enrich our world — on this planet.

Visit https://energyinnovationact.org for more information on the bill and how to get involved.


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