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Climate change isn’t going away

To the Journal editor:

Like the coronavirus, climate change has not gone away.

In May of this year, the level of carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere was recorded at 417 parts per million (ppm), the highest level in human history.

Before the Industrial Revolution-before the burning of megatons of fossil fuels- the C02 level was below 300 ppm. Carbon dioxide is a problem because:

1) It traps heat in the atmosphere, leading to higher ambient temperatures and

2) The oceans have been absorbing a significant amount of the increased heat, causing their volumes to increase and also changing the chemistry of the ocean.

3) Scientists believe the warming of the oceans is causing more severe weather-higher rainfall and more severe storms in some locations, while other areas are experiencing prolonged droughts. We have witnessed this.

Scientists and organizations in the U.S. have been working to educate people about climate change and build a consensus for action. A bipartisan Congressional bill was introduced in Congress in 2019. This bill, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), was developed with input from scientists and economists, who concluded that a carbon fee would provide the best incentive for individuals and businesses to reduce carbon emissions. Under HR 763, a carbon fee would be applied at the source of the fuel. The collected fees would be distributed to American households to compensate for the resultant increased cost of fuels.

The higher costs of coal, oil, and natural gas would create an incentive for the development of cleaner sources of energy and new products that use less energy. This plan would foster a wave of new jobs.

According to the Washington Examiner (8/25/2020): “A bipartisan coalition of former Federal Reserve chairs, top economic advisers to recent presidents of both parties, and Nobel Prize-winning economists have endorsed a federal carbon tax, one that would distribute all of the revenue to American households, to combat climate change.”

The groundwork has been completed for the next president to get behind HR 763.

The upcoming presidential election will not just decide if a Republican or Democrat is elected-it will decide whether we take action on reducing C02 or continue to deny that a problem exists.

It’s not going to go away.

PATTI CLANCY

Marquette

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