Voices should be heard
To the Journal editor:
I’m a retired meteorologist with two degrees in atmospheric science. The great majority of the most qualified scientists in my field believe human-caused greenhouse gas emissions (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration at its Mauna Loa Hawaii observatory reached 420ppm in May–the highest level in at least 3 million years) and other short-sighted, careless actions like widespread deforestation are responsible for a dangerous climate change that is causing an overall global warming and a higher probability of more extreme weather-related disasters around the Earth.
In fact, NASA reports 2020 ended up tied with 2016 as the warmest year in terms of global average temperature since records began in the 1880s and the Earth’s average temperature has risen more than 2 degrees F since 1880. This warming world will exacerbate the spread of dangerous diseases like COVID-19, increasing the probability of more deadly pandemics in the future.
The higher probability of extreme weather events–like the blistering heat with maximum temperatures as high as 110 to 120 degrees (more than 30 degrees above normal) that impacted the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia in late June, the extreme drought plaguing much of the Southwest U.S. and the flooding which hit the Detroit area the last week of June — will negatively impact people and wildlife as well as require expensive responses that exacerbate budget deficits.
Urgent action to reduce these emissions/carbon pollution and switch to the use of more clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal is necessary to slow this destructive climate change.
Fortunately, Rep Ted Deutch (D-FL) recently reintroduced the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act into the 117th Congress. This legislation would place a gradually rising fee on carbon pollution that will help the U.S. get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Revenue from the fee would be distributed evenly to all Americans in the form of monthly payments. In response, former Republican Congressman Francis Rooney stated: “A tax on carbon is the most market-friendly and efficient means of value pricing the adverse impacts of burning carbon and of driving the energy markets towards cleaner fuels”.
I urge your readers to go to cclusa.org/call and follow the listed scripts to phone and encourage Rep Jack Bergman as well as Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act and other actions to slow this dangerous climate change.