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Time for optimism: Be an Earth responder

To the Journal editor:

While news of another flood, hurricane or wildfire is depressing, it is time to be optimistic and respond with action.

Nations are acting. The EU and China are crafting legislation to reduce carbon pollution. Canada has a Carbon Pollution Fee. Nations are moving forward to reduce the burning of coal, oil, and gas.

National macro-solutions generally come in two strategies. One, is the carbon credit trading system. The second is a carbon pollution penalty.

Using carbon credits, a carbon polluter must buy credits from a carbon sequestering business. For example, a natural gas power plant could buy credits from a business protecting the Amazon Rainforest. Since a polluter pays for credits, it raises his operating cost encouraging him to find ways to pollute less.

The straightforward method enticing industry to come clean is by imposing a penalty for dumping carbon waste in the air. This is done via carbon taxes.

My favored, well-researched solution is a carbon pollution fee coupled with a citizen dividend.

This is a Team America solution. The fee, like a tax, is levied on carbon emitters which raises the price of dirty energy. In contrast, though, the proceeds are returned to the American Citizen as a dividend. This solution is called a carbon pollution fee and dividend. (CPF&D)

The slowly rising fee incentivizes polluters to improve their performance. Simultaneously, the CPF&D rewards patriots who insulate their homes and wisely use clean energy. All studies indicate CPF&D spurs economic growth.

How can we make this happen? Right now, the government is crafting the annual reconciliation package which requires only a majority to pass. Thus, citizens must let their representatives know we want a Carbon Fee and Dividend. We can do this by writing letters, sending e-mails, or calling. This is not difficult, and Citizens Climate Lobby makes it easy. Go to: http://citizensclimate lobby.org/house and ask Jack Bergman to put a price on carbon. It took me two minutes to send the e-mails.

To tame the climate beast, most scientists and economists promote a carbon fee. The CCL Pollution Fee and Dividend does this best.

I proudly wear an AAAS T-shirt with the earth emblazoned on it. Around it is printed: “Earth Responder-Let’s Change Climate Change”.

To earn the title “earth responder,” a citizen need only contact their national and state legislators and tell them, “Put a Price on Carbon Pollution.”

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