Letter to the editor: Preserve a habitable Earth for future generations
November 21, 2017
Regarding: Opinion: "A need for national climate change legislation," by Deirdre Henderson and John Sorensen, published on Nov. 14, 2017.
As a geophysicist who, for 15 years, was involved climate change mitigation research, I was a co-author and editor of technical reports to California and Federal government agencies. I have given talks to public audiences to explain the incontrovertible scientific evidence and urge people to demand government action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
But the question for me has been, how to engage people across the political spectrum to agree on a plan and take action on climate change. The concept described in this op-ed has taken root among growing numbers of fiscal conservatives, as well as environmentalists, as demonstrated by the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives and the Climate Leadership Council.
By putting a price on carbon at the source or the border, and returning the money to American households to offset increased energy costs, this plan relies on the marketplace to develop and implement clean technologies without government regulation.
We know that glaciers are melting; the Arctic ice pack is shrinking; the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are flowing into the sea and melting; sea level is rising; permafrost is starting to melt and release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide; the oceans are becoming more acidic; coral reefs are bleaching; warmer ocean temperatures are fueling increasingly deadly hurricanes and typhoons; and heat waves, droughts, forest fires, and crop failures are becoming more frequent and severe.
Carbon fee and dividend is a politically viable approach for addressing climate change, with the bonus of providing a boost to our economy. Let's get to work to preserve a habitable Earth for future generations!
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John Henry Beyer, Ph.D.