Deirdre Henderson: Urge our elected officials to put price on carbon
On Oct. 8, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest report on the effects of carbon pollution. It said that we have to move much faster than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
On the very same day, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Yale professor William Nordhaus for his work on the interaction of economics and climate change. The key insight of his work, Nordhaus has said, was to put a price on carbon in order to hold back climate change.
The IPCC report laid out a challenge, and Nobel laureate Nordhaus confirmed a solution.
As citizens in a democracy, we can make sure the dire warning of the IPCC report does not become reality. We can build political will for Congress to enact a carbon fee and dividend policy. This solution would charge a gradually increasing fee on fossil fuels as they come out of the ground or over the border and give all the revenues to American households as a monthly dividend.
This policy would not increase the size of government and would use the power of the market to change consumer behavior and drive investment and entrepreneurial activity to low-carbon energy alternatives. Robust economic studies of a revenue neutral carbon fee conclude that it would drastically curb carbon emissions, grow the economy, create jobs and avoid thousands of deaths from carbon pollution. It is the most effective and comprehensive first step we can take to leave a livable world to our children and grandchildren.
In this week of important news on climate change, please call or write our members of Congress — Rep. Tom McClintock, and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris — and urge them to put a price on carbon.