The coronavirus is understandably dominating our attention right now, but over time we will come out the other side of this crisis. Meanwhile we can take lessons on the value of preparation and early action when faced with a looming crisis.
So I appreciated Clyde Howard's letter on rising global temperatures. He cited data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing that the five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2015.
Mr. Howard was responding to a letter which ridiculed people like Greta Thunberg, who are sounding the alarm on climate change and demanding stronger action. The sad news is that climate denialism still exists, but the good news is that it seems to be fading, and what is growing is eagerness for effective solutions.
Fortunately there is such a solution: the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives, with 80 co-sponsors, more than any carbon-pricing bill ever. It would put a steadily-rising fee on all fossil fuels at the source (i.e. at the oil derrick or the coal mine) then rebate the fee to households in the form of a monthly cash dividend.
Increasing the cost of fossil fuels would drive consumers, businesses and investors toward green energy alternatives, while protecting households with a monthly dividend payment. Over 3,500 economists, including 27 Nobelists and every living former chair of the Federal Reserve, have endorsed this approach as the strongest measure we could take to protect the environment and the economy. Studies indicate it will drive emissions down faster than the Paris Accord benchmarks, and will result in a net increase in jobs as we build out green infrastructure and transition to the renewable energy economy of the 21st century.
Even during the COVID-19 crisis, if you are concerned about climate change you can take quick action today. Contact U.S. Rep. John Katko and ask him to take a leadership role in addressing climate change by becoming a co-sponsor of HR 763, the Carbon Dividend Act.
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