EYE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
By: Frances Lamberts
Since the late 2000s, the League of Women Voters states, it has “fervently advocated” for government
action to curb global climate change.
With focus “on the impacts of climate change on our younger generations” it holds that this should include putting a price on things we don’t want, such as earth-heating carbon pollution.
Reports in local papers and the national press bring awareness almost daily of destructive happenings made more severe and more frequent through climate disruption. Recent wildfires on Buffalo Mountain and near Sevierville, for example, required firefighters from “70-plus agencies” to battle them, and the 2016 fire in Gatlinburg destroyed or damaged 2,500 buildings.
Severe storms with local tornadoes “pounded” five southern states during a recent night, creating “widespread damage” around some towns in all these states, and death or injury to nine people.
As prevalent as such reports now are, it is remarkable how persistent also has been the call to address the issue.
A “Hall of Fame” spreadsheet assembled by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby organization lists statements by notable Americans community and business leaders, and organizations which, like the League of Women Voters, have recommended carbon pricing for effective, comprehensive, and fast action.
Along with refunding the proceeds to consumers, says the USA Today Editorial Board, this “is one of the most sensible solutions to prevent further catastrophic changes in the world’s climate.”
It “leverages the power of markets,” so the National Ocean Industries Association, “to drive economy-wide emissions reductions at lowest societal costs.” One finds the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Nature Conservancy, the Alliance for Market Solutions and the Investor Agenda, scientists and the National Academy of Sciences, the American Chemical Council, Dupont and other major businesses.
Supporters include Students for Carbon Dividends and the Youth Climate Activists of Chicago, the
National Wildlife Federation and the US Conference of Mayors, major Christian churches and faith groups, prominent Congressional and Administration political leaders, and some 3,500 economists.
Changing the energy mix that powers our lives so that it does not hurt the environment through earth-warming pollution must be our policy goal for the very near future. As the LWV, citizens and young
people from all walks of life are suggesting, carbon pricing is the fastest way to proceed.
Legislation to this effect in the U.S. House of Representatives — the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act – would seem the best, and now urgent, way to help heal the planet and secure a livable future for the young.