Time to reduce emissions

This week, I and 1,100 other citizens who volunteer for Citizens’ Climate Lobby will head to Washington D.C. (at our own expense) for our international conference, then to Capitol Hill to meet with our U.S. Congresspersons and Senators.

We will collaborate on how to best meet the challenges of global warming. Since the President has chosen to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, we will ask our legislators to take the lead. As a society, we can take steps to adapt to new patterns of flood, drought, wildfire and warmer temperatures, but we must find ways to reduce the emissions we pour into our relatively thin atmosphere that cause these risks to our normal way of producing food and doing business.

“Pricing carbon” means adding the costs of the adverse effects of fossil fuel combustion back onto the product, making it more expensive, one way to discourage its use and thereby reduce emissions. Citizens’ Climate Lobby and other groups like the Climate Leadership Council, (conservatives James Baker, George Schultz, Rob Walton, economist Greg Mankiw, and others) favor a plan which prices CO2 emissions, but brings back all the proceeds to Americans in equal shares. That is called the “carbon dividend.”

Two-thirds of all households will break even or get ahead of rising prices. Adjustments (tariffs) at the border will keep other countries without a similar CO2 price from dumping their carbon-laden goods here and will discourage our manufacturers from going off shore.

Domestic business and commodities/food production will be protected by the border adjustment. Both plans reduce or remove government subsidies to fossil fuel production which amount to 7 billion dollars yearly, now picked up by American taxpayers.

Once we price carbon, wind, solar and hydro energy sources, become even cheaper comparatively, and we have the benefit of cleaner air and pure water sources.

We are witnessing climate change, but we have the unique opportunity to modify some of our collective habits and reduce some of the risks. Call Congressman Pat Tiberi at 202-225-5355 and ask him to join the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House. Ask him to step up to this leadership role.

— Lindsey Kohlenburg

Gilead Township, Morrow County