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Letter: Conversation worth having

Glaciers are disappearing, and coral reefs are dying. Our oceans are growing acidic and corrosive from too much CO2 absorption as sea levels everywhere rise. Tropical zones are expanding northward and southward from the equator. Fierce storms have already grown more frequent, and drought and mega-fires ravage our Southwest.

Let’s do something.

We have the minds and the power, but do we have the heart and the will? I support the change proposed by Dr. James Hansen.

He suggested we create a “carbon fee and dividend system.”

In his words: “(In a) study by the nonpartisan organization Regional Economic Models, Inc. . . . They (provide a) comprehensive analysis of the impacts of a carbon fee and dividend in the United States, with 100 percent revenue distribution of the money to the public in equal shares as direct payments. The fee would start at $10/ton of CO2 and increase $10/ton each year; 100 percent of the revenue is returned to households, equal amounts to all legal residents. This approach spurs the economy, increasing . . . jobs by 2.1 million in 10 years. Emissions decrease 33 percent in 10 years, 52 percent in 20 years. . . . The fossil fuel fee and dividend stimulates the economy, modernizes infrastructure and saves 13,000 lives per year via improved air quality . . . with fee and dividend causing a cumulative GDP increase of $1.375 trillion. . . . A revenue-neutral fee and dividend is completely different from a carbon tax, and their impacts on the economy are as different as night and day.”

Let’s have this conversation.



Legacy Comments26

HEADLINE A 13-year study of coral reefs spontaneously recovering in the Cayman Islands refute often doomsday forecasts ... HEADLINE: Scientists have witnessed a “promising” recovery in the coral reefs around the Maldives, a recent survey has revealed. HEADLINE: Back in 1998, Scott Reef-the enormous reef system off the coast of Western Australia - prognosis was grim—But just 15 years later, Scott Reef has regrown into the vibrant ecosystem........ guaranteed the author does not scuba dive

None of these reports on isolated instances of coral reef comeback negate the fact that coral reefs world-wide are under increasing stress from climate change. Your post is a slender reed of cherry-picked headlines. None of the coral researchers would make any claims like the one you make implicitly and with willful ignorance.

"Bleached and dying coral reefs are often held up as proof that global warming is laying waste to Earth's ecosystems. Now come reports that a number of reefs around the world are being brought back from the dead by dedicated oceanographers and conservationists. “The results are more than just promising; they are beautiful,” says Baruch Rinkevich, a marine biologist at the National Institute of Oceanography in Haifa, Israel. But how can these reefs recover in the face on ongoing global warming? Either global warming has reversed course or the bleaching of reefs wasn't due to global warming in the first place."

Next, we will be hearing of how this is a population problem. A tidbit I heard on the news the other day is that with the population density of New York, every single human being on earth could fit into Texas. Yeah, they would use a lot of energy but human existence is not a scourge on the planet like hysterics suggest. Just being proactive.

Why is the United States looked at as the answer to fixing the problem? For starters, how about shutting down China's 600 coal-fired power plants, none of which even have scrubbers? Go tell them, Gaye! Or better yet, have Obama tell them to shut 'em down right now!

Good Point! We have 546 coal fired plants. China is planning to build an additional 500 plants by 2024. Closing our 500 plants will amount to nothing. Carbon offsets, fee, taxes will NOT stimulate the job market, it will cause exactly the opposite and bring inflation on.

You might be interested in knowing that China is now paying the price for years of expansion without regard to the environment. As such they are scrambling to rectify and address this problem after the fact. Something we should be doing more of. Your view that why should the US be looked at for an answer - well quite frankly we are the largest fossil fuels consumers in the world and we don't want to end up like China.

I'll add to GCarson's post by reminding rje49 that while China's annual CO2 emissions have overtaken ours, we still far outstrip China in our overall, historical contribution since the Industrial Age began. Therefore, we have a moral obligation to the future to do something. Second: we are (or like to think we are) the best and brightest nation. If we are to continue to assume that role, it's incumbent on us to lead the way to a post-carbon future, by developing new technologies, by better implementing existing technologies that can help us to reduce our national carbon footprint. If we in the developed world can't muster the political will and the economic muscle needed to make the transition, why should China and India? They're playing catchup to the West, bringing their nations up to our developed (perhaps overdeveloped, in the sense of how much energy we waste) standards. Right now, we possess the technologies to make a relatively smooth transition to a low-carbon future. But we lack the political will--indeed, one entire political party, bankrolled by far-right oligarchs, denies there is even a problem. That needs to change, one way or another.

Moral obligation? You have the high mindedness now to preach about "morals"? Your own definition, obviously. Moreover your "morality" is more about liberal guilt overshadowed by a progressive agenda to push hysterical predictions on the rest of the citizenry and restrict both liberty and freedom. Did I hear a hint of American exceptionalism? Maybe there is a ray of hope for you yet. Those nations you speak of are in Europe, no doubt with a fraction of our population. Your "throw the baby out with the bath water" approach will not work. Instead we need to become energy independent as a back up plan. Then encourage energy companies to develop alternatives. We can't develop new technologies without using existing energy sources. I am all for trying but not your constand Draconian approach of cold turkey. That is what there is no political will to do.

Bruce...since those oligarchs deny that burning coal is leading to increased global warming, we can expect all the right to continue their misinformation and misstatements. UNTIL the right-wing voters take the unthinkable: realize what they are voting for and change the party's direction. I.e. 'vote the bums out!!'. Otherwise, our world is doomed to experiencing 'winter' temps near 100 degrees F and global sea level about 150 feet higher than today. While it may take a century to happen, the deniosphere increases the likelihood that it will happen by continuing their denial !! Have you noticed that now the Koch brothers are advertising how good they are to our environment here in NH??

may take a century for sea level to rise 150 feet...that would be 1.5 feet a year...starting you even read the twaddle you write????

Things are moving more quickly than climate scientists expected. Methane, to cite one example, which is a far more potent, albeit shorter-lived, greenhouse gas, is venting from the northern tundras at a higher rate than scientistsIf had predicted. If not your children, your grandchildren will certainly feel the dramatic and harmful effects of climate change on this country. Use your imagination and for once try to think of the next generation, and what we are risk saddling them with.

OH MY GOD.......the sky is falling, the sky is falling!!! If we don't solve this right this minute, give up our gas powered cars, give up electricity and our way of life and just stop living......the end will come.....I mean you selfish human beings, specifically Americans who have (In Currie belief) just been imperialistic and colonialist and taken the worlds natural resources and now, now, now it is getting too late. By GOD, Americans need to wake up and dial their lifestyle and bounty of things waaaaaaaaay back. Currie knows best, he read it somewhere and sucked it in like a piece of spaghetti. It has to be right, after all, that site he agrees with said so. In fact, 97% of all sites say so. It is "settled science", "the debate is over", "the 'deniosphere' needs to be defeated, everyone fall in line know. Currie knows best along with his buddy Obama. It is time for all of you Americans to take some have had it good for too long at the expense of others, we need to humble ourselves and bow at the mantle of the rest of the world. We need to apologize over and over and over again until it hurts and then we all need to be flogged........the sky is falling! the sky is falling! Bruce! Watch out!

Now that is the hysteria that I am talking about......100 degree temperatures in the Winter? When 2200, 2300? Sea levels 150 feet higher, when? That has been the threat since 1980 and through Al Gore's fiction book An Inconvenient Truth (Falsehood fits the bill better). Hysterics are reacting to mis-information from ideolgues and political absolutists. PS-Koch industries is a great employer with great benefits.....and they have won many environmental award and donated to many, many charitable organizations. The Koch demonization is a red herring attempt to take attention away from Obama and his many oversteps and failures. It is not very credible with informed Americans.

Itsa & GWTW..I refer you to the book 'Overheated' by Mat Guzman (an economist and lawyer). Of course, you would not want FACT to influence your opinion. But, Mat lays the whole path out for you to scrutinize. Rise 1.5 feet per year-near the end of the century, with temps rising in concert with the CO2 levels that have been recorded, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be gone. Its contribution to sea level rise would be far greater than 1.5 feet per year. Go read that book. Of course you won't, you'll just go google some archaic article from decades past that implies year-rouind winter with no scientific substantiation.

Your statement on East Antarctic Ice Sheet is false: HEADLINE: "Uh oh: Study says ‘collapsing’ Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica melting from geothermal heat, not ‘climate change’ effects" - google it to learn the truth for once

You've distorted the findings of the study--as usual. The study finds that volcanic activity is accelerating the melting that climate change is causing. "Thwaites Glacier is West Antarctica's largest unstable glacier. Recent research has shown that global warming has accelerated calving of the Thwaites glacier. The new study by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) suggests that the glacier isn't just being eroded by warm oceans, but also by volcanic activity."

More cherry-picked headlines, BPR?? Thwaites Glacier IS NOT the continental-size East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Further, you 'headline' is also false!! Read the whole first paragraph: Thwaites Glacier is West Antarctica's largest unstable glacier. Recent research has shown that global warming has accelerated calving of the Thwaites glacier. The new study by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) suggests that the glacier isn't just being eroded by warm oceans, but also by volcanic activity

PT Barnum would be proud of these hucksters. The massive hypocrisy of the left is they have just proved to you that taxing anything make less of it....think about it.... yet they will never tell you that even the Presidents latest HOAX will only reduce temperatures 0.02% in 2100

We may have the brains . . . not sure about the "power" though. The only real way to make sure the planet is saved is for their to be FEWER HUMANS ON THE PLANET. I do believe that there are changes in our climate happening. I do believe that some of them are caused by humans. I do not believe that humans have the technology, ability, etc. to STOP what's happening without DRASTICALLY changing the way we live - ALL OF US. And I don't mean silly little things like gas taxes and electric cars. Human society was built to run on fossil fuels. To completely change the way humanity is structured is not something that humanity has the stomach for.

Gaye....thank you for explaining to the general public about 'carbon fee'. I fear you will now be bombarded by the ultra-right who don't want to try to understand your explanation and will now attempt to debunk it with their unsubstantiated ideas and unproven reasons. They don;t have fact on their side, so they manufacture it!! Again: thanks.

We can do this and like the recent EPA ruling, it will not solve anything. China and India show no interest in cutting emissions. This will simply be feel good window dressing. By the way Wally, it is not "settled" science. If those who call out the hoax as 'far right', those who continue to push the globull warming agenda down everyone's throats surely is 'far left'.

Itsa...what do you know about 'settled science'?? You learn that term from Fox News, Rush, Issa?? Tell me where you got it AND what it means.

The U.K.’s national weather service concedes there’s been no change — delicately called a “pause” — in global temperature in 15 years. If even the raw data is recalcitrant, let alone the assumptions and underlying models, how settled is the science? Settled science based on computer models is simply garbage in and garbage out. Peer reviewed work is not "settled science".

Blah, blah, blah. Why don't you support your statement with real scientific evidence. Oh, I know why-you can't find any. You have me ROTFLMAO

Carly, I forgot to put that in quotes. I guess that someone should tell the UK National Weather Service that they need to find real scientific evidence. ROTFLAWCTAH

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