Letter: Carbon fee best option to curb climate change


A recent letter questioned carbon/divident fee legislation to reduce greenhouse gases, stating it’s only going to modestly reduce our earthly temperature in future years. Fortunately, things are not quite that bleak, and here’s why.

It works. A well-documented study tells us that a gradually escalating carbon fee/dividend act could cut carbon dioxide emissions in this country by 33 percent in only 10 years, rising to 52 percent after 20. Such an endeavor doesn’t need to be a bitter pill. It could spur movement to clean energy sources, create jobs and — best of all — return all — yes all — revenue to we citizens, an estimated at $3,456 to a family of four annually by 2025.

Business likes it. The Wall Street Journal stated, “Economists generally argue that carbon taxes are the most efficient and effective way to curb climate change, with the least adverse effects on the economy.”

On the world stage, the 2018 United Nations International Panel on Climate Change, in shooting for a limit on global warming of 1.5 degrees C, tells us that “net carbon dioxide emissions need to drop 45 percent from their 2010 levels by 2030, and reach net-zero by 2050. Remaining carbon dioxide would need to be offset by removing greenhouse gases via reforestation, soil carbon sequestration or technological advancements enabling direct capture of carbon from the atmosphere.”

It’s a start.

Cutting carbon dioxide emissions, now, seems the sensible starting approach, but it’s not the end of the story — there is no single silver bullet, just lots of buckshot. I, for one, would prefer not to be that proverbial frog that perished in a slowly heated kettle of water. I’d opt to jump when the heating was reported and try to turn down the flame

It’s due. After all, 97 percent of our scientific community tells me things are heating up as shown from data on glaciers, sea level rises, ocean temperatures, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, etc. Meanwhile, the evening news shows wildfires, flooding and 100-year storms every other year.

Granted, our government has its faults, but if anyone knows something more effective than a carbon fee to reign in carbon dioxide or a better administrator, I’m all ears.

Moving on. Let’s keep this dialogue going. Our climate dilemma will be the subject of a public discussion at WICA, in Langley on Nov. 15. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Dean Enell

Member of Citizens Climate Lobby

Whidbey Chapter