Now is the time for climate solutions

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To the Editor:

The situation with man-made climate change is extremely serious. Greenhouse gases emitted largely as a byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels are responsible. Some of the threats that we are facing now, not in the distant future, are increased global temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. Severe damage is being done to the Great Barrier Reef. The Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets are losing billions of tons of ice per year. Storm seasons are lengthening as growing seasons are shortening.

Add to these many less visible but no less serious effects – changing temperatures globally will affect ocean acidity and the behavior of migratory species, and lead to increased viability of pathogens, enabling disease outbreaks. To contain the symptoms, we have to address the cause.

There is a solution currently in the U.S. House of Representatives – it is called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. If enacted, this bill would charge a fee to companies for emitting greenhouse gases and distribute the proceeds directly back to citizens. It would signal to investors and consumers alike that going forward, we must use green technologies, such as wind and solar. The bill would reduce carbon emissions by a remarkable 90 percent  by 2050. By working with, and not against the market, it would do so without major disruption, protecting our nation’s economy and actually growing jobs.

Leading scientists are in agreement that we must break away from our dependence upon fossil fuels, and – less commonly known – leading economists are in agreement regarding how. A price on carbon is the optimal solution.  We should all email and call our representatives in Washington, D.C., and mention this bill – H.R. 763, Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, by name and number.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization Citizens’ Climate Lobby has worked towards getting this bill into the House of Representatives for over 10 years – visit https://citizensclimatelobby.org to learn more.

Judy Palken, Northborough
Greg Palken, Northborough
Dan Palken, Boulder, CO (formerly of Northborough)