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Letter: Let’s just get along

Here we go again. Climate change “skeptics”/deniers vs. Science. But here’s the thing: Even if you don’t support AGW, you should support the solution to AGW. It’s in your financial interest.

There’s a proven AGW solution that uses conservative economic principles and will make the vast majority of Americans better off financially. It costs consumers and taxpayers nothing and it’s simple: Make fossil fuel corporations pay a tax for polluting our air and give all that tax money to the taxpayers in equal monthly checks.

It’s called “carbon fee-and-dividend”: The carbon tax/fee increases annually and so do people’s “carbon dividend” checks. Fossil fuels get increasingly more expensive, but if you switch to clean energy, you don’t pay the carbon tax, you just get the “dividend” checks. So, with clean energy prices becoming as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuels (Fortune, Bloomberg, WEF, USAToday), you save more money each year. That’s projected to increase U.S. GDP $75-80 billion annually. It has a global “domino” effect that will use market forces to make other countries cut their emissions a much as we do (citizensclimatelobby.org).

It will also create over 5 million U.S. good-paying, permanent (40-year), local jobs, over 30,000 in New Mexico, plus a savings of over $2.5 billion annually (2% of New Mexico’s annual GDP) in medical costs for carbon-caused illnesses (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org).

Burning fossil fuels kills over 200,000 Americans annually (MIT.edu) and costs Americans over $866.5 billion annually (Forbes). It’s cost U.S. taxpayers over $1 trillion for climate change disasters (NOAA). The longer we keep burning fossil fuels, the more expensive it’s going to get. We still have 30 years of our heaviest emissions that haven’t heated up and effected us yet. And those emissions won’t dissipate for millennia (NASA, National Academy of Sciences).

Carbon pricing that rewards consumers rather than punishing them can work, globally, in time to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Pete Kuntz

Northglenn, CO