It is very likely that June 2021 in Southern Utah will be the warmest June in recorded history. Temperatures are averaging 10 degrees above normal (The Spectrum). When the data is tallied, we will likely have 20 days which reach 100 degrees or higher, six of them 110 degrees or above (Weather.com). The challenges of eliminating carbon emissions are starkly in front of us. Climate change is driving our water crisis and threatening our public lands, everywhere. The solution is in the hands of all citizens and governments. It will take both.
Action is building in countries around the world, still far too small, yet hopefully reaching a tipping point. In the US, there have been several small steps and a few big ones brewing in Congress.
The best big step forward is a “carbon fee and dividend,” which is receiving broad support across the political spectrum. In this market-driven plan all carbon sources are assessed a fee based on their carbon content. The fees would be passed on as higher prices charged to consumers. But, the fees collected would be returned to each resident equally, so that low carbon consumers could reap more money than what they paid in carbon fees. High carbon users would experience a net loss. This creates an incentive for consumers to use cheaper low carbon solutions and in turn drive innovation and the economy toward these solutions.
For a four-minute video that clearly describes
the Carbon Fee and Dividend approach click HERE.
Since the dividend is returned to residents, this approach doesn’t increase the size of government, but relies on private market forces . The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act has a growing bipartisan sponsorship (currently 70) in Congress and is endorsed by all major economics forums in the US and worldwide. The timing is critical – it must pass Congress this year, before the 2022 elections suck the oxygen out of the room.
What can you do?
- Call your Members of Congress. The most impactful and easiest action is to call them once a month and leave a simple message to support the Energy Innovations and Carbon Dividend Act. They need our backing, and say they need to hear from us on it. Or, sign up for a monthly reminder and use the “Calling Tool.” Join Citizens Climate Lobby.
- Know your carbon footprint and work on reducing it.
- Reduce electricity usage: shoot for an average of under 50 kW-hrs/day.
- Reduce flying: it’s 20-times worse than driving, business class is 50-times worse.
- Plan for your next car to be electric.
- Plan for extra time to get there on a bicycle.
- Learn more about climate change: Climate Change Essentials, Climate Jeopardy.
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