Letters to the Editor

Broad agreement on need for climate change action


"Jury still out on climate forecasts, 'global warming'" (Herald Letter to the Editor, Oct. 15): Not according to The National Academy of Sciences and every other nationally or internationally accredited scientific body.

In the past few weeks, Exxon's own internal documents have revealed they've known since 1981 that burning their products would cause "catastrophic" global warming and they covered it up (Newsweek, Fortune, New York Times, LA Times).

The business community, with the exception of the fossil fuel industry, now supports carbon pricing because they (finally) see the economic threat of climate change and the economic opportunity of clean energy.

Citigroup's new report, "Energy Darwinism II," calculates that further delay in phasing out fossil fuels will cost $44 trillion to $70 trillion -- yes, trillion -- depending on how long we wait.

That's why the six largest U.S. banks have joined together to call for carbon pricing "to protect the economy and create jobs" (ceres.org). The World Bank concurs. So do 81 of the biggest U.S. corporations, from Alcoa to Walmart; 13 of them are spending over $140 billion to cut their own CO2 emissions (Time).

Transitioning to clean energy will have massive economic benefits. And it needn't cost consumers or taxpayers anything.

In British Columbia, they've used a revenue-neutral market mechanism called "carbon fee-and-dividend," or CFD, for seven years. It's lowered taxes and energy bills while their economy has grown faster than any other Canadian province (The Economist).

CFD puts a carbon pollution fee on all fossil fuels and distributes all of that money to the public in equal monthly amounts. The fee increases annually and people use their carbon "dividend" money to buy cheaper clean energy and make a profit (Citizens Climate Lobby).

In the U.S. CFD is projected to create 2.8 million jobs and increase GDP $75-80 annually (REMI).

Pete Kuntz

Lancaster, Pa.