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Letter to the editor: How Carbon Fee and Dividend will help stop climate change


A man marches in the Climate Rally in downtown Iowa City. Saturday, April 29, 2017. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

By John Macatee

Climate change is real, it’s bad and it is quickly getting worse. The Midwest and the southern U.S. will be especially hard hit. There will be more severe weather patterns including drought and flooding, more deaths due to extreme heat and significant economic damage with lower GDP.

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, the Nobel Prize was awarded to William Nordhaus of Yale University who studied the economics of climate change. He is called “the father of climate change economics” and developed models that suggest how governments can combat global warming. One key step he has endorsed is a universal tax on carbon, which would require polluters to pay for the costs that their emissions impose on society.

We need to elect leaders in Congress who support immediate action to reduce climate change. Carbon Fee and Dividend, the initiative of the Citizens Climate Lobby, is the most effective way to stop global warming on our planet by raising the cost of fossil fuels to move the entire world economy to green renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon Fee and Dividend will:

  1. Place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels
  2. Give 100 percent of the fees minus administrative costs back to households each month.
  3. Use a border adjustment to stop business relocation.

It’s good for the economy and even better for people. It will be supported by both liberals and conservative leaders because it does not grow government and is revenue neutral (it does not increase taxes). George Shultz, the former Secretary of State appointed by President Reagan, supports Carbon Fee and Dividend and is on the advisory panel of Citizens Climate Lobby. So is Dr. James Hansen, formerly director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of Dr. James Van Allen at the University of Iowa.

“Most impressive is the work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby … If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group.” —Dr. James Hansen

Citizens Climate Lobby also supports the Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is a bipartisan group which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes and challenges of our changing climate. There are now 90 current Climate Solutions Caucus members, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

Please elect political candidates who will take action now on climate change and support Carbon Fee and Dividend. We need to create a livable future for our children. Our daughters, recent graduates of City High School, and all other young people deserve a livable future on our planet.

John Macatee is a member of the Iowa City Climate Advocates.


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