Letters to the Editor

Enthusiastically endorse efforts to halt climate change

In the lead-up to the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Madrid, two major reports from the World Metrological Organization and the U.N. Environment Programme underscored the present danger of irreversible climate change.

With the science no longer in doubt and the damage to our economy and health now a matter of daily record, politicians have not passed effective legislation to offset the runaway costs of an energy system based on fossil fuels. Ongoing massive taxpayer subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry can be viewed as an irrational form of socialism, stifling innovations in other energy sectors that could otherwise stabilize the market, create jobs and avert the geopolitical mayhem that continues to plague fossil fuel pricing.

An incremental carbon tax levied at the point of fossil fuel extraction has been proposed by a growing number of conservative economists as the most effective and least disruptive mechanism by which to transition the energy market to clean fuels while at the same time stimulating the economy through job creation. Although the tax would have the desired effect of raising fossil fuel production costs, individual consumers would be protected from this market correction through a payback dividend from monies raised by the tax.

Increasingly, fossil fuel producers, as well as major energy consumers such as IBM and Walmart have endorsed the fee and dividend plan as a way to bring certainty to the market, reduce the need for patchy government regulations and create a level playing field for all corporate actors and consumers.

Details of a fee and dividend plan can be found on the website of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and such a proposal is now before the U.S. House (H.R. 763). It needs our enthusiastic endorsement, as well as that of our congressional representatives.

RAYMOND TARPLEY

College Station