Letter: Carbon tax and dividend

March 16, 2014 

Letter: Carbon tax and dividend

Congratulations on running the recent Kansas City Star article on climate change. Yes, it is real, and we have to deal with it or suffer dire consequences. The good news is that it can be dealt with -- if we act now.

As the authors said, dissenters claim we "don't know for certain what might happen if climate change exists." But so what? Do they really want to find out the hard way? Measures to reverse global warming are things we should be doing anyway for other reasons -- to reduce pollution, to end dependence on outside energy sources, to save money, to improve our economy, to increase employment. There is no downside to acting to reverse global warming.

The fastest, cheapest, most effective method available is a carbon tax and dividend -- taxing carbon dioxide production at or near the source and returning the proceeds to our citizens. Tax pollution, not income! Germany made this transition between 1999 and 2003 and now has the most prosperous, stable economy in Europe -- much more prosperous and stable than our own.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings heads the congressional Natural Resources Committee. Let's ask him to introduce a measure for a revenue-neutral carbon tax and dividend and ask other legislators to support it.

PATRICIA FINCHER, Kennewick

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