The unanimous agreement at the Paris Climate Conference to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases is a remarkable achievement. Prevention of climate change is particularly challenging because it requires actions that mostly benefit foreigners living in future centuries. Yet that is exactly what was accomplished in Paris.
Why were all countries able to agree? Quite simply, they all have skin in the game. Each country knows it has much to lose if the climate warms too much, and that it cannot expect other countries to reduce emissions if it does not do so too.
Although remarkable, this agreement is insufficient to save the Greenland ice sheet. Emissions must approach zero before 2100.
That will require much more effective measures. Economists agree that a steadily increasing fee on fossil fuel carbon at the source is the most effective way to reduce emissions from all sources and get the market to find suitable replacements. By returning all the revenue to the people as uniform monthly dividends, the economy is stimulated.
With abundant hydro and nuclear power, Washington has much to gain from this and, given its dependence on mountain snowpack, much to lose from inaction. Ask Dan Newhouse to support carbon pricing.
Steve Ghan, Richland