The climate talks in Paris have generated media attention, optimism and urgency. Unfortunately, it may no longer be possible to avoid 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) warming over the next couple of decades, and if we continue our current trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions, the global temperatures would likely jump more than 8 degrees F by 2100. Life in our community would become unbearable. This is why a worldwide agreement in Paris is so important.
Using the power of markets to reduce carbon emissions must be our top climate change priority. In a functioning market we pay for goods and services. We don’t question the fact that we must pay for our garbage removal and disposal. Yet at the same time we allow people to freely dump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is a market failure that can be corrected by pricing carbon emissions to accurately reflect the damage inflicted on peoples’ health and the environment.
Markets only function well with appropriate rules and regulations. We must encourage our members of Congress to accept the overwhelming science on climate change and address this critical issue. Paying for carbon pollution is a first step.
Ellyn Murphy, Richland