Life is full of risk. When the consequences of a potential event are trivial we ignore the risk. But if the consequences are deadly or devastating, we take action to reduce the risk and pay for insurance in case it happens in spite of those actions.
There is a chance that 97 percent of the thousands of climate scientists who’ve spent tens of thousands of hours studying how the climate system works are wrong about their conclusion that unhindered fossil fuel use will drive devastating climate change. But if they’re right, wouldn’t you want insurance?
We have the technology to switch from fossil fuels as our primary energy source to carbon-free energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydro and others. But insurance against climate change won’t happen without a price signal. A price on fossil carbon is justified because consumers aren’t presently paying the full cost of it. By putting a steadily increasing national fee on fossil fuel carbon and returning the revenue back to the economy with a uniform monthly dividend to every legal resident, and by adding tariffs on imports from countries without a carbon fee, we can transition to carbon-free energy without hurting the economy. That’s a valuable insurance policy.
Steve Ghan, Richland