The writer of the letter to the editor “Earth is fragile, and we must protect it” (Letters, Sept. 10) and Leonard Pitts Jr., who wrote “Nothing to see here, say climate change deniers” (Page 8A, Sept. 11) are correct when they say that something needs to done about global warming, as increasingly severe weather events make clear. Fortunately, there is a way to achieve the needed CO2 emissions reductions without significantly harming the economy.
The best approach is to place a fee on carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) at the point of extraction or import, and to send all the collected money right back to the people in the form of dividend checks. This is a market-based, technology-neutral and revenue-neutral approach that is in line with conservative, free-market values. In fact, many prominent Republicans have come out in support of it.
It puts a price on CO2 emissions and lets the market, as opposed to government, decide how to respond. That will minimize the cost of emissions reductions. As it is revenue neutral, it doesn’t increase the size of government. Finally, the dividend checks offset the costs associated with more expensive fossil fuels. Most people, especially the working class, will actually come out ahead.
James E. Hopf, Tracy