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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Carbon standards

January 21, 2014

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To the editor:

Friday’s column by David Ignatius pointed out a brighter U.S. energy picture. While the forces he describes are positive, to me, they skirt the real issue of climate change. I feel it is time to accept the costs to move away from carbon.

He points out projected conversions to natural gas from coal fired energy plants that will reduce U.S. emission levels equal to 2005. That sounds fine, until you consider the last ten years have been the hottest on record.  Upcoming years are not likely to be exceptions. 2005 levels are nowhere near what is needed to address the issue. We need pre-1980s levels according to many climate experts. Warmer South Pacific Ocean temperatures this year are slated to produce more El Nino flood and drought weather patterns here in the U.S. All the while the world’s carbon consumption continues to rise.

We need legislation that signals to no longer use our atmosphere as a C02 dump. It is unprecedented, but we can do this if we all encourage our elected officials to address climate change without influence by energy producers or the standard economics of energy. If we believe in free enterprise, the market will address increasing carbon energy costs as carbon is phased out. I believe revenue neutral carbon fees with a dividend back to citizens will unleash the countries entrepreneurial spirit for a net gain in employment and prosperity. We need leaders to embrace a long view that is different from a permanently spoiled environment.

Comments

Chris Golledge 6 months ago

"While emissions appear to have fallen in recent years in some of the wealthiest countries, that is somewhat of an illusion, the report found. The growth of international trade means many of the goods consumed in wealthy countries are now made abroad - so that those countries have, in effect, outsourced their greenhouse gas emissions to countries like China. Emissions in the United States rose slightly in 2013, but are still about 10 percent below their 2005 levels, largely because of the newfound abundance of natural gas, which produces less greenhouse gases than burning coal."

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/17/science/earth/un-says-lag-in-confronting-climate-woes-will-be-costly.html

Ultimately, if we want a stable climate in which to live, and grow food, we have to stabilize the CO2 content of the atmosphere, and that means going to net zero CO2 emissions.

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