To the Editor:
This is the month when many Americans engage in the time-honored tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. The most common resolutions typically include personal habits such as eating healthier or exercising more. Resolutions start out built on that renewed hope for a better year ahead.
With momentum building throughout the country on the need for action on climate change, perhaps some resolutions will include driving less, recycling more or planting a tree.
Although these would be good resolutions to keep, individual choices can give a false sense of satisfaction and solution to the climate crisis by thinking our individual actions alone will be enough to stem the effects of climate change throughout the world. It is going to take millions of us urging our lawmakers to take the necessary action to reduce carbon emissions, the main cause of global warming, and encourage the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
There is one resolution about climate change that could give us all hope for a better year ahead: Resolve to contact your congressional representatives in Washington and ask them to support House Resolution 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
This bill would put a steadily rising price on carbon, the fastest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, economists say. The carbon fee would be rebated to taxpayers in the form of a monthly dividend, protecting the economically vulnerable. Indeed, it is estimated by the bill’s sponsors that as many as two-thirds of Americans would find their monthly dividend equal to or higher than the rising costs of fossil fuels as we transition to clean energy. The carbon pricing would signal to investors and entrepreneurs that we are committed as a nation to move off fossil fuels.
Politicians don’t create political will for action. They react to phone calls, tweets, texts and letters from constituents. Resolve this year to tell your leaders to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act and build on the hope not only for a better year ahead, but also a livable world for future generations.