Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 9, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Earth in jeopardy as climate change continues

The IPCC climate report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming, adding that a 'pause in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect long-term trends.' QAQORTOQ, GREENLAND - JULY 30: Calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers are seen floating on the water on July 30, 2013 in Qaqortoq, Greenland.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The IPCC climate report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming, adding that a ‘pause in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect long-term trends.’
July 30, 2013 in Qaqortoq, Greenland. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

We need to make climate change a priority

I want to say, in the midst of the unnecessary and relatively absurd current hoopla in Washington, D.C., thanks for your story last week on the IPCC report. It’s another confirmation by the best international scientists of our moment of jeopardy and opportunity.

Yes, the situation is dire. If we’d like to keep our planet recognizable, we have to live within a 1-trillion ton carbon budget. We’ve spent more than half of it already. By 2040, we’ll be “over budget” if we don’t make changes.

But we can do something. Since Congress has failed to respond, the president is stepping up with regulations to limit carbon emissions. It’s a good start, but I’m hoping the United States will follow the lead of France, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland and enact a market-based solution, like a carbon tax. A number of conservatives — Art Laffer, Greg Mankiw, George Shultz — support a revenue-neutral carbon tax to reduce the effects of climate change. A tax on carbon would fix the distortion in the marketplace that leaves fossil fuels unaccountable for the damage they do to society.

Citizens are ready to do more than change lightbulbs. We’re ready to pay modest increases for gas at the pump when we know it’s part of a shared plan to combat the disastrous changes we’re seeing already: bigger wildfires, more destructive floods, more severe droughts, and ocean acidification — which The Times profiled so well in its recent series. And with a revenue-neutral tax, we wouldn’t sacrifice much, since we would receive dividends that would help us redirect our spending toward more efficient systems for getting around and heating our homes.

Mary K. Manous, Seattle

Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►