To the editor:
The first Earth Day observance was on April 1970. The world’s population was 3.7 billion then; it is 7.4 billion today. Demands on the water, land and food supply are greater now. Yet, increased greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide emissions from coal, gas and oil, have impaired the Earth’s capacity to cool down. March 2016 was the warmest March in 100 years. February was the same. In fact, each year of the 21st century has been warmer than the one which preceded it.
Such changes negatively impact health, causing heat waves, flooding, droughts and alterations in disease transmission. The particulate pollution which accompanies burning of fossil fuels is raising asthma and lung disease prevalence, as well as cardiovascular illness.
The good news is that Ohio decreased its carbon emissions 14 percent between 2000 and 2013, for a reduction of 37 million metric tons.
We can continue with this trend by adopting a tax, or fee, on fossil carbon, at the point where it is extracted from the ground. Citizens Climate Lobby has proposed such a fee, starting at $25 per ton of carbon dioxide, with the fee to rise annually. All revenue raised would be divided equally among American households and returned to them. The price of gasoline, etc., would go up somewhat, but would be offset by the rebate. Energy companies will have an incentive to invest in renewables and, in fact, many have already calculated a carbon tax into their projections. Middle- and low-income households would benefit the most, as they spend a larger percentage of their income on necessities.
Global warming is not a problem for tomorrow, nor is it something for future generations to solve. We must start NOW.
Call your U.S. senators and member of Congress and urge them to take action.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” — Albert Einstein
Dr. Alice Frazier