14 Apr 2010, 8:22am
environment Politics:

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  • Month 4, Day 14: Because Someone Told Me So…

    A diarist at DK who goes by the handle patrickz wrote a piece the other day called “John Kerry Is Trying To Pass A Climate Bill and He Needs Your Help.” To my pleasure, he referenced me and my letter-writing campaign (using the word “epic,” no less)….and included a sample letter of the sort he asks people to send to Ben Nelson, of the famous “Cornhusker Compromise.”

    So I did. It’s not as good as patrickz’s but that’s okay.

    Dear Senator Nelson,

    I write to you as as a concerned citizen. It is my understanding you do not support the American Clean Energy and Security Act in its present form, because it includes “cap and trade” — and that you are firmly against any kind of “carbon tax,” because you believe that incentives for innovation and infrastructure development are the best way to move the country towards energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

    Well, incentives are certainly important; no argument there. But it is an undeniable fact that the best incentive to lower CO2 emissions is to price carbon according to its true cost, which necessarily includes the health impacts of atmospheric particulates from coal, the poisoning of our national rivers and streams, the expensive wars we wage to protect our sources of oil, and the destruction of the polar ice caps. To burn our energy resources, pushing Earth’s climate to a point of no return — this is truly generational theft, for it may take thousands of years for our planet to recover from the damage we’ve done and the damage yet to come. Simply put, there isn’t any tax high enough to recover these costs. Furthermore, it’s also quite clear by now that increased conservation and a transition to green energy will improve our standard of living, not destroy it. The only things that will be affected negatively are the quarterly balance sheets for big oil and big coal companies. Unless we start now, we haven’t a hope of avoiding economic and environmental catastrophe.

    Please change your mind on this issue. A bill without a price on carbon is a terrible mistake. Our descendants will not forgive us our failure to act responsibly.


    Warren Senders

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