Year 3, Month 11, Day 19: Roll Your Own?

The Durango Herald (CO) runs an AP piece discussing the benefits of a tax on carbon:

Experts on all sides of the issue have watched climate proposals fail in the past. Congress is still split, and many in the Republican party deny the existence of human-made climate change, despite what scientists say. Congress also on Tuesday blocked the European Union from imposing a tax on American airliners flying to the continent as part of an effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

Energy industry lobbyist Scott Segal said many utilities will fight a carbon tax.

“The conditions are far from ripe for a carbon tax, if for no other reason than a carbon tax is a tax on economic growth,” he said.

But environmental advocates are seizing the moment, determined not to let the interest in climate change subside with the floodwaters.

On Wednesday, former Vice President Al Gore launched a 24-hour online talkfest about global warming and disasters. Another group,, headed by environmental advocate and author Bill McKibben, is amid a 21-city bus tour.

Gore compared the link between extreme weather and “dirty energy” from coal, oil and natural gas to the links between cigarette smoking and lung cancer or the use of steroids and home runs in baseball.

They have a 350-word limit, which is way on the high side. Interesting how that affects the processes of composition. Sent November 15:

America’s fossil-fuel consumption is one of the most significant drivers of global climate change, and it’s revealing to follow up on former Vice-President Gore’s analogy with tobacco. Our entire economy is built around the ready availability and artificial cheapness of oil and coal, and the result has been a national addiction to these substances and the convenience they facilitate. Like heavy smokers, we recognize our dependency while pretending to be immune from the cold equations; like heavy smokers, we promise to quit but never seem to get around to it.

Of course, once the biopsy comes back positive, it’s too late for quitting to do much good, which is the position our civilization is in right now with fossil fuels. The diagnosis is very clear: Earth’s health is in dire jeopardy, with a planetary greenhouse effect on the brink of a catastrophic “tipping point” beyond which recovery will be impossible.

And the voices most loudly raised in denial? Unsurprisingly, their paychecks come from the very fossil fuel industry reaping huge profits from our addiction. Equally unsurprisingly, many of the same “experts” currently asserting that climate change is unrelated to fossil fuel consumption were testifying a few decades ago that tobacco didn’t have anything to do with lung cancer. They were lying then, and they’re lying now.

It’s time for America, and the world, to kick the fossil fuel habit once and for all. Oil, gas and coal need to come with warning labels, and we must stop subsidizing an industry that is destroying our home.

Warren Senders

It’s time

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