Letter: Climate action should be a priority

Graphic by Lori Deaton

It’s exciting to see that Buncombe County is in the middle of developing its strategic plan. Their website homepage highlights the process and current public participation opportunities. Commissioners have identified the following focus areas: environmental stewardship, educated and capable community, vibrant economy and resident well-being. There’s obviously a lot of room to fit in many different goals within these parameters, and it will be interesting to see the results.

For me, a significant issue is climate, and I believe we need to be very proactive because the issue is so massive and far-reaching. We can probably agree that local county goals may help us to become more resilient, but real change in the way we live and work needs to happen on a national and global scale.

Fortunately, there appears to be a growing realization that a massive, war-like mobilization effort is needed to combat the climate crisis. And although the county’s strategic plan may not be the answer, there is a current opportunity at the door. House Bill 763, also called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, is a bipartisan, revenue-neutral bill that is gaining momentum in the U.S. Congress. In a nutshell, the bill would tax carbon and give the revenue back to the public in a monthly check. It turns out that about 60% of check recipients would get more money back than they would lose from the increased costs of good/services.

We need to begin reducing our emissions and to do so very fast. The emergency bells should be ringing every day. We can and should be involved in shaping the county strategic priorities toward a better future, but let’s not forget the bigger picture: Everyone depends upon a planet that supports life.

You can join the groundswell of support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Visit the Citizens Climate Lobby (www.citizensclimatelobby.org) today!

— Vaidila Satvika
Asheville

SHARE
About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

26 thoughts on “Letter: Climate action should be a priority

  1. Lulz

    You’ll be taxing China, India, and many South American countries too, right? Oh my bad. This is about destroying the US and controlling its population.

    • C-Law

      ^—this x infinity!

      Game, set, match…sad so many useful idiots eagerly promoting the Soros totalitarian agenda. We’re facing near-term economic detonation, but sure, let’s wring our hands about banning cow farts, propose raising taxes as the go-to solution…ridiculous.

      Congressional deficit spending and Federal Reserve rate-tampering and other shenanigans are leading us to a top and blow-off that will make 2005-2008 look like amateur hour.

      Mathematics in a finite world won’t let us get away with it of course and there is no realistic means to exit from these deadly economic policies at this point either and it doesn’t matter if you prefer team D or R, they are the UniParty, get it? Obviously not, or not enough of us to matter anyway…

      How long do we have? Best bet is by 2024 simply because by that time Medicare and Medicaid will eat the federal budget. The bad news is that the markets always front-run the “death date” by some me unknowable amount of time — so the odds we actually make it to 2024 before it all goes to Hell is very low.

      While I’m squaring away my preps, you can waste the precious little time you have left worrying about cow farts…good luck!

  2. Mike R.

    Here’s a very insightful and realistic paper that everyone should at least read. From my viewpoint, this is what is going to happen versus stopping climate change from continuing.

    Deep Adaptation:
    A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
    IFLAS Occasional Paper 2
    http://www.iflas.info
    July 27th 2018
    Professor Jem Bendell BA (Hons) PhD

  3. Mike

    The climate has always changed and always will 20,000 years ago (a mere blink in geologic time) the earth was exiting the last relatively major ice age. Within 10,000 years the earth had warmed up to about present temps. Humans have inhabited earth for over 50,000 years.. They did nothing to cause that ice age and nothing to make it end. It is the ultimate in human vanity to think that humans can cause or prevent “climate change”.. BTW exactly why did you folks change the name from “global warming” to “climate change” ?? Was it simply because you knew that no rational scientist would deny that the climate has always changed and always will ??

    • Mike R.

      Mike,
      I hear the argument/rationale that the climate has always changed. True enough, but what folks don’t understand or don’t want to understand is the rapidity/quickness of our current warming versus times past. What took thousands of years is happening in decades/one century.
      I don’t think I’m ‘vain’ because I am convinced that the burning of massive amounts of fossil fuels over the past century has caused the rise in CO2 which has caused a slight temperature increase across the globe. I think people that don’t want to understand and thus accept the science are naive at best and active deniers of what human’s are capable of. All that said, I do agree with your conclusion that humans will unlikely be unable to prevent climate change but vanity is only a small part of the reason for that. Our entire economy/way of life is based on the use of massive amounts of fossil fuels on a daily basis. It is highly unlikely we will be smart enough to give that up substantially in a short period of time.

      Regarding the term climate change versus global warming…..that was done to better clarify what was actually going on and to take away an argument from the naysayers when we had 2′ of snow falling or very cold winter temps. The overall climate of the earth is warming, and rapidly when compared to past events. But people never learned their basic physics in high school so don’t understand how much extra energy can be introduced into the atmosphere with just a few degrees of average temperature rise. The key concept is called latent heat of vaporization and it is the large amount of energy required to change water from liquid to gas state. Hotter air can hold more moisture and thus much more energy. And this is of course what we are seeing……more energetic storms, more erratic weather patterns as thing like the jet stream get affected from these massive energy shifts in the atmosphere. And yes, some record high temps on occasion. But that is not what will kill us. It will be drought, massive rainfall events, loss of agriculture and food supplies. In otherwords, huge and violent swings in our weather and weather systems that will ultimately defeat our “vain” attempts to produce food and maintain our very complex lifestyle for way too much population. Not in your lifetime, no matter your age, but somewhere within 100 years I would guess; unless we end up killing each other in a nuclear exchange that was precipitated by countries attempting to outmanuever each other to survive the affects of climate change.

      As you can tell, I am not at all hopeful on this whole issue. I believe humans are not near as smart as we think we are and our capacity for rapid and significant change is actually quite limited until our survival stares us in the face. By that time, I’m afraid, it will be too late.

      • Mike

        The last major ICE age was already in progress when humans emerged 75,000 years or so ago ,… probably in Africa or equatorial Asia. Not only did it not kill us, but by the time it was ending we lived in Europe. You don’t give us NEAR enough credit for being able to adapt to adverse conditions.

      • mcates

        “True enough, but what folks don’t understand or don’t want to understand is the rapidity/quickness of our current warming versus times past. What took thousands of years is happening in decades/one century.”

        No, it’s really not. You are conflating models with the real world. I agree that in the models, we are all going to die soon due to climate change. The real world disagrees over and over again. So it’s not other people that do not understand, it’s you.

        But let’s just take this part of your statement, “What took thousands of years is happening in decades/one century.”

        You might want to let the Vikings that settled in Greenland know this. Oh, wait. You can’t. Rapid climate change forced them out.

        You could also just study American Indians, their history is wrought with the impacts of rapid climate change.

        • Peter Robbins

          Yes, really, the rapid pace of our current warming is unprecedented, mcates. https://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/august/climate-change-speed-080113.html.

          It’s you who doesn’t understand the issue, and that includes the logical implications of your own statements. Assuming, arguendo, that you are correct in your claim that relatively small changes in climate have caused large disruptions in human societies in the historical past, imagine what large, unprecedented and extremely rapid changes might do. Most of us are reluctant to bequeath a world like that to future generations, at least if there’s anything we can do to slow the pace of human-caused warming by altering our own practices. You don’t have to rely exclusively on models, either. Do some internet research on the observed effect of global warming on coral reefs. They are the canaries in the coal mine (because of their sensitivity to changes in ocean chemistry), and their rapid disappearance is a fact, not a prediction.

          Oh, here; I’ll do it for you: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2009/09/corals-earths-canary-in-coal-minesfacing-calamitous-global-declines/

        • Lulz

          It’s a hoax. Anything coming out of their mouths is lies . Just look at how Newman and his numerous conflicts of interests are treated. He became wealthy as a result while in office. Imagine that on a much grander scale.

  4. Mike

    So, if I understand …because other countries may not be making the needed change, we therefore shouldn’t .
    By that same logic, because other countries allow rape, we should too. Because other countries don’t allow a free press or free speech or freedom of religion, we shouldn’t either. Because other countries regulate gun sales, we should too.

    Got it, thanks very helpful.

    Sarcasm, btw

  5. Stan Hawkins

    I find it very enlightening that climate change enthusiasts (formerly global warming enthusiasts), are very generous with using other people’s money (taxes) as a reliable tool to defeat this problem. Said by this original post writer, paraphrased slightly; if we agree to reduce our standard of living to an unknown degree whereby paying higher prices for goods, services, energy and such – approximately 60% of us can get a check back from – yes, the government which will exceed our increased costs “most likely.”

    That’s funny, but thanks!

    • Peter Robbins

      Given my druthers, I’d prefer to see carbon-tax revenues used to pay down the national debt. But I’m one of those old timers who isn’t enthusiastic about free lunches.

    • Stan Hawkins

      I sometimes wonder about and am generally concerned, that the average North Carolinan may not be aware of the taxes and fees they are asked to pay generally on an annual basis. Consider just a few; Federal, State, Local, Property, Gasoline Tax, Utilities (promised in early 20th century would be temporary), Licenses and Fees for Automobile Use, Permits, Parking on Public Property, Hotel / Entertainment, Hunting, Boating, Self Employed Payroll, are among the many.

      If the average living income in our beloved area is approximately $40,000 – $50,000, just how much does all of the above taxes and others represent as a slice of the pie? Is it 27%, 35%, 40%, 50%, naturally it depends?

      We all love clean air and clean water. But, how does one living at the margins struggling to pay their way, raise a family, educate their kids, set aside for retirement, and be able to enjoy our beloved WNC? In a capitalist society, innovation is generally borne through thought, ambition, effort, investment and yes – profit. For those living at the margins, this is the only way that we can expect climate efforts to become affordable. Yes, efforts will fail yet we should keep trying.

      Our NC gasoline tax of 57 cents per gallon, utilities taxes imposed early in the last century, and other local tax issues should warn us that politicians along with bureaucrats cannot be trusted with a tax policy targeted towards the public at large effectively reducing the standard of living of working age Americans.

      Should we ask, with the 7th highest gas tax in the nation (57.5 cents per gallon), what do we get for that?

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.