Those “naive” climate change “believers” [in Michael Ivey’s July 8 letter, “Climate-change Believers Betray Their Naiveté”] include the National Academy of Sciences and every other scientific body of national or international standing. You can see a list of all 230 of them on NASA’s website; but political affiliation trumps scientific data for most people, so let’s look at the economics.
Clean energy, the solution to climate change, will give us lower energy bills, millions of jobs and lower taxes. Over 2,500 major economists agree, nine of them with Nobel Prizes.
The volunteer group Citizens’ Climate Lobby is working to get a conservative, revenue-neutral, market-based clean energy bill passed in Congress that would create 4 million U.S. jobs in the first year and 9 million jobs in nine years. Our GDP would increase $70 billion annually by 2020 — a $1.375 trillion increase in 20 years (REMI). In contrast, the projected costs of climate change, barring swift action, will soon be over $1 trillion annually, according to the U.S. Government Climate Assessment.
The CCL’s clean energy bill would make all fossil-fuel corporations pay an escalating carbon pollution fee and 100 percent of that money would be given to every American, monthly, in equal amounts.
As coal, oil and natural gas become increasingly more expensive than renewables, most people will take their monthly dividend checks and buy cheaper clean energy. In terms of real income per capita, the average American will have more money every year in pocket. British Columbia has successfully employed this plan for seven years.
A steadily increasing import fee on goods from carbon-polluting countries like China will protect American businesses, making U.S. goods more affordable, while forcing China to lower its emissions.
We’d also reduce the annual U.S. death toll (60,000) from carbon pollution and the associated medical costs — approximately $886.5 billion yearly, or 6 percent of GDP annually (Forbes).
— Lynn Goldfarb