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posted: 7/20/2013 5:00 AM

GOP is too cool to cap and trade

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Farmers in the Plains states have voted overwhelmingly Republican for many years. The Republican Party, reflecting the interests of their major donors such as the coal, oil and gas industries, has assured them that climate change and global warming are leftist fantasies.

Big Tobacco for many years denied the science claiming smoking was bad for our health. Finally we all had to face the truth. We are now at a point where almost no one denies climate change and global warming. The ranks of scientists in denial are rapidly shrinking.

Cap and trade is berated by the Republicans as being too costly of a solution to a problem they don't want to admit exists because it is anathema to their donors. How many of us recall the great concerns of the states in the eastern United States of the problem of acid rain of a generation ago? Do you remember that we solved the problem by putting in place a cap and trade program for the generators of energy? I saw a recent estimate that program provided a profit of $40 for every $1 that it cost.

At a time like this it is good to remember a couple of old sayings: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and, pay me now or pay me later. The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication points out that the Earth's temperature is almost certain to rise 2 degrees Celsius in the foreseeable future. That would be like increasing a human's temperature from a normal 98.6 to 102, a point at which we'd all feel sick. The concern is that the Earth's temperature can rise 6 C unless we take drastic actions. That would be like raising a human's temperature to 109.4, at which point we'd all be dead.

R. Kent Kirkwood

Mount Prospect

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