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posted: 3/20/2014 5:01 AM

Carbon tax remedy for Earth's 'fever'

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As I lie in bed with a 102 fever, I cannot help but think of our Earth. If I feel this immobilized after a 4-degree F rise in my body temperature, how does the Earth feel? It has risen 1.3 degrees C (2 degrees F) and is on its way to 4-5 degrees C by the end of the century.

The Earth's fever results from the influx of carbon pollution created when fossil fuels are burned. More heat and energy are trapped in our atmosphere and are acting like steroids by pumping up storms' strength. Stronger storms produce more damage. As taxpayers we are funding the fossil fuel industry's externalities when our government spends more on disaster relief.

Climate change is here; it is too late to stop it, but we can prevent it from becoming a calamity if we act now. It is time for a tax on carbon, to make the fossil fuel industry pay for every ton of carbon it emits. We need to reduce the Earth's fever. We can do it if we join together and force our government to act in establishing meaningful legislation on climate change. As climate activist and writer Bill McKibben says, we "are the antibodies kicking in as the planet tries to fight its fever." Call your legislators and demand a tax on carbon.

Melissa Brice

Elk Grove Village

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