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posted: 3/31/2014 5:01 AM

Use the market to minimize climate change

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As the Herald reported, relased of a major report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was pending ("Big climate report: Warming is big risk for people," Mar. 24). The IPCC is not an advocacy group, political party or well-funded trade society like most of its attackers. It's a collection of the world's top climate scientists who are working, without pay, purely out of a sense of duty to the public. They are donating their time and talents to make the science of anthropogenic climate change crystal clear to the public and the policymakers whose decisions will so deeply influence our future.

This latest IPCC report explores the consequences of our decisions about how we will get the energy we need. Without a concerted effort to move quickly away from fossil fuels, the increased probability of extreme weather events, together with sea level rise, ocean acidification and other disruptions in finely balanced natural systems are likely to cost us dearly.

So we all know what comes next. Send in the climate deniers! Oh, wait. Don't bother ... they're here. March 24 letters to this newspaper by Donald Froehlich and Joseph Haggin were typical, substituting sarcastic talking points and "scare quotes" for responsible commentary based on facts. There isn't enough space here to debunk all the misstatements and head-scratchers in these letters, but I'm sure that the formal release of the IPCC report will bring out the big names whose stock in trade is leveling insults at scientists for nakedly political purposes.

The plain fact is that climate change is serious problem we have to face, and now. There needs to be a solution that transcends partisanship. I believe that solution is a revenue-neutral price on carbon that will let the market decide how best to minimize it.

Rick Knight


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