Taxing polluters fits conservative policy

Updated 5/4/2021 8:29 AM

The words "conservative" and "conservation" share the same root -- to preserve those things that people rely upon and value. The large segment of the population that is convinced that climate change is a hoax, or greatly exaggerated, have been misled, just as the population was terribly misled about the dangers of asbestos and cigarette smoking.

The techniques of disinformation were identical with climate change and only now is the sales pitch from the merchants of doubt starting to fall on deaf ears. The risks of climate change, even considering only 2 degrees of warming and dismissing the more drastic possibilities, are disastrous.


When George Shultz convinced Ronald Reagan to do something about the ozone hole, he presented it as an insurance policy against risk. That is a bedrock feature of true conservatism -- be prepared. Mr. Panelli is wise to mention national security. On April 9, 2013, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear testified that it was correct that he had referred to climate change as "the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region."

It is also a fundamental of conservatism to take responsibility for your actions. The fossil fuel industry has been escaping that for a century, as society in general deals with air pollution and extreme weather disasters.

Even Milton Friedman supported a tax on pollution for the very reasons Mr. Panelli is citing -- he explicitly said it on the Phil Donohue Show in 1979. Listen to the conservatives who see the big picture, not just this week's sales figures.

Gary M Stewart

Laguna Beach

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.