Carbon fee, dividend can save the world

Posted9/25/2021 1:00 AM

It is terrifying to contemplate that the 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit increase in the earth's temperature of the last century could triple by the end of this century. While I am pleased that some steps are being taken both domestically and internationally to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling this climate change, I am dismayed that current efforts fall far short of what is needed.

Let me echo economists Christopher Clapp and Jerry Hinkle in their excellent op-ed on Sept. 20: "This cannot be our future or the future we leave to our children." Clapp and Hinkle, along with 21 Illinois economists, all the living chairs of the Federal Reserve, 28 Nobel laureates and 3,500 other economists call for putting a fee on carbon pollution with a dividend from those fees returned directly to households to mitigate price increases. I'm sold. This simple, straightforward market solution will bring quick, dramatic change that can literally save the world.


A carbon fee and dividend is currently being considered by the U.S. Senate in their budget reconciliation package. Now is the moment to do this. It stands a real chance of passing. Two years from now, five years from now, ten years from now is too late. We must do this now.

While I've been disappointed in the past by too little change too late, I believe this can happen at this moment if enough people let their senators, congressional representatives and the president know that we want this solution now. Corporate interests which want to continue emitting greenhouse gasses are working hard to prevent this solution. But those who want to live happy, healthy lives for generations to come can make our voices heard and persuade our leaders to do the right thing. Let's do it.

Peggy McClanahan


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