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We have just 12 years left to get this problem under control

• Mar 6, 2019 at 9:17 AM

NOTE: The following letter to the editor was written by Gus Jaynes of Oberlin.

As a young person, I am deeply concerned about the effects that climate change will have on people during my lifetime, and the generations to follow.

I want to do all that I can to stave off the worst impacts for my generation and our progeny. The most concerning piece of evidence of these impacts comes from the recently published IPCC report, which states that we have 12 years left to get the problem under control. It frightens me that I will hardly have any of my working life to work on the climate issue — so I am taking action now.

Our action must be bold. It must carry an element of environmental justice, recognizing that the marginalized people in society are impacted the most severely by climate change. In this light, I would like to endorse a recent proposal put forth by the Climate Solutions Caucus of the House and Senate - the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill would put a fee on carbon, revenues from which would be returned directly to American households on an equal basis. It is not a measure to grow government. It is not an entirely regressive tax — the low-income side of the spectrum will not be adversely impacted by the proposal. It has wide support — 80 percent of people were found to support a carbon dividend in a recent Yale study. It is one significant step we can take towards reigning in the excess of carbon in the atmosphere.

I encourage anyone interested in the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act to join their local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Contact your local representatives at all levels of government, asking them to support this legislation.

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