President Barack Obama recently said at the U.N. Climate Summit that “no nation is immune to climate change.” He detailed an ambitious clean energy agenda and highlighted carbon emission reductions the U.S. has made to combat the problem. But not all of the world’s major economies have similar goals or plans. What can the U.S. realistically do to mitigate any potential damage caused by climate change? How much should the U.S. do, given the possible impact on the nation’s economy and the failure of other countries to act similarly?
The most reasonable policy, technically and economically, is to enact a revenue-neutral carbon fee with 100 percent dividend as prescribed by James Hansen.
According to a study by Regional Economic Modeling Inc., a fee ramped up over 10 years would increase the U.S. gross domestic product and jobs while decreasing health costs and premature deaths from pollution.
In addition, it would cut CO2 emissions 33 percent by 2025.
It also shows 66 percent of Americans will benefit or break even economically.
This is a market-based solution with no requirement for regulations or picking winners and losers.
Other countries: They will do nothing if the U.S. does not act and provide leadership and competition. Rationally, we should do it for our economic benefit.
— James Moffitt, Lewisville
Many serious scientists who have no political ax to grind claim that the contribution of mankind to that causing global warming is insignificant (less than 1 percent).
This doesn’t mean we should not continue to clean up our polluted Earth and its atmosphere, for a clean environment offers invaluable benefits.
— Grady Fuller, Kennedale
The U.S. should do exactly what China, India and Brazil are doing.
— Ralph M. Gill, Fort Worth
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, if global warming is man-made, there are no solutions to our problem.
Even if we could convince everyone in North America to refrain from traveling and cut way back on oil consumption (will never happen), it would not make a dent in our atmospheric problems.
We have no control over issues outside the country, especially in China, India and Japan.
— John Preston, Arlington
A simple solution: Fire all climate scientists. Its all a giant hoax to alarm citizens by leftist autocratic politicians who get wealthy in the process.
OK, so the Earth is warming. It has been doing so ever since the last Ice Age! No government on terra firma is even the least bit interested in turning things around.
— Steven West, Arlington
We need to be good stewards of our planet and continue to reduce pollution as we are doing, but to sacrifice our role as the most generous and prosperous nation the world has ever known to try to control the climate would be foolhardy at this time.
We need to do everything we can do to determine what’s actually going on with our climate, but we need to pay as much attention to naysayer scientists as we do to those who promote climate change.
— Hugh T. Lefler Jr., Fort Worth
There are steps to be taken to lessen pollution in today’s world.
However, there are people in Hollywood, a former vice president, present-day politicians and world leaders who are hallucinating if they think they can reverse climate change and global warming.
Yes, we need to curtail man-made pollution, but drastically reversing climate change and global warming is a pipe dream, pure and simple.
— Henry W. Roemmich Jr., Mansfield
In my country of origin, Sweden, almost all electricity and heating is generated from CO2-free sources,
Hydro, nuclear, biofuel and wind power. As a result the carbon footprint of the average Swede is less than a third of that of the average American.
Sweden is doing very well economically, and I think the U.S. could learn something from Sweden.
However, the revenue-neutral carbon tax, which is the approach successfully employed by British Columbia, might be better for the U.S. It is a straightforward free-market approach that significantly reduces carbon emissions without harming the economy.
— Thomas Wikman, Dallas
Follow the original instructions (adapted): For six years sow your fields and extract oil and gas from the Earth. In the seventh year, the land is to have a year of rest.
Do not sow or mine the Earth. Do not reap what grows of itself.
Whatever the land yields during the seventh year will be food for you — for yourself, the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land.
Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
The 50th year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines.
Eat only what is taken directly from the fields.
If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other.
— Janet Crowell, Fort Worth