Level the playing field | AspenTimes.com

Level the playing field

Dear Editor:Nathan Morse’s letter (letters to the editor, Jan. 27) reveals a common misconception about climate change, and about environmentalism in general.Nathan says it’s hypocritical for the Aspen Skiing Co. to sponsor a green-armband campaign for climate change at the X Games. Well, if the Skico is hypocritical, then so are the CEOs of 10 major corporations, who recently urged the administration to take immediate action on climate change – and so am I, and so is everybody who expresses any concern about global warming, or indeed about any environmental problem.The fact is that just about all of us use fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases. We’re not going to solve the problems of peak oil and climate change if we exclude from the discussion everyone who drives a car or heats with natural gas.More importantly, we won’t even make a dent in these problems if our strategy depends on people and companies “doing the right thing.” With all due respect to Al Gore, climate change is NOT a moral issue. It’s an economic issue.We’ve got to get away from demonizing people because of the vehicles they drive or the lifestyles they live. People (and companies) who waste fossil fuels are operating rationally, because fossil fuels are priced too cheaply; the costs of climate change, global security and many other factors aren’t included.I’m like a lot of people (and companies). I use nonrenewable energy, I feel bad about it, and I want to cut down. I’m reducing my consumption where I can do so economically, and I’m even doing some uneconomic things for my own peace of mind.But I’m not willing to sacrifice myself and my family to reduce my emissions if everyone else is just going to keep on emitting. I want the government to change the rules – cap carbon emissions, tax carbon at the well head or mine, whatever – so that everyone has an equal incentive to save energy and reduce emissions. So that everyone does the right thing without having to be holier than thou.That’s not hypocritical.Dave ReedCarbondale

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