Letter: A quick climate-change solution | AspenTimes.com

Letter: A quick climate-change solution

A quick climate-change solution

A recent survey found two-thirds of Americans believe humans cause climate change. Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline. Coal consumption is steeply declining. Renewables are the fastest-growing segment of the energy industry. Shell Oil abandoned drilling in the Arctic. The world nations will soon sign a climate treaty. So why worry about climate change?

Good news lulls us into thinking we have solved the climate crisis: Americans, while believers, are not worried about climate change; Keystone, an important symbolic victory, does little to change oil consumption; Shell abandoned the drilling for economic, not environmental, reasons; and the climate treaty is the low-hanging fruit, leaving the hard work for the future. Despite all the good news, we are falling behind what needs to happen for a sustainable future. Without putting a fee on carbon, we will still likely get renewable-energy programs — but decades too late to stop flooding of coastlines, displacement of billions of people or collapse of economies and ecosystems.

The simple solution: carbon fee and dividend, proposed by the nonpartisan Citizens' Climate Lobby (cclrfv@gmail.com). Free-market, friendly and effective, it incentivizes good (renewable) and discourages bad (carbon-based) while strengthening the economy, and it can happen quickly.

Peter Westcott