Setting new records is great for some things and not so great for others. As expected, the 2010s set a new record for the hottest decade ever. More records were set for drought, floods, catastrophic storms, ocean acidification, species extinctions, and on — it’s a long list. Most of this change has been brought upon us by our own species, and only our species can slow it down.
One of the most effective things we can do is drastically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. With that goal in mind, last year more than 3,500 economists signed an open letter advocating for a fee on carbon emissions; a bill currently before the U.S. House would do just that. H.B. 763 assesses a fee on emissions at their source, with all the fees returned equally to American households. Fees increase each year, and studies predict this would lead to a 50% reduction of carbon emissions in 12 years and a 90% reduction by 2050; create new jobs; grow the economy; and save lives. H.B. 763 has 74 bipartisan supporters and is awaiting sponsors in the Senate.
It’s up to us to urge our members of Congress to support this legislation. Let’s help slow down the record breaking.
Mark Molen, Salt Lake City