The catastrophic bushfires currently burning across Australia have caused the loss of millions of wild and domestic animals, thousands of homes and businesses and at least 25 human lives.

The arid outback landscape that is burning in Australia is similar to most of Utah. It could easily happen here, and soon.

Rather than simply waiting for our fire season to begin, Utahns could get busy this winter taking simple steps to persuade our state and national legislators to support HB763, currently before the U.S. House, which economists widely agree is the best chance to transition the industrial system away from fossil fuel reliance, without creating a massive economic disruption.

HB763 seeks to price carbon emissions into every aspect of economic activity by placing a fee on the production of fossil fuels, and thus everything produced with or powered by them. The revenue raised would be shared equally by all Americans, offsetting the higher cost of energy and at the same time creating market based economic decision making by all businesses and households that finally takes the true cost of carbon emissions into account.

It’s up to us to urge our members of Congress to support this legislation.

Simon Diggins, Salt Lake City