So what’s stopping us from acting on what we know? Climate change is a complicated problem, and most of us can only get our heads around the major points we hear repeated again and again.
Psychologists tell us it is not unusual for people to be in denial of such global problems; we also have a tendency to wait to see if maybe things aren’t really so bad or to see what those around us are going to do about dire situations.
Reducing our personal carbon footprints is actually significant, but we may feel it is ineffective in the face of such global climate change.
Taking the path to a clean-energy economy is a larger-scale action we can take as a society. One market-based approach to such a path is a gradually increasing tax on carbon.
A carbon-tax plan with all the revenues returned to U.S. households can help us transition to a clean-energy economy. This policy would protect consumers by giving them additional income to deal with price increases on petroleum products.
Such a plan could also make it possible to encourage carbon taxes internationally through agreements on border tariffs.
Legislation to place a price on carbon has come before Congress each year for several years now and is gaining ground with both liberals and conservatives.
By placing a predictable, revenue-neutral tax on carbon, we can stop putting our heads in the sand and actually take positive action to maintain a world where humans can comfortably live and flourish.
Catherine Hobbs is a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby-Norman.