Letter: Rep. Becky Edwards and climate change, by Jan Freed

Congrats to Utah House Rep. Becky Edwards, R-North Salt Lake, for her sober and clear view of the climate crisis. Warming is occurring. Our use of fossil fuels, so helpful for so long, is, unfortunately, the primary cause. But, fortunately, alternative energy can take their place.

The solution? We cannot remove the 1.5 trillion tons of carbon dioxide humans have emitted from these fuels. Last year, extreme events caused untold misery in the U.S. and cost us $306 billion, or about $950 per person. These events have increased in frequency and severity.

How do we quicken the transition to alternatives? Economists say, “Put a price on carbon,” which makes low-carbon products more economical. The Citizens Climate Lobby adds that we should “rebate those carbon fees to the consumer.” Government doesn’t keep a dime. Though not a conservative myself, I like this small-government solution.

Studies show a sharp reduction in emissions over 20 years. Other benefits include hundreds of thousands of lives saved (pollution kills), millions of jobs saved (the rebate acts as a stimulus) and hundreds of billions added to gross domestic product.

Including a border tax on carbon would protect domestic industries and incentivize other countries to “go low” in carbon to avoid the border tax.

It is a beautiful solution to a deadly problem. And it is bipartisan. But, unless you choose national leaders who really do care as much as Ms. Edwards, it hasn’t a prayer.

Jan Freed
Los Angeles, California
Deseret News



Climate change is real

Link to Bakersfield Californian page

Jan Freed
Los Angeles
Jan. 3, 2018

Ms. White, the president’s nominee for economic advisor, is simply a climate change denier, with colorful, bizarre talking points. Ms. White, I am neither a communist nor a pagan. I have the humility to respect the conclusions of every scientific academy in the world (NASA has a list of 200). Do I call you a Nazi because you cling to these bizarre notions? No, that would be rude.

Climate change is fact based on evidence, not opinion. We have seen the predictions of scientists come to pass. Forest fires burn 7-10 times the areas as before. Heat waves occur 5 times more often. Sea level rise is accelerating. Record floods. Diseases are migrating.

Nearly 1.5 trillion tons of man’s carbon emissions are clearly the cause; all other ‘natural causes’ have been ruled out. Ms. White, what is your explanation? The sun? Earth’s orbits? Volcanoes? Nope.

By turning her back on the crisis she (and Mr. Trump) are complicit in the climate change deaths of hundreds of thousands per year 88 percent of them children (World Health Organization). It borders on criminal negligence.

Greening California

Daniel Brotman
Pasadena Star News: 12/3/17

Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, says he’s an environmental champion, but on his vote against Senate Bill 100, which would have increased clean energy, he let California down. The era of fossil-fuel electricity is over. Utilities would have reevaluated investment plans. Legislators prioritized big money over climate.


Dangers to democracy

Jan Freed
Eagle Rock

Thank you, Ms. Ellis, for your eloquent  description of the deep dangers to our democracy, not just from Donald Trump, but from those who all but worship him, no matter the consequences. Your thoughts rang true.

Trump’s dismantling of climate protections also should not be ignored.  We might survive a cruel despot or two, but we simply cannot survive the consequences of this willful, continuous mendacity.

We know the impacts of 1.5-degree Fahrenheit global increase.  With carbon unchecked, our greatest scientific minds warn we are headed for the insanity of four times that.

Trump’s followers did not bargain for that.


Clean energy no longer a drag on our economy

Dick Smith

Dear Editor: Cap Times columnist Spencer Black isn’t the only one who’s noticed the dramatic increase in climate-related damage from extreme fire and rain. The number of Americans “very worried” about climate change has doubled to a record 22 percent since 2015, largely due to more extreme events.

Black is also right that doing nothing about climate change would be very expensive — citing $200 billion in hurricane-recovery costs in Texas alone.

I only wish Black had asked a different closing question. Citing Texas, he asks if we “still think limiting climate change is too expensive.” It implies that rapidly transitioning to clean energy would also be an expensive drag on our economy. That assumption is a relic of late-20th century economics. It’s no longer true. Worse, it’s slowing political progress.

Put simply, we don’t have to sacrifice our economy to save our climate.

There are smart ways and dumb ways to cut CO2 emissions. One very smart way is a federal carbon-fee-and-dividend idea proposed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby and endorsed in a January 2016 Cap Times editorial.

CCL’s proposal would cut CO2 emissions in half in just 20 years. And, as we transition to clean energy, it would also grow jobs, grow GDP, assure a level playing field for American businesses at home and abroad (without treaties) and protect the overwhelming majority of low-income and middle-income families from any net financial loss due to rising gas and electricity costs, or from rising energy costs embedded in our consumer goods.

Reader’s View: Carbon-fee plan could blunt warming

Duluth News Tribune 11/28/17
Jordan Sollitto
Los Angeles

This is in response to the Nov. 21 Local View column in the News Tribune, headlined, “Urge the momentum that’s building for carbon pricing.”

A carbon-fee-and-dividend plan would be, by far, the broadest, most market-driven measure we could implement to combat climate change. The fee would level the playing field for renewable-energy sources that have had to compete with fossil fuels priced artificially low, as the true societal cost of their extraction and use never has been levied. The dividend — returning all revenues from the fee directly to all citizens via monthly rebate checks — would stimulate the economy and offset any rise in the consumer price index resulting from the fee.

There’s no silver bullet for global warming, but carbon fee and dividend offers the best chance to blunt its effects going forward.

California and the climate

Tarta Smitheman, Pasadena
Pasadena Star News

Ricardo Lara’s op-ed, “Why California is going to the United Nations climate conference” (Nov. 9) resonates firstly because he mentions the smog that used to blanket Los Angeles. My great-grandmother moved to Pasadena in the early 1900s. By the 1950s, smog hid the mountains. When refuge inside could not soothe her respiratory ailments, my great-grandmother left Los Angeles. Nowadays, the San Gabriels are my visual solace, year-round, especially near twilight when the spines of ridge lines, the architecture of these mountains, are laid bare, highlighted. God bless the Clean Air Act.

And bless those politicians (like Lara and Judy Chu) who choose to mitigate climate change. In addition, we should always focus first on what’s bipartisan: carbon fee and dividend, repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard, extending Master Limited Partnerships to renewable energy and pushing for some of the cuts based on the Green Scissors report.  There is much good work to be done.