April 22, 2019 | 59° F

CCL addresses possible solutions to greenhouse gas problems

Global warming, climate change and ocean acidification are urgent problems that demand rapidly weaning the global economy off fossil fuels. Citizens Climate Lobby is a group that has drafted legislation for how such a goal can be accomplished.

CCL has proposed an increasing revenue-neutral carbon tax with border protections. The best way to take into account the negative externalities from fossil fuel consumption is to factor in collective damages using the price of such fuels. We require an increasing tax on greenhouse gasses at the source of their production in order to provide the financial incentive to end fossil fuel use. Since such taxation would get passed onto consumers, the tax should be revenue neutral. Namely, minus trivial administrative costs, revenue from the tax should be returned to taxpayers by check in equal proportions with children getting half a share, up to two children per household. As a result, those who conserve fossil fuel will end up receiving more money back by check than they pay in tax. Those who consume more fossil fuel than the average person would pay more in tax than they get back by check. Such a system encourages a market-based shift away from greenhouse gas generating goods and services. Finally, in order to prevent U.S. jobs moving overseas resulting from the tax, import taxes on goods from countries without equivalent carbon taxes should be levied and added to the collected revenue and returned in the same fashion.

I urge everyone to become involved with your nearest CCL chapter or donate to CCL until this solution to greenhouse pollution is in place. Further failure to staunch problems caused by greenhouse gasses will remain far more costly than avoiding further damage.

Peter J. Schweinsberg is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in philosophy. He is a staff member in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.

Peter J. Schweinsberg

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