Opinion: Carbon tax could help pay for weatherization efforts

Your extensive and excellent coverage of the People’s Climate March in New York accurately portrayed the remarkable gathering of people who came together to express our deep concern about climate change. The mood at the march was overwhelmingly hopeful, but as your guest editorial asked, “What, really, was accomplished?”
He goes on to answer his question in part by saying we need to cap and decrease carbon emissions by putting a price on carbon. Until governments at every level recognize this pressing need, all the voluntary efforts to reduce carbon emissions will be like a drop in the bucket.
A carbon tax can be structured so as not to hurt those unable to afford it. The proceeds from the tax would be used to increase drastically the support for weatherization efforts and renewable energy development. Just as a tax on cigarettes has lowered smoking rates and helped pay for anti-smoking campaigns, a carbon tax would be a strong incentive for homeowners and businesses to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invest in money-saving weatherization and renewable energy.
For those concerned about climate change, a simple action you can take is to write a letter to our senators, congressman, the governor, your legislator, and candidates for those positions and say you support a progressive carbon tax. We are running out of time to make a difference, but we still have time to at least slow down the damage if we all work together. 
Fran Putnam

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