Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Carbon fee or tariff could support conservation

A message by a commoner inspired by Charles Koch and Donald Trump:
We the people hold the water, the air, and the wildlife. They are our natural commons. The responsibility for their care falls on us. When there is a failure to account for an ecological cost resulting from an associated action, the planet suffers.
When human populations are low, externalized costs are not as consequential. There are a lot of us now and what each of us does to degrade the planet’s health and capacity for self-renewal matters. A whole lot!
Self-serving, greedy people degrade the commons and apparently still sleep nights. The pressure to profit or to get from A to B has caused otherwise good and smart and moral people to look the other way. We can no longer tolerate this and we polluters must be held accountable for our externalized costs. It is as simple as that.
Burning carbon-based fuels is a major contributor to global heating and the emerging climate crisis. At minimum there ought to be a carbon fee or tariff paid for storing carbon in our commonly-held atmosphere. One-hundred percent  of that fee should be used to conserve carbon-sucking, wild forests, wetlands, and more. It is as simple as that.
No more free carbon lunches. No more subsidies there. No need for commoners to prove anything. The burden of proof is on the polluters. No need to reimburse the polluters. None.
David Brynn
Lincoln

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