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Global warming is alive and well: Other Voices

Roger K. Jarvis’ letter – “Global warming based on poor data” (Town Crier, June 25) – is an example of the attempt by some to portray the growing concern and action related to global warming as some sort of massive conspiracy, while trying to convince people that there is still a “debate.”

Recognizing that many have not taken the time to become familiar with the science, I am concerned that some readers might see the letter from Jarvis and think, “OK, good. There is still doubt, and I do not have to worry about this issue.”

The good news is that there are many easy-to-use resources for folks who want to check the facts. One of the best is skepticalscience.com, where you can quickly find well-documented information about any of the global-warming myths folks might throw at you. For example, the “facts” in Jarvis’ letter were rigorously debunked years ago.

A growing number of very rational, conservative businesspeople are recognizing the significant economic impacts of continued inaction. The just-released “Risky Business Project Report” uses a standard risk-assessment approach to conclude that “the U.S. faces significant and diverse economic risks from climate change.” It is worth noting that a bipartisan set of senior business leaders commissioned the report.

One of the most effective taxpayer- and business-friendly actions the U.S. Congress could take would be to enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax (also known as “Fee and Dividend”). Fossil fuel companies at the point of extraction would pay the tax, which would increase predictably over the course of 10-20 years until it reflected the true cost of carbon-dioxide emissions. A border adjustment would ensure a level playing field for American firms and drive other countries to pursue similar measures. This would set the environmental cost of carbon baked into the economy right up front, return all the money to American households to cover the increased prices and allow the free market do the rest.

I recently joined more than 600 volunteers from Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Washington, D.C., in a meeting with members of Congress and their staffers to get just such legislation passed. I was very encouraged by the positive feedback I received in the offices of both Republicans and Democrats. Please let your members of Congress know that you support this approach.

Karl Danz is a Los Altos resident.

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