Monday, December 8, 2014

Ray West 12-7-2014 - Tax toxic pollutants

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Chris Breedlove 9-2-2014 - It's a brave new -- dry -- world

It's a brave new -- dry -- world
The drought has surpassed alarming levels and is becoming eerily reminiscent of desolate scenes from the 1979 dystopian movie, "Mad Max."What happens if exceptional droughts are the new norm for California? Why aren't Fresno meteorologists talking about the drought's correlation to climate change? Why aren't local elected leaders moving toward meaningful mitigation and adaptation?

The correlation of a warming Earth and extreme weather events deserves earnest attention. It's probable that climate change causes an erratic and wavy jet stream. Being on the high-pressure side of the jet stream, like California often is, results in drought.

Too often climate change gets lost in a charade of false equivalency where it's presented as an unsettled issue still up for debate. Meanwhile, NASA measures with great precision increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and diminishing mountain snow-pack. Also, the U.S. military and world governments, motivated by geopolitical interests, are readily game planning for a brave new world radically reshaped by climate change. But one would never learn about climate change's local implications from Fresno meteorologists or news media.

Chris Breedlove

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Don Gaede 11-17-2014 - Carbon tax is needed

Carbon tax is needed

Although some environmentalists may disagree, the Keystone pipeline is fairly irrelevant in the bigger picture of climate change. That Canadian sand oil will get transported and sold one way or another. The critical step to protect our climate is to dramatically cut our oil consumption.

To do that, many prominent economists, including conservative ones like George Shultz and Greg Mankiw, advocate a carbon tax. The revenues from the tax could either go back to American households, or be used to decrease other taxes. Either way, a carbon tax would stimulate the development of alternative energy — like plug-in electric vehicles, solar farms and even nuclear power plants.

The other advantage of a carbon tax: The marketplace would determine whether building a pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast makes any sense —not politicians.

Don Gaede

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Ray West 10-31-2014 - Bigger threat than graffiti

Bigger threat than graffiti

On reading The Bee's editorial, "Throw the book at Yosemite's Mist Trail tagger," (Oct. 28) the truth of one sentence leaped out at me: "To experience beauty is to yearn to possess it." Part of the outrage is that the vandal valued her own whim over a symbol of the bounty of the earth and debased it with a kind of greed.

Yet every one of us, every day, does more harm to the planet than a platoon of "CreepyTings" vandals. The industrial processes that fuel our material wealth are degrading the earth. Whatever the motivation was for this wilderness graffiti, I take it as a prophecy, a reminder that all is not well with our world.  

Ray West

Seth Tilley 6-12-2014 - It's smart business

It's smart business

American auto manufacturers fought against fuel-efficiency and emissions standards back in the 1970s and 1980s. While Europe and Asia focused on efficiency, we focused on short-term profits. This "win" for the industry resulted in American autos becoming less competitive in an evolving international market.

Now America has the opportunity to lead the transition away from a carbon-based economy, but we're, again, abdicating that role to countries like Germany and Japan. These countries are pursuing alternatives to carbon because "externalities" like poor air and water quality, increased healthcare costs, unstable energy supplies and pricing, international resource wars, and man-made climate change are simply too costly -- and the alternatives are better and cheaper. The externalities of carbon are crippling the U.S. economy, and making our planet less hospitable for humans.

Yes, the transition from fossil fuels must happen for the sake of future generations, but it's also smart business now. To remain economically competitive on a global scale America needs to discourage the carbon economy and encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy.

As businessman Jigar Shah has said, climate change is "the largest wealth creation opportunity on the planet." So why are we resisting this inevitability instead of leading the charge?  

Seth Tilley

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Stephenie Frederick 10-18-2014 - Climate opinions collide

Climate opinions collide

In response to Richard Mead's letter of Oct. 11 that dismisses the climate crisis along with humankind's ability to create such a crisis, may I suggest a website created by people like him who are also keeping on eye on things:

The watchers of geo-engineering hold a very different position from Mr. Mead's. Not only do we have extreme and unwelcome changes in the climate, but a subset of humankind is deliberately bringing these changes about.How would Mr. Mead reconcile such conflicting positions -- his and theirs -- when they are taken by people who are obviously so like-minded?

Stephenie Frederick

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Loren Alving 8-10-2014 - Fight warming with fees

Fight warming with fees

International experience shows that a carbon fee and dividend is a market-based approach that combats global warming.

Before being repealed due to political pressure, Australia's carbon tax caused greenhouse gas emissions to drop and the percentage of energy from clean sources to rise. Even more impressively, British Columbia's carbon tax, also enacted in 2008, is not only encouraging innovation and reductions in emissions but has widespread support while fostering an innovation-positive, business-friendly climate.

What is the difference? The difference is that British Columbia's is revenue-neutral. All revenue from the tax must be returned to British Columbians. Their tax has actually turned out to be revenue-negative, meaning that on average more money was returned to each household than was spent.

The revenue-neutral fee and dividend proposed by the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) would also return 100% of proceeds to U.S. households. A recent study by Regional Economic Modeling Inc. predicts most American households will get back more than they spend. The British Columbian experience proves it can happen. As former Secretary of State George Schultz, a strong CCL proponent, says, "you can't call it a tax if you return all the money."

 Loren Alving

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Loren Alving 10-3-2014 - Climate is 'urgent matter'

Climate is 'urgent matter'

Climate change is the defining issue of our time.

Twenty-three million people across the globe participated in the People's Climate March, including over 300,000 in New York City, showing that this is anything but a fringe issue. Pete Moe's Valley Voices on Sept. 24 laid to rest any lingering concerns that this is just a liberal issue -- the military and prominent Republicans agree this is an urgent matter of national and international security.

Many solutions have been proposed, though none with all the benefits of the revenue-neutral fee and dividend proposal by the Citizens' Climate Lobby. In case you think that this is a fringe or liberal solution, look no further than the oil companies -- ExxonMobil's website states that they "believe a well-designed, revenue-neutral carbon tax program provides a more cost-effective alternative to a cap-and-trade regime for reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions" and "this approach ensures a uniform and predictable cost of carbon, lets market prices drive solutions ... promotes global participation, and is easily adjusted to future developments in climate science and policy impacts."

A solution supported by oil companies, environmentalists, Republicans and Democrats? This is a proposal well worth our consideration.

Loren Alving


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Pete Moe 4-9-2014 - Citizens alliance has solutions for climate change

Citizens alliance has solutions for climate change
   Pete Moe

President George W. Bush, in his 2007 State of the Union speech, said, "Dependence on foreign oil leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes and terrorists, and clean domestic alternatives help us confront the serious challenge of global climate change." President Bush correctly noted that climate change, national security and dependence on fossil fuels are a related set of global challenges.
The U.S. Department of Defense recently released its 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review. Every four years, our military strategists attempt to predict future threats to our country, the causes of these threats and a broad plan on how to deal with them.
This year's report identifies the "threat multiplier" nature of climate change. These "threat multipliers ... will aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions -- conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of  violence.
"Furthermore, Adm. Sam Locklear, theater commander of the Pacific, said to Congress just this summer, "Climate change is the single greatest threat to security in the Pacific, except for North Korea."
Henry M. Paulson was Bush's secretary of the treasury when the economic crash of 2008 waylaid us all. In his own words: "For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation's financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do."We're making the same mistake today with climate change. We're staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked."
Paulson's answer to the problem of climate change is a fundamentally conservative one that empowers the marketplace to find the most efficient response. That is done, he says, by, "putting a price on the emissions of carbon dioxide."
Paulson is not alone in recognizing the danger in doing nothing. In recent years, an organization, started by just a handful of people, has surged across America, with chapters in every large city, including Fresno.
The stunning growth rate of Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) is based on one simple fact: CCL has a simple yet effective plan to combat climate change: a national carbon-fee-and-dividend law.This is not cap and trade. CCL's proposal is to charge a fee for carbon at its source (mine, well, or border), and then rebate 100% of the revenues monthly to every U.S. household, much like Alaska's Permanent Fund from oil revenues. Pricing carbon would eliminate the market distortion that results when no one pays the cost of dumping carbon into our atmosphere.
Two thirds of the population would come out ahead monetarily.In this way, every U.S. consumer could use the extra money to cover increased costs of transportation and products as they wish. They could use their extra income to cover the higher cost of carbon-based fuels, or switch to cheaper renewable-energy sources and actually help themselves to a profit as they help the earth to a maintain a more stable atmosphere.
No political party would choose winners and losers -- the U.S. consumer would do that.For international trade, there would be import fees on products from countries without a carbon fee, along with rebates to the U.S. industries exporting to those countries.Recent in-depth studies have shown pricing carbon in this way will give back to most Americans more money than they put into the program, put the brakes on pollution and actually create a net gain of 2.1 to 2.8 million jobs. U.S. CO2 emissions would decline (from the baseline year of 1990) 52% by the year 2035.Bush, Paulson and the Department of Defense are right -- climate change is a real threat to our nation's security and economy. CCL's plan deserves close consideration from all of us, regardless of political party.  
Pete Moe has been a resident of the Fresno area for 22 years with his wife and three children. He retired after a 26-year career as an officer and combat fighter pilot in the Air Force and Fresno Air Guard. He is an international captain for Federal Express.

Pete Moe 6-18-2014 - California shines in clean energy

California shines in clean energy

The Bee's editorial on June 5, "California leads way in efforts to cut reliance on fossil fuels," was well written. It recognizes that California leads the country toward a cleaner, healthier future. Seth Tilley's letter June 11 entitled "It's smart business" is also dead on. I sense a seismic shift of attitudes in the Fresno area.

The San Joaquin Valley produces the most solar power per capita in the entire country. The benefits of this are incredible: reductions in climate-changing CO2, cleaner air, cleaner water, an overall healthier environment and hugely increased energy security. Not to mention high-paying jobs.

The exciting thing is we are in the infancy of this revolution in renewable energy here in Fresno and in the United States. The economic benefits are staggering. I'm less a fan of cap-and-trade markets, and a big fan of the much simpler, business friendly revenue-neutral carbon tax. I invite readers of The Bee to get excited about this and join other voices, such as the folks at the Fresno Citizens' Climate Lobby, to push harder toward a clean, healthy and prosperous future.  

Pete Moe

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Pete Moe 5-3-2014 - Clean energy is our moon shot

Clean energy is our moon shot
   Pete Moe

My background is as a long-time fiscal conservative. I was an officer in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, a combat F-16 pilot for 16 of those years. I have lived in the Fresno/Clovis area for 23 years, and have a wife and three children. This is our home, and we want to keep it a healthy, strong and vibrant for myself, my children and their future families. In recent years, my politics have moved from Republican to the un-aligned "independent" column due to a lack of leadership by either party. But I remain optimistic that the two warring parties can come together and address critical areas of global warming and climate change.
I recently heard an essay at the Fresno regional conference of Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL). CCL is a citizen-led lobbying group whose sole purpose is to persuade members of Congress to pass a consumer-friendly carbon tax that will speed the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
The essay, by physicist and small business owner Peter Fiekowsky, was titled "Our new moon shot: Restore a healthy climate by 2070."
Fiekowsky, an MIT graduate who formerly worked in infrared astrophysics at NASA, wrote this as a positive outlook of our future that we can achieve by taking decisive action to reduce the threat of climate change.
He starts by comparing the current situation with President John F. Kennedy's speech in 1961 to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Many Americans thought it was complete folly at the time. However, we had a clear and ambitious goal and deadline, and we rose to the occasion.We can do the same thing with the climate. Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson wrote in 2009 that we could switch the world's energy from fossil fuels to renewables by 2045. Jacobson affirms that we can get 100% of global energy by using solar, wind and hydropower.
The greater Fresno area already is the greatest producer of clean solar power per capita in the United States.
Imagine a San Joaquin Valley with clean energy, clean air and a strong, growing renewable energy industry. It already is happening, but a legislative push is needed to really get us moving.Wind generation has been growing over 25% per year for the past six years. It provides 3% of our electricity now. If we maintain that growth rate, it will provide 50% by 2025. Solar provides 1% of our electricity now, and it is growing over 50% a year. If we keep that pace, it will provide 50% of our electricity by 2025. Energy efficiency will provide at least a 30% reduction in our requirements.
China is working hard to slash its fossil fuel consumption and severe air pollution. Since 2012, China has built more new wind capacity than coal capacity, and the New York Times reported China is expected to reduce its net coal imports to zero by 2015. India is starting work on the world's largest solar panel -- 4 gigawatts.
So why do we invent the clean energy technologies here in the U.S., just to export the technology, production, wealth and independence they create to foreign countries?
We have viable tools in the proposed revenue neutral carbon tax/dividend legislation that we could put in place right now. The logical place for the U.S. to be is the global leader in renewable energy.
Fiekowsky promotes two policies that are critical to achieve our rapid transition to renewables:First, a gradually increasing carbon tax, such as the proposed legislation from the Citizens' Climate Lobby, as recommended by almost all economists.
Second, promoting investment in clean energy. Fossil fuels still receive six times more subsidies than renewables.
Fiekowsky then ends with this call to action:"Tell your children, President Obama and your representatives the legacy you want to leave: A healthy climate by 2070. That is our moon shot. There is room for small government fans and everyone else to contribute in this game."
I agree. But I believe political will starts at home, here in the San Joaquin Valley. The proposed revenue neutral carbon tax/dividend legislation is a win for both major parties, because it is good for all the people of the San Joaquin Valley.
Let's shoot for the moon!  
Pete Moe is a resident of Clovis and a captain for FedEx Express Corp.

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Don Gaede 4-28-2014 - Steep learning curve on climate

Steep learning curve on climate

As Paul Krugman pointed out in his April 23 column, the climate threat should be solved: "The science is solid; the technology is there; the economics look far more favorable than anyone expected."

But a number of hurdles stand in the way of the solution. One obstacle was revealed in a recent AP poll. Forty percent of Americans are "not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases."

It reminds me of the long learning curve we Americans required to recognize the dangers of smoking. According to a 1958 Gallop poll, 44% of us did not believe that smoking caused cancer. This was the case even though for several decades, many doctors and public health organizations raised concerns that tobacco was the cause of serious health issues.

Now, 56 years later, followed by a whole lot of education, legislation and several Surgeon General's reports, only 4% of us doubt that smoking causes cancer.

I'm confident that the vast majority of Americans will eventually recognize the threat of climate change. I just hope it doesn't take another 56 years for that to happen.  

Don Gaede

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Don Gaede 3-16-2014 - McClintock's denial

McClintock's denial

I agree with part of Rep. Tom McClintock's column (March 12). Increasing California's water storage capacity is a good idea, because as our climate warms, droughts may be more severe, and precipitation will likely come more in the form of rain and less as snow.But his denial of human-induced climate change is very risky thinking. It stands in stark opposition to the opinion of the vast majority of climate scientists. Instead, he chooses to believe the 3% of climate scientists who think human activities have nothing to do with our changing climate. Conservatives are not known as big risk-takers, so this is a bit surprising to me.

We need to attack the drought from both directions: conserve more water, but also address climate change. Addressing only one facet of the problem would be akin to getting an angioplasty for a heart attack, and then continuing to smoke a pack a day. You may have fixed the short-term problem, but place yourself at high risk of major problems down the road.

There will need to be concessions from both sides of the aisle to assure an abundant future for our children and grandchildren.  

Don Gaede

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Richard Haas 2-11-2014 - Human activity has impacts

Human activity has impacts 
Global climate is an extremely complex phenomenon of interplay between a great many factors, some well understood, others not. That local drought cannot be directly attributed to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases does not mean that such play no role.
What is known with very high confidence is that human activity continues to change earth's atmosphere and that carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are major man-made drivers of climate change.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, referred to by Patrick Ryan's Jan. 30 letter critiquing Don Gaede's Jan. 24 letter of concern about rising carbon dioxide levels, it is virtually certain that human influence continues to negatively impact global climate systems.The IPCC report was produced by some 1,000 scientists from over 30 countries. The summary alone is some 100 very technical pages. It is inconceivable that Mr. Ryan has read the report and even more unbelievable that he is expert on the highly complex systems reported on. To dismiss the crucial issues as "model-driven political agendas" is absurd.
As Mr. Ryan himself writes, the correct path to understanding climate change is adherence to scientific fact. And some modesty in critiquing that which one does not know much about in the first place.
Richard Haas

Don Gaede 1-24-2014 - Address the cause of drought

Address the cause of drought 
A "ridiculously resilient ridge" of high pressure that is four miles high, 200 miles long is causing our current drought, according to meteorologists. This ridge has been blocking any significant precipitation from coming to California for the past 13 months, breaking a record going back 160 years.
I suspect this record drought is related to another record that was recently made: atmospheric carbon dioxide levels just passed the 400 parts per million mark. This is a level that hasn't been seen on our planet for 3 million years. Carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere, significantly increasing the likelihood of drought in the Southwest.
I agree with The Bee that Californians need to address the likelihood of persistent drought by putting a water bond on the ballot. But we also need to address the underlying problem, and that is climate change.
Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Bernie Sanders of Vermont have introduced legislation that would put a fee on carbon and methane production. Similar to the Alaska oil dividend, most of the money would go back to every legal resident to offset any possible price increase in fuel or electricity.
This measure deserves our support. Don H. Gaede

Don Gaede 10-24-2014 - Take measured steps

Take measured steps

I wish Michael Freeman were right (letter Oct. 15). I wish there could be, as he puts it, "a massive increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide" without causing any global warming. I would sleep better at night.

Unfortunately, he leaves out a few things: like the ocean. It covers 70% of the Earth's surface, and has immense heat-storing capacity. In fact, the vast majority of global warming goes into the ocean. Its temperature has shown a very steady rise since 1950.

Surface temperatures show more variability, but the overall trend is unmistakably upward. The World Meteorological Association stated that the decade 2000 to 2010 was the warmest since records began in 1850.

I agree with Mr. Freeman on one point: "draconian measures" are not needed to address global warming. But we do need to start taking measured steps toward averting a very serious problem.

Don Gaede Fresno

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Don Gaede 7-13-2014 - Don't exempt fossil fuels

Don't exempt fossil fuels

AB 32, California's landmark public health law to reduce greenhouse gases, is saving lives and money by reducing emissions from dirty fossil fuels that contribute to pollution-related asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer, emergency room visits and even death. This law is critical to cleaning up the San Joaquin Valley's severe air pollution problem, caused primarily by transportation fuels.

So I was surprised to see Assembly Member Henry T. Perea leading an effort to exempt dirty fossil fuels from the cap-and-trade program.We Valley residents are already bearing a heavy health care and financial burden from breathing polluted air. That's why more than 30 major medical and health care organizations in California support AB 32 to save lives and reduce health care costs due to air pollution.

By avoiding their obligation under AB 32, the oil industry is promising to impose even more costs on families, with more air pollution and health care costs. It comes as no surprise that the oil industry is looking out for their bottom line -- and not for your health.

I urge Assembly Member Perea and Valley legislators to reconsider their positions.

Don Gaede Fresno

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Twyla Smith 8-31-2014 - Win-win solution on fees

Win-win solution on fees 
 In an article on Assemblymember Henry T. Perea's bill to delay implementation of "cap and trade," you quote state Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, as saying, "Gasoline is not a luxury for most Californians; it's a necessity."
This statement is absolutely true; but so is Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's statement regarding the costs of curbing carbon pollution-- "the cost of doing nothing is even greater."
There is however, a solution to both problems -- a recent report by the respected nonpartisan REMI group (Regional Economic Modeling Inc.) shows that a carbon-based fee that is actually returned to households would ease the pain to everyday Americans, put the brakes on pollution and actually create 2 million jobs.
Good for the environment, good for taxpayers, good for the economy -- so why are our legislators delaying on bringing such a bill to the table?
Join the Citizen's Climate Lobby in contacting your congressperson and urging them to take a look at the REMI report and the positive results this type of revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend would have. Your children will thank you!  
Twyla Smith

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Devin Carroll 9-17-2014 - Join People's Climate March

Join People's Climate March

On Sept. 23, world leaders will gather at the United Nations for a one-day Climate Summit, a prelude to negotiations for a global climate treaty late next year in Paris.

Two days before this meeting, a coalition of more than 1,000 organizations is uniting for the People's Climate March, projected to be the largest climate march in history. Climate Trains will ferry people to New York City from around the country and beyond. In solidarity, hundreds of events are planned around the world in a Global Weekend of Action.

In Fresno, a People's Climate March will be held on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. Participants will meet at the Newman Center, 1572 E. Barstow, and walk to the corner of Cedar and Shaw avenues, where they'll stay until 6 p.m.

Please come and show your support for a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world economy that works for people and the planet; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities. Bring a sign about the kind of world you want.For more information, contact

Devin Carroll Fresno

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Devin Carroll 2014-06-29 - Climate modeling works

Climate modeling works

The climate-change denier machine has been spreading the idea that scientists "manipulated" temperature data to hide the "fact" that average world temperature was actually warmer in the 1930s.

Suppose you wanted to know the average temperature of Europe in the 1700s but only had records from London and Rome. Would you blame scientists for using a model to estimate the temperatures of Moscow and Athens? Would that be some kind of "conspiracy"? This is the purpose of models that make 1930 data comparable to 2014 data.

Climatology has improved immensely since even the 1970s, when computers and satellites were just coming into play. People don't realize how much more we know today. When scientists say that the climate is warming and models show the cause is the megatons of carbon dioxide we are emitting, they have the data to prove it.If the planet is not warming, why are the ice caps melting?

These fabricated arguments paid for by the Koch brothers and their pals show the weakness and venality of their stand. It is time for everyone to pull together and do everything we can to slow the release of greenhouse gases.  

Devin Carroll Fresno

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Connie Young 11-8-2014 - Focus on climate change

Focus on climate change

Congratulations to Congressman Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, on his re-election.

As his constituent, I ask that he now turn his attention to addressing the serious risks posed by climate change. Scientific studies, reported in The Bee on Nov. 1 and 3, predict a significant future reduction in California's snow pack, and temperatures that may make it dangerous for people to go outside. Fresno does not need more drought or heat!

Reasonable people understand and confront risk. We wear seat belts because scientists warned us of the risk of injury from not being restrained during a car crash. Most of us have health insurance because of the potential risk of illness, and property insurance because of the risk of damage to our businesses and homes.

With the election over, now it is time for our politicians to set aside their differences and confront the risks of climate change. One possible solution is to put a price on carbon pollution, with all proceeds going to U.S. households. A recent study has shown that this approach will reduce emissions, save lives, create jobs and grow the economy.

Having won our votes, now it's time for our elected officials to earn them.  

Connie Young Fresno

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Connie Young 9-25-2014 - Overcoming climate change

Overcoming climate change
I appreciated The Bee's coverage of rising CO2 emissions and the People's Climate March (Sept. 22). The more people who understand the threat of climate change, the sooner we will summon the courage to get it under control.

I participated in the People's Climate March in Fresno, along with farmers, business people, tradespeople, faith leaders, professors and many others. We marched in solidarity with over 23 million people participating in 2,808 events in 166 countries (per Our message was loud and clear: We want world leaders do their part to help fix the problem of climate change.

While the march will help jump-start government action, there is much to be done. Members of Citizens' Climate Lobby will continue marching together to the hallowed halls of Congress to do something radical -- work with elected officials to pass a revenue-neutral carbon fee with dividend. Learn more about CCL's proposal at

The U.S. has led the world in confronting and overcoming seemingly insurmountable problems in the past, and we can do it again. All we need is confidence, determination and political will.  

Connie Young Fresno

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Connie Young 8-12-2014 - Pay now or pay more later

Pay now or pay more later

The campaign against the "hidden gas tax" is penny wise and pound foolish. While there's reason for concern about oil companies increasing the price of gas, let's consider the hidden costs of the problems made worse by climate change, including wildfires, drought, floods, heat waves and severe storms. Californians will be picking up the tab for these disasters in the form of increased taxes, food prices, insurance rates and health-care costs. By comparison, the projected increase in the price of gas will look like a bargain.

Instead of fighting the gas tax, I'd suggest supporting a reasonable alternative. Citizens' Climate Lobby proposes national legislation that would place a fee on fossil fuels where they're produced. Carbon-use fees would also be added to imports from countries with no carbon fees. The revenue would be paid as dividends to households to protect them from rising gas and other prices. A recent study by Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. shows that such a plan would create jobs, increase the gross domestic product, save lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now that's a plan that makes cents to me!  

Connie Young Fresno

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Connie Young 2014-07-04 - Patriotic participation

 Patriotic participation

This year, I celebrated the Fourth of July early, and in a way I've never done before. There were no fireworks, patriotic songs or apple pies. With the exception of a few people I knew, I was with 600 total strangers, some 2,800 miles from my home. Yet, I have never felt as patriotic as I did on June 24.

I was participating in a Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) conference, in Washington, D.C. We descended on Capitol Hill to talk with our senators, members of Congress and their staffs about the possibility of slowing global warming by putting a price on carbon pollution.

Most of us were volunteers who, like myself, had never lobbied before. Yet, with careful coaching by CCL staff and experienced members, we familiarized ourselves with our elected officials and their districts' issues, planned and conducted our meetings, took notes and debriefed after each session.

I felt proud of our system of government and very pleased to participate in the democratic process. I'll still be able to enjoy fireworks and patriotic music today. But if I had to choose between those expressions of patriotism or lobbying in Washington, I'd go back in a heartbeat.  

Connie Young Fresno

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Connie Young circa 11-4-2013

    Are you tired of hearing about or experiencing extreme weather events like floods, severe storms, and droughts, while our leaders fail to take action to reduce the greenhouse gas pollution? Then you’ll be glad to know about two local groups that are working on solutions.
     Fresnans Against Fracking opposes fracking within the boundaries Fresno’s sole-source aquifer. Learn more about it at: Califonians Against Fracking on Facebook.(or Gary or Jay's email?)  Citizens Climate Lobby promotes national legislation that will put a price on carbon. For information about the newly formed local chapter and an upcoming training session, contact Tom Cotter: