Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Connie Young -12-29-2015 - Editorial Got Climate Change Half Right

 Editorial Got Climate Change Half Right
December 29, 2015

I appreciate The Bee Editorial Board’s bold stand on climate change Dec. 23. We agree on most of its proposed solutions, especially the need to pay for the hidden costs associated with carbon emissions. However, we differ in the way those costs should be paid.

Any additional gas tax should be returned to people via a dividend, otherwise it would be a hardship for the poor, many of whom can’t afford newer, fuel-efficient vehicles. Returning it via dividend would also avoid the revenue distribution problems associated with methods such as cap-and-trade.

Consider assessing a national fee on all fossil fuels, wherever they are produced or enter the country. Give all the proceeds equally to U.S. households, in the form of a dividend, to protect them from rising prices. This will enable them to buy cleaner energy and more efficient products as they become more affordable. Place a border tariff on imports from countries that don’t have a carbon pricing system, to protect U.S. businesses from unfair competition. Subsidies and excessive regulations won’t be needed.

It’s called revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend and it’s time for Congress to make it a reality.

Connie Young,
Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Fresno

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article51919710.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, December 14, 2015

Victor Kral - 12-14-2015 - Climate Lobby likes cash for Consumers

December 14, 2015

We are learning today that America’s middle class is no longer the majority of the population.

We all know about the rising cost of home-energy use, the increases in student loans, the vast number of jobs being created paying minimum wage, high cost of health care, and huge financial burdens being placed on America’s shrinking middle class.

There is one organization that has a plan to put hard cash back into the average American’s household budget. Citizens Climate Lobby proposes refunding fees collected at the source of fossil-fuel mining and returning that money to consumers, encouraging cleaner energy development and rewards to benefit the industries’ consumers.

What other program proposes putting money into your pockets?

 V.E. Kral, Fresno

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article49318045.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Don Gaede - 12/3/2015 - Addressing climate change is smart

Addressing climate change is smart

The effects of climate change are grossly unfair. As India’s prime minister Narendra Modi stated Nov. 30, “Climate change is not of our making. But we in India face its consequences today. We see it in the risks to our farmers, the changes in weather patterns, and the intensity of natural disasters.”
In our Valley, climate change will have a disproportional effect on the poor and vulnerable. More frequent heat waves may overwhelm their swamp coolers and air conditioners and spike their electricity bills. Farm workers and other outdoor workers will face higher risks of dehydration and heat stroke as summer temperatures rise to record levels. 
Higher temperatures cause production of more ozone, so persons with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions – and especially children –will suffer more often. More frequent wildfires will foul our air with fine particles. Those higher health care costs will be borne by all of us – rich and poor.
We need a healthy climate that doesn’t threaten the health of the least deserving. I sincerely hope the ongoing Paris climate talks make real progress toward addressing this issue.
It’s not only the fair thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do.

Don Gaede

Ruth Afifi - 12/2/2015 -Ag shows great promise in climate change solutions”

Ag shows great promise in climate change solutions”  
December 2, 2015

Although agriculture is not on the agenda of the Paris climate talks beginning this week, its potential to fight global warming is being recognized.
For example, a recent Bee article – “Firebaugh farmer honored by White House for soil health techniques” (Nov. 21) – tells how Jesse Sanchez, the field manager at Sano Farms, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased the soil’s carbon and nitrogen content on 4,000 acres of garbanzo beans, garlic, almonds, pistachios, and tomatoes. 
It’s good news that the White House is honoring farmers who use sustainable and climate-smart practices. 
California, too, has recognized agriculture’s important role with The Agricultural Climate Benefits Act (Senate Bill 367), which was introduced in the legislature in 2015. When the bill passes, it will encourage greater use of the healthy-soil methods which Jesse Sanchez and others have developed over years of experimenting. 
These methods are needed worldwide to reduce agricultural emissions and sequester atmospheric carbon. To quote Bill McKibben, a leader in the search for global-warming solutions: “On the long list of things we have to do to fight climate change, learning to pay attention to soil again is near the top.”

Ruth Afifi

Twyla Smith - 11/14/1015 - Don't Mess With Mother Nature

Don't Mess With Mother Nature
November 14, 2015

Years ago, Chiffon margarine commercials warned us, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” Recent reports of starving sea lion pups, mass invasions of jellyfish, coral bleaching and unusually large and persistent algae blooms indicate that we are now fooling around with Mother Nature on a massive scale.
As Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington put it, “We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation who can do something about it.”
We need legislation to address this problem now, but not the complicated, opaque cap-and-trade kind that allows for gaming the system, or makes average Americans foot most of the bill. We need a gradually increasing carbon pollution fee that’s returned to every American. This plan is advocated by many economists, including eight Nobel Prize winners.
Studies estimate it will create 2.8 million jobs, and add $75-80 billion annually to our gross domestic product, while middle and lower income Americans will actually see their incomes rise.
We have a whole lot to lose if we continue messing with Mother Nature – and much more to gain by treating the lady with respect.

Twyla Smith

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article44821995.html#storylink=cpy


David Boos - 11/16/2015 - Watch Dangerously With Your Kids

Watch "Dangerously" With Your Kids
November 16, 2015

   I recently watched the nine-episode television documentary, “Years of Living Dangerously.”
It tells the story of climate change beginning with the first three episodes in the U.S. and the remaining six filmed in other parts of the world.
   Aerial views of Dhaka, Bangladesh underwater, the migration of tens of thousands of people due to flooding and loss of their homes and livelihood, the collection of ice-core samples by scientists in the Chilean Andes provide data supporting what has been occurring with climate in the past 30 years is very real.
    Regardless of one’s views, conservative or progressive, none of us will be exempted from these changes unless we begin now to change the way we live.
Netflix has this series in its streaming inventory, and I encourage you to view it. Include in your audience young people, and watch their reaction as well as the film.

David Boos

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article45085695.html#storylink=cpy


Matthew Armstrong - 11/15/2015 - Investors Prepare for Climate Change

Investors Prepare for Climate Change
November 15, 2015

    On Nov. 11, I read an article in The New York Times about how investors are preparing for climate change. It was a reminder that, even as politicians and pundits continue to claim that their own assumptions trump the scientific data, those who must deal in reality – like investors, the Pentagon, and the insurance industry – are all continuing to take climate change into account.
    As world leaders prepare for the upcoming climate change conference in Paris, we would do well to contact our elected officials and remind them that this is a serious matter, and that they need to support policies that will help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Matthew Armstrong

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article44825730.html#storylink=cpy