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Our climate needs improving

The Texas freeze of February is a wake-up call. Forest fires, fed by drought, are another wake up call. Increasing numbers of hurricanes are yet another wake up call The melting ice is a wake up call. Fresh water wells in Florida are turning to salt as the water rises. Dust storms are also a wake up call. In June of 2020 dust from the Sahara reached North America.

It does not matter whether you believe in global warming or not. Something is happening. None of these phenomenon are made up. It is not a coincidence that they are all happening at the same time.

When air is hotter it moves more forcefully and it holds more water. Hotter air pulls water up from the ground and carries it further. Every desert on the planet is growing. When it does rain it dumps it all at once. We are seeing more floods .

For everybody’s sake we have to be honest about what is going on and stop dancing around it. The official beginning of hurricane season is June 1.

This year the National Hurricane Center has announced that they will be issuing “Tropical Weather Outlooks” beginning March 15. They aren’t really saying the hurricane season is starting two weeks earlier. They are just saying that there could be some very nasty weather before hurricane season that could mature into a major tropical “weather event.”

How are we going to winterize the south? Texas had a freeze in 2011, as well as 2020. It will freeze again, as will Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. We will pay for it one way or another. We can either pay for the upgrade now or we can pay later with a few more people dead. We might as well choose the path of preparation as opposed to the path of destruction.

What is causing climate change? What is different now?

The biggest change is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 is a natural part of our air, but in 2018 the U.S. pumped 6.7 billion metric tons into it. CO2 works as an insulator. The more CO2 there is in the air the thicker the blanket, the hotter we get.

It’s true. There are many sources of CO2. We’re not the only polluter on the planet but we do have control of our own emissions. We have a responsibility to our kids to address our own production of CO2.

Right now we are paying for CO2 at the end point. We are paying with 230,000 lives lost every year. We are paying with untold millions of people suffering with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory ailments. We are paying with the acid rain that is literally melting marble tombstones and causing deformed fish. Most dramatically we are paying with the weather. The warmer the system, the more energy in the system, the more turbulence in the system. We will see more of the polar vortex and the El Nino Effect.

We have to find some way to stop poisoning ourselves.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is an attempt to do that. This act would switch the cost of pollution to the front of the system. It would impose a carbon fee at the point of extraction. This fee would be deposited in a separate account. The surplus of this account will be divided equally among all U.S. citizens and legal residents every month..

Goods coming from other countries would be taxed at the point of entry to the U.S. goods leaving the U.S. would be given a rebate. In this way the plan protects American manufacturing while still making carbon more expensive.

The fee increases over time to create an incentive to develop and deploy cleaner (and thus cheaper) options.

If we do nothing we face the expense of more extreme weather. The work, money and materials needed to repair an electrical grid made of wires strung through the air will be beyond our means.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is H.R. 763 in the house and S. 3791in the Senate. Contact Tom Reed in his Jamestown office at 708-6369 and tell him global warming is important to you. Support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Marie Tomlinson is a Fredonia resident.

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