Although California is progressive in addressing climate change, it has seen some of the worst catastrophic events in our country. Between mudslides and fires, the outcome has been horrific. We are long overdue for finding solutions on a national level. Finally, there is a ray of hope but few of us have heard about it.
With the new information produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and our own National Climate Assessment Report, there is no longer any doubt about the future we are facing if we don’t act now on our impact on climate through the use of fossil fuels.
The IPCC report warns that keeping the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees C. will mitigate the far worse cataclysmic events we would witness if our temperatures increase by 2 degrees C. Continuing on our current path will imperil crop production and water supplies; increase fires and flooding, national security risks, and economic crises; and accelerate the spread of insects and viruses. All of these threats are already apparent but the incidence of each will become overwhelmingly more frequent and catastrophic if we do not act now.
Very little exposure is in the press about what our Congress has just introduced. H.R.7173 — the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 — is sponsored by three Republicans and three Democrats : Reps. Ted Deutch, Dave Trott, Francis Rooney, Charlie Crist, Brian Fitzpatrick, and John Delaney. It’s expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent over the next 10 years and create 2.1 million new jobs. It places a nationwide price on carbon emissions and returns the revenue to every household on a monthly basis. This bill is revenue neutral and will include accommodations for carbon sequestering and farmers. It does minimize some regulations, but they are not helping us. Here is our light of hope. Call Congress in support of this bill!
Patricia Turner is CFO of Tierra Sagrada, the Sacred Earth Foundation, and a former UCSB researcher.