Originally published Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 05:57a.m.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I can move the world.” We have the lever and fulcrum that can save the world. We just need to start using it.
The threat is global warming. The Paris Climate Agreement was always going to be too little too late, but we have a much simpler, faster, more effective and realistic market solution with a global impact.
It works on the principle of self interest. It doesn’t ask anyone to give up anything or make any sacrifices —except for polluting fossil fuel corporations. It makes them pay an escalating carbon pollution fee, all of which goes to every taxpayer in equal monthly “carbon dividend” checks. And the amount of those checks keeps going up every year.
Solar and wind energy prices and energy storage prices keep dropping exponentially. That will allow people to make more and more money each year by using their “carbon dividend” money to buy cheaper clean energy. And that will increase U.S. GDP $75-80 billion annually (citizensclimatelobby.org) and create over 5 million U.S. jobs (Stanford University’s solutionsproject.org).
It’s been successful in British Columbia for eight years (The Economist) and uses conservative economics so it can have bipartisan support in Congress. Google the Republican Climate Leadership Council’s videos “A Climate Solution Where All Sides Win” and “CLC Unlocking the Climate Puzzle.” They explain the global “domino” effect which will use the market to incentivize other nations to cut their emissions as much as we do or be punished economically.
We really can save the world while making the vast majority of middle-class and low-income Americans financially better off with this simple policy. It’s genius.