Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Tax carbon at source
We recently set a new record of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. It made front pages of only a few newspapers despite the gravity of the situation. Like tobacco companies in the 1950s and ‘60s, the petroleum industry has employed the same tactics and “experts” to create doubt and skepticism and protect their bottom line. Solid scientific evidence of human impact on climate change blends with propaganda and becomes less clear. The effects of smoking on health were documented, but manufactured doubt delayed action for years. We don’t have that kind of time and need to modify our “fuelish” habits.
We’re facing an irreversible change in our atmosphere, our Earth, and life as we know it. This will directly affect us all. The destruction of crops and property by early thaws, late freezes, floods, drought/record heat and epic storms like Sandy or Katrina are added costs of our thirst for low-cost energy.
As suggested by Maura Brennan in her April 28 Forum, it’s time we lead the world (rather than lag behind) and tax carbon at its source, creating incentive to shift to renewable/green energy sources (See carbontax.org).
All about the money
I am Pure Michigan, born and raised. I have been fortunate enough to live in some beautiful places, including New Zealand and Spain, North Carolina and the Florida Keys. However, I am always called home to Traverse City. I wanted my children to have the same upbringing, education and Midwestern values and work ethic that I had instilled in me.
Unfortunately, my children won’t have that experience now that our politicians have been bought and paid for. Our elected officials have destroyed public education for the sake of profit. They have allowed corporations to drain the water out, and allow invasive species in, to take over our (once beautiful) Great Lakes.
The politicians preach to “Keep Michigan Beautiful.” What a great idea. It is too late, since they don’t practice what they preach. Now I will teach my kids the hard reality that it’s all about the money.