Letter: Carbon fee costs less than you think

Published August 5, 2014 9:26 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The recent bipartisan report on global warming, "Risky Business," detailed how $370 billion of flood damage could occur to coastal cities in the U.S. as the oceans rise. Along with this damage, Midwest farmers will suffer from the temperature rise disrupting their crops. Global warming will do damage to the economy in the future, so preventing it now is important.

But taking action now for a better future later can seem like saving for retirement or taking out insurance. This is deceptive because global warming prevention would be much cheaper. A carbon fee and dividend would increase the price of carbon, leading to reduced carbon emissions as everyone would consume less carbon fuel. This would leave businesses taking the lead on these environmental costs and businesses are excellent at minimizing costs. The drag on the economy under this plan may be around 0.06 percent (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) or may actually lead to growth (Regional Economic Models Inc.).

If saving for retirement could be done by saving just 0.06 percent of your paycheck every week at most, everyone would save for it. But preventing climate change will be that easy, so let's save our climate.

Richard Buck