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Protecting our climate: What role do we play?

To the editor:

Sometimes we underestimate the role we can play as a citizen. History focuses on the dramatic. For instance, the World War II generation will always be admired for its defense of Democracy.

Later, in less dramatic form, we held firm against totalitarianism facing down the Soviet Empire until it finally evaporated. We did this not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. It was the unified front of free nations, led by America, which led to success.

Today, the biggest challenge facing humanity is our rapidly warming climate and intensifying destructive weather. It can be difficult to remain optimistic in these threatening times, but we must.

While not every piece of the climate solution jigsaw puzzle is on the table, the most important one is. It is HR 2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. We have, according to the experts, until 2050 to coax our carbon emissions to zero. To earn success, we must begin now. The most important weapon we need to wage war on carbon pollution is the one championed by climate scientists and economists, the carbon pollution fee. The fee will start small and increase each year. By implementing HR 2307 we enable every business and every citizen to plan their own path to success.

HR 2307 will not only initiate a carbon pollution fee, but it has a protection for the least wealthy. It is the carbon dividend. All the revenue collected with the pollution fee will be returned to the citizens. Professional evaluations by market analysts tell us the dividend will simultaneously protect the poor and create 2.1 million jobs.

As we reduce pollution, the biggest benefit may be to our health. Health experts who evaluate the benefits of reducing carbon pollution in our air, estimate we will save 4.5 million lives.

What role do we play? As free citizens in a representative democracy it is our duty to energetically encourage our legislators to pass essential legislation. Solutions are not created in a vacuum of willpower. Thus, we must fill this vacuum of will by calling our congressmen. In Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, Jack Bergman is the representative. Ph: 202- 225-4735 or email: Bergman.constituent@mail.house.gov.

Simply say, “Sign onto HR 2307, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It is time to tackle rapid climate change.”

Details on HR 2307 at citizensclimatelobby.org.

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