I write today to ask all Vermonters to urge their state representatives to seriously address the issue of climate change this session.

I believe it is abundantly clear that human beings are destroying our environment with our insatiable appetite for energy from fossil fuels and, if not addressed now, we will suffer catastrophic climate consequences.

From the economist's point of view, the best way to reduce fossil fuel use is to price it accurately, including the cost to repair the damage being done to the planet through its production, distribution and use. As it now stands, the fossil fuel industry banks a tidy profit, while we all pay to clean up their mess.

Raising the price of fossil fuels affects consumers' purchase decisions, leading to more efficiency and less consumption, but simple carbon pricing disproportionately burdens the less affluent. Well-thought-out policies can solve this problem.

As VTDigger has reported, "Carbon pricing combined with other climate policies could enable Vermont to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without negatively impacting lower income residents or the state’s economy."

JFO analysis shows that a policy like the ESSEX Plan would reduce climate pollution by 14 percent, that the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) would grow and the policy “would make the average low-income household better off than they would be without carbon pricing.” And as VTDigger writes, “Under all scenarios, the impact to the state’s GDP and employment would be minimal …”

We can help solve this problem.

Jack Clay

Middletown Springs

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alpha1six

The earth has experienced how many glacial periods where much of the globe was covered with an ice shield as much as a mile thick. In between those "ice ages" there were warming periods where tropical plants and animals thrived in Canada and the northern parts of the U.S. and Europe,

What caused those warming periods and how warm did it actually get and why is the current so called "global warming" period so different? Don't know the answer to the first part of the question but the current warming is probably caused by the same natural conditions. What is bad is that man, as smart as he thinks he is, didn't count on the earth warming again and the seas rising as they have periodically through geologic history when he built his cities at the waters edge. Now what to do about London, New York, Boston, Miami, New Orleans and the huge population who will find themselves flooded by the rising sea levels? I guess that humanity wasn't as smart as we thought. Time to move to higher ground and learn to adapt to the earth's climate or go the way of the dinosaurs and woolly mammoths who couldn't.

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