Bangor council endorses carbon tax
I feel proud to be from Bangor. Last week, our city council passed a resolution urging Congress to take policy action on climate change. Specifically, they have asked Congress to enact a carbon fee and dividend, an action that has bipartisan supporters and is recommended by leading economists as the best policy to control climate change.
One could ask why the city of Bangor would spend any of its limited time on a global issue? It is clear that our councilors recognize the magnitude of this issue. We watched as Houston battled Hurricane Harvey, extreme weather the likes of which climate change will cause to be more frequent, more severe and more widespread. Maine too is experiencing more severe flooding; warming oceans threaten our lobster industry; the range of ticks bearing Lyme disease has rapidly expanded north; ice storms are increasingly common. And, of course, as part of a global community we feel the impact of the consequences well beyond our borders.
And we know that we must take action. We follow in Portland’s footsteps and in the footsteps of many other municipalities, businesses, civic organizations and individuals across the country with this resolution. Hopefully, we will help lead the way for many more to come in a grassroots demonstration of the will of the people. With this statement, our government will need to act.
Bravo to Bangor for speaking up!
Mitigate climate change
Let’s bring Harvey home for a minute. What if it hit here in Maine where I’m enjoying my second summer here? Increased frequency and intensity of climate related disasters worldwide are well documented. Yet, nothing has been done to add resiliency to Houston. How horrible will the cost be now, to life, property and, decidedly, the nation.
World leaders are now working toward a unifying action to limit the cause. It’s simply act now or pay later. The World Bank, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund are planning with more than 40 countries to put a price on carbon emissions. Led by the European Union, Canada, Mexico and, yes, China, the plan increases the cost of fossil fuels and returns the amount of increase to the public in various ways. These plans are aimed at using market forces to secure financial stability, international trade, high employment, economic growth and poverty reduction, and mitigate climate-related damages.
My 26-year-old daughter doesn’t want children. She’s anxious about the world’s future: extreme weather, mass migration and wide-scale human suffering. I’m committed to leaving behind a livable planet. It will take much more than recycling and conserving energy. By voicing our concerns to elected representatives, we can do our part for unity in action. I joined Citizens Climate Lobby and learned to empower my efforts. I highly recommend them.
“Science predicted the eclipse, so why do so many doubt climate change?” is the title of an Aug. 24 BDN editorial. The implication of that title is presumptuous, namely, that climate science is equally competent to astronomy. That is simply not so.
In astronomic prediction of some future event all of the relevant variables are known with some high degree of precision. In the case of climate science, we know of the potential of manmade activity. But we also know that we cannot fully account for how variables like the planet’s wobbly orbit interact with our climate to cause and end Ice Ages. In addition, even conceding that man-made activity is solely responsible for recent warming, what evidence is there that we have not passed the tipping point thus making all future activity futile?
This is not to say that the worst predictions of the climate change proponents are not wrong but merely that the case remains to be demonstrated.