Climate change is real, it is already happening, and its effects are potentially disastrous. Backed by decades of research and empirical evidence, the science is irrefutable. Any and all actions we take now to reduce its effects will reap huge dividends in the future. The United States of America must lead the rest of the world by example and act swiftly and decisively to reduce the effects of climate change; therefore, we must pass a carbon tax.
Climate change is caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, methane - in the atmosphere due to human activity. Since the industrial revolution, atmospheric levels of CO2 have increased by 40%. A carbon tax would tax emissions of greenhouse gases, thereby reducing them and reducing the effects of climate change. The majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the US come from fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, which are used for transportation, electricity, and industry.
The Congressional Research Service estimates that a carbon tax of $20 per metric ton of CO2, increasing 6% a year, would raise 1.2 trillion dollars for the government over 10 years. This money could be put towards deficit reduction, tax cuts for lower and middle income Americans, infrastructure spending, and/or subsidies for clean energy. The benefits of these investments would offset the economic cost of somewhat increased gas and electricity prices; in addition, any reduction in the effects of climate change will reap huge benefits in the long term.
Climate change is one of the most important geopolitical issues of the twenty-first century. Join me in asking Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Joe Kennedy to strongly support a carbon tax.