Putting a price on carbon could reduce hazards of climate change

SHARE Putting a price on carbon could reduce hazards of climate change

The Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica in 2010. Antarctica has lost a staggering 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992, according to a landmark study published on June 13. | University of Washington / IAN JOUGHIN/AFP/Getty Images

According to Wednesday’s editorial “A chilling Antarctic warning about Trump’s environmental failings,” Antarctica’s ice is melting at an alarming rate due to climate change, enough that its ice alone could raise global water levels by six inches by 2100. Although six inches of water doesn’t seem like much, it is enough to drastically increase the number of flooding events in coastal cities worldwide and produce more extreme weather events elsewhere.

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In America, we continue to avoid and ignore this problem when there is a solution that marries liberal and conservative principles to mitigate the problem — carbon fee and dividend. A price on carbon would push industry to drive down its release into the atmosphere, and the dividend would return the funds generated to American families. Addressing climate change through free-market principles should be a program that all Americans can get behind, and as a bonus we would add millions of jobs to the economy through the green innovations our industries would unleash.

Jim Schwartz, Oak Park

Jail corporate criminals

Since the Founding Fathers, corporations have repeatedly gone to court to secure the rights granted to our citizens by the Constitution. And they have largely succeeded. One of the most damaging to our democracy, Citizens United, ruled that if a citizen could reach into his pocket to help a candidate, then a corporation could reach into its bounty and totally outflank the will of the citizens.

But the corporation, as a citizen, fails our country in another important regard. Whenever a citizen commits a crime, he faces the punishment of going to jail. This is settled law; it creates a disincentive for those contemplating crime. But not so with our “corporation people”.

Herein lies the problem. As corporations are found to be stealing — often from their customers — the corporations are brought to trial. Instead of going to jail, a powerful disincentive to stealing again, the justice system negotiates a fine and a promise to not steal again. Often this fine is meager when compared with the loot extracted and, since no one goes to jail, the company’s management has the incentive to steal again.

Such has been the history of our biggest banks, repeatedly stealing from their customers. This can be easily corrected by putting the managers who mastermind these crimes in jail; with this action I’m certain such behavior would soon cease.

Lee Knohl, Evanston

Assaulting democracy

Donald Trump is guilty of assassinating democracy. The proof is in not In his words, but in his actions. He alienates all allies and governments that are democracies, and at the same time he kowtows to and glorifies the world’s dictatorships. A degree in anything is not required to see this.

Greg Stone, Elgin

Grotesque truth

In the Saudi’s war on Yemen, blockade and famine are fine with their chief enabler, the United States of America. The deaths of over 15,000 Yemenis and a million plus suffering cholera makes no dent on the American conscience. We may be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but with our military and moral support, we’re ensuring that Yemen remains the land of cholera and the home of the starving.

The grotesque truth about this American-aided proxy war against Iran is that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies can’t defeat the Shiite Houthis militarily. They’ve gone to Plan B — starving the Houthis to death. They can do that because Yemen is dependent on imports for 90 percent of its food supply. Worse, they can do that because we aid and abet their ongoing genocide of the hapless Yemen people.

Next time you gorge on the most plentiful food supply in the world, give a thought to that Yemenite baby you’re helping lead to starvation and cholera.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

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