My reaction to the article “Carbon tax gets renewed attention but still faces resistance” (Oct. 8) was “Well, duh!” Here are some other things that “still face resistance”: voting rights, Social Security, freedom of speech, even democratic governance itself. The core question is “Resistance from whom, and why?”
In the case of carbon taxes, the question answers itself. They are opposed by those who have a financial interest in preserving the free-ride status of fossil fuels, which don’t pay for disposing their garbage into the atmosphere. Others who oppose carbon pricing include radicals like Grover Norquist, who feel a central government that serves all Americans should be virtually nonexistent. Some call this “libertarianism.” I call it anarchy.
It’s encouraging to see a few brave political souls, even Republicans, speaking out against climate denialism. Perhaps the unprecedented hurricanes and wildfires of the last two years will encourage even more.
There is a bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus that now has 45 Democrats and 45 Republicans. This group could become the incubator of sensible bipartisan climate policy, provided they decide to prioritize scientific truth over the demands of the unelected tycoons who pour money into their campaigns, heedless of the impact of climate change on the future health, wealth, and well-being of their own children — and yours.
Rick Knight, Brookfield
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Carbon tax is good economics
Thanks for your excellent and hard-hitting editorial “Climate change is upon us, and we must take dramatic action now” (Oct. 8). You are exactly right. While individual action to reduce emissions is important, it won’t take us as far as we need to go. We need government action as well.
Recently you reported on Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus, who received the award for helping show us the best economic path forward to address the worst consequences of man-made climate change. Governments put an annually increasing “fee” on Big Oil, Coal and Gas when they produce the fuels that cause global warming. The entire “fee” goes back to households as a carbon “dividend” to fully offset the inevitable energy price increases which will be passed on to the consumer. The fee is in line with the very real social costs of fossil fuel emissions: more intense storm event damage, billions of dollars in coastal damage for sea level rise, agricultural disruption and more drought-driven wildfires. Studies show this approach will grow jobs, GDP, encourage green energy investment and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
The political resistance to carbon pricing will melt away when citizens get active and demand their politicians enact this type of system. Let’s stop playing games with our children’s future. Call your representatives and demand action!
Andrew Panelli, Homer Glen
No more Obama Center naysaying
I found Dan Shomon’s letter to the editor, “Don’t let a small group of naysayers kill the Obama Presidential Center” inspiring. I am from South Shore, and I can say that the community is in full support of the center. There is a very tiny, well-organized group that is against it, and receiving the vast majority of attention.
The best-known opponent is Protect our Parks, led by Charlotte Adelman, who lives 30 miles away from Jackson Park in the suburb of Wilmette. Imagine if a neighbor down your block tried stopping you from making improvements in your yard — that is what this opposition feels like for the residents of the neighborhoods surrounding Jackson Park.
Another opponent is Margaret Schmid of Jackson Park Watch. Her biggest hobby is complaining about anything being done in Jackson Park. There have been a lot of improvements and renovations made to Jackson Park over the years, and she has fought against them all. She doesn’t mean to be cynical, but her opinions don’t speak for the community.
The last opponent is Charles A. Birnbaum of the Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington D.C. His interest in this actually does appear to be cynical. He has gone on Fox News to bash the Obama Presidential Center for the 20 acres it would sit on, but yet he is silent about the 2 million-plus acres of public land that the Trump administration has revoked from protected status. He attended a symposium at the University of Chicago, and was politely asked by the community to stop trying to represent us.
We need to put a stop to the nonsense idea that the proposed location is fine just the way it is. Six-lane Cornell Drive runs right through the heart of the park, and I don’t dare to cross it because some drivers are going 60 mph. These groups don’t seem to care about that, though, and are almost in defense of Cornell. What are they protecting?
It’s time to stop giving the spotlight to these groups. It’s time to give a voice to the struggling communities around Jackson Park.
Roy Paterson, South Shore