Ignoring pollution, climate change has dire consequences

I am sorry to see the misinformation Robert Munro propagates in his letter to the editor (“New tax on carbon won’t stop natural climate change,” The Herald, Aug. 12).

There is no doubt that burning fossil fuel releases huge quantities of carbon dioxide, which warms the planet well beyond other natural processes. When 97 percent of climate scientists agree, we can consider the science is settled. Variations in Earth’s orbit and rotational mechanics explain periodic ice ages, not greenhouse gases. While volcanic eruptions and deforestation also contribute, fossil fuel emissions swamp those other factors.

If we don’t deal with the pollution we have caused, the consequences will be more extreme weather events including drought (and wildfires and famine) in some places, floods in others and devastating hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Responsible people, like I believe Mr. Munro to be, would never purposefully destroy the legacy they leave for their successors and this is a great irony of human-caused climate change — our actions do not make the consequences immediate and obvious. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If we apply a pollution fee to give people the financial incentive to change their behavior by charging for the polluting effects of fossil fuel while also unlocking the astounding creativity of innovators and entrepreneurs to develop energy alternatives we will both save our natural legacy and maintain a strong economy. Vote to pass I-1631.

John Sandvig

Seattle

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