Thursday, June 19, 2014

Too Little, Too Late?  Oops? - by James Hansen

REMI-Average monthly dividend (Credit:  Click to enlarge.
Is Obama’s climate effort “too little, too late?”  Closely related query:  are we at an “oops” moment, a realization that we have pushed the climate system too far, so consequences such as ice sheet disintegration and large sea level rise are now out of our control? 

The answer re “too little?” is obvious from the fact that governments, ours included, are allowing and encouraging industry to go after every fossil fuel that can be found.  Rather than dwelling on that fact, let’s consider the action needed to avoid “too late”. 

Citizens Climate Lobby just released a study by the non-partisan organization Regional 
Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), as a 3-page summary and a full report.  Their comprehensive analysis of the impacts of a carbon fee-and-dividend in the United States, with 100% revenue distribution of the money to the public in equal shares as direct payments.  The fee would start at $10/ton of CO2 and increase $10/ton each year; 100% of the revenue is returned to households, equal amounts to all legal residents.  This approach spurs the economy, increasing the number of jobs by 2.1 million in 10 years.  Emissions decrease 33% in 10 years, 52% in 20 years. 

Contrary to the wails of fossil-fuel-industry kingpins, the fossil fuel fee-and-dividend stimulates the economy, modernizes infrastructure, and saves 13,000 lives per year via improved air quality.  GDP increases, with fee-and-dividend causing a cumulative GDP increase of $1.375 trillion.

Too Little, Too Late?  Oops? - by James Hansen

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