Don’t let pol­i­tics get in the way of car­bon taxes for the com­mon good

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION -

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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