Helen Armstrong: Urges support for carbon pricing

Monday, May 15, 2017
Urges support for carbon pricing

I think about how the natural world has changed, and continues to change, when I see my twin grandsons playing outdoors. As kindergartners at Bridge Street School, they are running into threats that are no less real for being invisible.

It used to be that when I read news stories about climate change and the effects we’re likely to see by such-and-such a date — say, 2030 — my first thought would be, “Will I even be around?” That doubt tended to distance me from the issue and make it easy to shift my focus to the more immediate problems of surviving.

But now there are my grandsons, and instead my first thoughts are, “How old will they be then? What could this mean for them? And what can I do about it?”

Henry Paulson, secretary of the treasury under George W. Bush, said long ago that a carbon fee “will unleash a wave of innovation to develop technologies, lower the costs of clean energy and create jobs.”

So I have joined the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), a bipartisan organization of people who gather in their hometowns across the country to work on raising awareness of the need for a price on carbon. We want Congress to pass legislation implementing a carbon fee, with rebates to be distributed equally to all households. This has proven to diminish needless use of fossil fuels, while it benefits people of low income who end up with more money in their wallets.

For details about the CCL proposal, go to www.citizensclimatelobby.org. Or join your neighbors at the next meeting of the Northampton/Amherst chapter of CCL at the Forbes Library at 7 p.m. May 31.

This is a people’s movement that diminishes threats to everyone’s grandchildren.

Helen Armstrong