Fighting climate change makes economic sense [Letter]

April 22, 2014

Thank you for highlighting the most important finding of the recent Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report: "addressing climate change appears to be cheaper than doing nothing" ("Climate change demands action," April 19).

Just as the vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is happening, it is caused by humans, and we need to urgently act to avoid the worst effects, so too do the vast majority of economists concur that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the best option for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This majority includes many respected and conservative-leaning economists such as George Shultz, Art Laffer, Greg Mankiw, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin (all economists serving under President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, or Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain).

With this amount of consensus, why do we not have such a policy in place already? Our elected officials do not believe the American public wants them to act on this issue. Members of Congress do not create political will, they respond to it. Readers should please write to their representatives and senators asking them to pass a revenue-neutral carbon tax. If they hear from enough of us, they will be compelled to act. It is a small task we can all do in celebration of Earth Day.

Ashley Hunt-Martorano, Medford N.Y.

The writer is volunteer co-leader of the Citizens Climate Lobby Long Island.

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