President Lincoln has been attributed with saying that if a man gave him six hours to cut down a tree, he’d spend four hours sharpening the blade. Perhaps that’s why President Barack Obama waited until his second inaugural address to finally address the importance of tackling climate change as a national endeavor.
The rhetoric was what I have waited and wanted to hear: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” The path may indeed be difficult, especially given the entrenched power and economic resources of the fossil fuel industries, but it cannot be too long since we don’t have too long to wait.
Obama’s words were good, but his actions and those of our legislators need to rise to the challenges of climate change. We could start by imposing a fee on greenhouse gases. We can do this without hurting the pocketbooks of ordinary citizens by returning all the revenue back to households in a monthly “green” check. This would incentivize both consumers and businesses to cut back on their fossil fuel usage, provide a more level playing field for sustainable, clean energy and promote more research and development, investment in and capitalization of clean energy.
The question is, does Congress have the moral fortitude to embrace such a policy?
— Margaret Welke, Madison