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Your Opinion: Where are we going with climate change?

Your Opinion: Where are we going with climate change?

February 18th, 2013 by Juli Steck Viel, formerly from Cole County in News

Dear Editor:

I'm concerned about climate change. And I'm really concerned what the changing climate is going to be like for my children and grandchildren.

The National Climate Assessment Report 2013, Draft, indicates that at about 2030 it will be up by around another 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

The number one driver of climate change is fossil fuel emissions. And by 2100 we could be up by an average of 8 degrees - depending on emissions. With this average temperature increase we will see more extreme high temperatures and extreme rain events. An increase in temperature means more evaporation, humidity and potential for larger, stronger rain events. The Climate Assessment Report can be found on It reads like an exciting textbook.

Some web sites would lead you to believe it's too expensive to get on a fast track to reduce fossil fuel emissions and invest in renewable energy. But for me, I would do anything in my power to get us on the safest trajectory possible. The "business as usual model" of operating has now bumped up against the "climate change projection models".

James Hansen, NASA scientist, said in his 2012 video that we will have to reduce emissions by 6 percent per year to avoid the tipping point. The tipping point is when the planet continues to warm each year from non-human feedback loops. An example of a feedback loop is the albedo effect of melted polar ice.

Share in the vision for unleashing renewable energy and obtaining true energy independence as most of our energy would be made on our own rooftops and in our communities. Investing in renewable energy would create more jobs and businesses than fossil fuels. A WWII like effort would take place.

A consumer-friendly carbon fee and rebate would be the catalyst for that vision. The fee would be assessed on a few hundred fossil fuel producers. The rebate would be the same amount for each person. The fee would increase over the years, thereby encouraging consumers to switch to renewable energy. Investors would be more certain of a return. Economies of scale would take place. On the other hand inaction would lead to an increasing uncertain world.