Here we are again, friends! For those who are counting, I’m a week closer to Operation Daily Lobster Roll. Except I was dismayed to come across below’s must read…
This week’s must read: Think Maine was hot this summer? Just wait. (Central Maine) The opening paragraph caught my attention: “A new climate report issued this week predicts that within three decades, counties in Maine will annually experience twice as many days with summertime highs above 90 degrees.” Given that my perfect summer temperature is 78 during the day and 63 at night, this is distressing to me. Furthermore, I’m not the only one who should worry: “a quarter of the country will soon fall inside the Extreme Heat Belt with temperatures exceeding 125 degrees Fahrenheit.”
On that note, I need some ice cream.
The EcoRight Speaks, season 5, episode 4: Braver Angels
This week’s guests, Beth Malow and Bruce Morlan, are both passionate about climate change and passionate about civil discourse in this country. One of them identifies as liberal and the other as conservative—I won’t spoil the surprise of which is which—and they are committed to addressing climate change as members of the Citizens Climate Lobby and restoring civility as members of Braver Angels, a citizens’ organization uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America. In fact, CCL has a Braver Angels action team, which is how the two came together.
Together, Beth and Bruce embody more of what we need in the world, so I encourage you to give them a listen. They were also the most prepared guests I’ve ever had, sharing links they’d mention ahead of time so that you could do further research into their topics of conversation.
And if you want to hear more about the connection between sleep loss and climate change, check out this article.
I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed talked to them!
Coming up next week: Sorry for some of the confusion. We ended up changing our original order, so you may have been expecting this one already, but next week you will hear from former Rhode Island Republican Congresswoman Claudine Schneider, an early proponent of climate solutions and one of the first lawmakers to introduce a comprehensive climate bill in the late 1980s.
Quote of the week:
“In the big picture from a policy perspective, we know the right answer: Put a price on carbon so people innovate away from carbon and every business has an interest in solving the carbon problem.”
—Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former adviser to Senator John McCain and now president of the American Action Forum.
GUEST POST: The Carbon Debt by Kyle McIntyre
As conservatives, we care about debt.
As of August 2022, the national debt stands in excess of 30 trillion dollars. That equates to 128% of annual GDP. It’s sickening to consider our children inheriting such a burden. We need to apply conservative principles to solve this problem: reduce spending and introduce policy changes to spur economic growth. After all, America’s strength comes from its free markets and innovation.
Unfortunately, there is another debt looming over our children that’s equally troubling. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, we’ve unequivocally increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by 50% through our use of fossil fuels. This is causing global average temperatures to increase while amplifying the intensity of droughts and floods. All of this threatens to significantly reduce agricultural yields, among other problems. It‘s not a hoax. Our children stand to inherit not only the environmental effects of carbon pollution but also serious economic impacts marked by increased inflation and annual reductions in GDP. The costs are staggering, and once again, the solution lies in conservative approaches.
We can’t regulate our way to victory, and the government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. Instead, we need to promote market-based strategies that spur innovation. Specifically, it’s high time we implemented a revenue-neutral, border-adjusted carbon tax. This means gradually applying a reasonable price on carbon emissions to reflect some of their true cost to our environment and economy and thereby triggering a shift in market behavior. In other words, reduce the subsidy they receive by dumping for free into the atmosphere.
By being revenue-neutral, the overall size of government doesn’t grow because the tax revenue is directed back to taxpayers — not government programs. And by being border-adjusted, we ensure that we’re not at a competitive disadvantage with countries like China and guarantee their essential participation in carbon reduction. Even fossil-fuel giants like BP are advocating for this policy, perhaps because it allows them to compete fairly in our clean energy future through technology like carbon capture and storage.
I’m a conservative and believe that our principles commit us to act. It’s a matter of accountability. I’m calling on other conservatives to take up the mantle of tackling carbon emissions.
Kyle McIntyre lives in rural Montana where he is on a mission to make conservation conservative again. He is a family man, software builder, data scientist, Montana kid, and proud homesteader. He is also the newest addition to republicEn’s EcoRight Leadership Council.
Be well. Be safe. Remember my emotional support tactic for dealing with the heat: eat more ice cream.