By Jeff Dorian, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
We knew this contagion could happen; we didn’t know when and we were unprepared. We know the seas are going to rise; we don’t know when, but we know they will.
We downplayed what COVID-19 could do as we downplay the scientific evidence that the atmosphere and oceans are getting warmer faster than ever before.
Prevention and preparation aren’t priorities for most of us. But let’s not waste this pandemic lesson on the importance of government addressing foreseeable dangers.
So who is this “we” I refer to?
“We the people” are our governments, formed to serve the will of the majority. Our countries’ leaders now face harrowing decisions about our welfare. Many lives hang in the balance. Livelihoods are being ruined. Citizens are suffering. We expect that our leaders will establish a safe path forward.
Do we possess the courage and political will to prepare for the next pandemic – the predictable consequences of the climate crisis? In fact, not just predicted, but already upon us.
I am calling on all citizens to act now to help assure the safest possible future. We can face the facts. We have the knowledge and ability to lead the world. We can reduce the use of fossil fuel and re-tool for an innovative, productive and healthy economy.
The most effective action for climate mitigation is putting a refunded fee on fossil fuel emissions. All proceeds would be disbursed equally to all American households. Economic incentives – not regulations — will stimulate investment in cleaner energy.
Carbon emissions fees have the support from the world’s leading economists, and bipartisan support of more than 75 members of Congress. Over 80 countries and territories are implementing them.
A bill sponsored by Florida Congressmen Ted Deutch (D) and Francis Rooney (R) would reduce emissions, boost the economy, and protect our health. It puts money in people’s pockets without swelling the size of the federal government.
“We the people” have accomplished much: Women’s suffrage, civil rights, space exploration and much more. We now can insist on an economy and environment that will allow us to thrive.
We can all participate: talk about it, call your elected representative, and vote. If you’d like, join others to amplify your voice. We need to go big and soon!
Like many of us, I have newly unstructured time. I daydream, I take walks, and am more mindful. I am conscious of an unsettled tomorrow. I’m anxious for my daughter and her generation. I wonder if there are many like me.
Jeff Dorian is president of the Broward Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. He is the CCL’s liaison to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Invading Sea” is the opinion arm of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a collaborative of news organizations across the state focusing on the threats posed by the warming climate.