Global warming will not stop with principles of cap and trade

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An open letter to U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside):

I am an atmospheric physicist whose main interest is global warming. I live in your district but teach physics, astronomy and climatology at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J., where I am a professor.

Climate change is for real. Global warming is bad enough, but our present climate, an interglacial period with global warming, is not stable over long time periods. The only two stable climates for the inner planets are ice ages and runaway greenhouses, like Venus. When we have had interglacial periods in the past, we have always returned to ice ages. Is it our destiny this time around, with global warming heaped on top of the interglacial period, to drive our climate toward the other stable climate, the runaway greenhouse?

We need to do something worldwide and fast. I believe in the Million Letter March Principles. We need to make fossil fuels more expensive to allow benign alternatives to be able to compete with them rapidly and worldwide. A time-progressive tax on them, even across the board, applied wherever they enter the market, with the money distributed evenly to citizens so we can afford the higher prices, will work. That is the essence of the Million Letter March Principles.

Cap and trade, where consumers in essence foot the bill but the money gets redistributed among the fossil-fuelers at our expense, will make some of them even richer, none of them poorer and citizens poorer and do nothing to make the fossil fuels more expensive and save our planet’s climate. It will reward the guilty and punish the innocent.

As a congressman, I hope you can influence your colleagues to reject cap and trade and pass legislation consistent with the Million Letter March Principles. Would you want it on your conscience that you did not do everything you could for future generations just to further pad the pockets of those few people who put us into this hideous situation in the first place? Their time is over.

I also hope to receive a personal letter from you responding to this inquiry. Thank you in advance for your concern and interest.

Roger Opstbaum


Updated 6:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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