Letters to the editor: CU should support national carbon tax; report sexual harassment; thank you from those who stutter

A call for CU to endorse a national carbon policy

In his Nov. 12 letter, Patrick Murphy argues that there are better and more effective ways than a municipal electric source for Boulder to aim for the admirable goal of 100 percent renewable energy usage. I want to highlight one of the alternatives that Mr. Murphy correctly points to as being a more potent tool in combating climate change.

A carbon tax would likely be more effective than any other government-directed effort to combat climate change. But climate change is a problem that cannot be addressed by any one locally coordinated effort — be it a muni or Boulder’s current carbon tax. Rather, we absolutely need a carbon tax implemented on a national level.

The tax would take the form of a government-imposed fee on the extraction of greenhouse gas-emitting substances from the ground, but that is where the government intrusion would end. Unlike with municipalization, governments would not be the ones picking winners and losers, the market would. That is to say, under a national carbon tax, the market would naturally aim for whatever combination of increased energy efficiency and reliance on existing or newly innovated green technologies would lower emissions with the greatest economic efficiency.

One both realistic and meaningful step towards the goal of enacting a national carbon policy would be getting the University of Colorado on board. CU ought to join the growing ranks of academic and other institutions (notably including the city of Boulder) that are applying political pressure at more than just the local level toward a solution to climate change: It should endorse a national carbon tax, such as the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Carbon Fee & Dividend plan.

Daniel Palken, research assistant at the University of Colorado, Boulder

If you’ve been sexually harassed, it was not your fault

I am writing to you and your readers in the hope that I might be able to be a little helpful and supportive. When I was a 25-year-old college student back in the 1970s, I was very badly sexually harassed for a long time by a female college professor who had a lot of power over me. Like most of my “fellow victims and survivors,” I have been too ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone about it for the past 40 years aside from my wife — until now. I have found that a lot of people do not take the sexual harassment of a male by a female seriously. I have sometimes been mocked, teased, and insulted about it. And as many others find out, I have sometimes been called “a liar” and that “you made the whole thing up just to get attention, pity, and sympathy from others.” I want to urge all victims of sexual harassment to immediately report it to someone in a position of authority. One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I did not. Please do not repeat my mistake. These perpetrators need to be stopped. And please do not repeat my mistake of blaming myself for it. You did NOT do anything to bring on that predatory behavior or to encourage it. It was NOT your fault.

Stewart Epstein, Rochester, N.Y.

Thank you to those who help people who stutter

Thanksgiving grants us time each year to reflect on our blessings with gratitude and to look forward to the New Year with anticipation. At the Stuttering Foundation, we would like to take that time to give thanks.

Thank you to the parents who take the time to read with their child, whether he stutters or not.

Thank you to the teachers who make the effort to provide understanding for their students who stutter.

Thank you to the speech-language pathologists who work with people of all ages who stutter to improve their communication skills.

Thank you to all the famous people who stutter who have persevered to succeed as actors, musicians, statesmen and athletes, providing inspiration to the rest of us.

Learn more about what you can do to help at StutteringHelp.org.

Jane Fraser, president of The Stuttering Foundation, Memphis, Tenn.

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