On Nov. 23, the Colorado Daily published a piece by Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s Tom Mayer with the title “Despair undermines action on climate change,” wherein he notes that the sheer perceived magnitude of the task of “preventing planetary disaster” can short circuit constructive preventive action initiatives.
This sentiment has been repeatedly echoed by Per Stoknes, a prominent Norwegian psychologist, who cautions that climate “doomism” can freeze our will to enact solutions.
How can we avoid this conundrum? We hear that a 2-degree centigrade temperature rise is the threshold of Armageddon, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides emission-limiting guidelines that are dismissed only weeks later by the Journal Nature, which published a study by Princeton and UCSD showing that the ocean is warming at a 60 percent greater rate than outlined by the IPCC.
Hopeless. Why try?
Because the models assume that currently known technologies will remain the prevailing infrastructure, and they do not consider novel innovations. Innovations that can arise from the kind of pressures exerted by a fee on carbon dioxide emissions as proposed by the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act H.R. 7173, sponsored by three Republicans and four Democrats. This bill will provide impetus for American ingenuity, providing solutions which augment the carbon fee. Solutions which will tip the scales toward a more level playing field for renewables and other now-unforeseen technologies.
Human ingenuity is the intangible that often remains unacknowledged when discussing the dire future that awaits humankind. The IPCC agrees with William D. Nordhaus, the Economics Nobel Prize recipient 2018 who proposed decades ago that taxing carbon is “essential” in the fight against climate change.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby is working hard to ensure that this bill becomes law. The Boulder Chapter loves to welcome new members. Check it out!
Mitchell Rodehaver, Boulder