Carbon tax needed to combat climate change, says Clarkson teaching assistant
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 1:25 pm

To the Editor:

On average we receive around 25 fewer days of snow cover than we did in the ‘70s.

Ask your parents about the winters they remember. Ask your grandparents. In my climate change class at Clarkson University we downloaded Potsdam temperatures going back over 100 years.

The best-fit curve is a clear upward climb. Climate change is absolutely real. There is no scientific dispute over that.

The dispute is whether emitting 35.6 billion tons of carbon each year, as we deforest the tropics and burn fossil fuels, has anything to do with it. 98 percent of scientists say it does, but the media still gives equal attention to the 2 percent of skeptics.

I’m not convinced that their “maybe it’s not us” is enough reason to not try to produce renewable energy.

It’s time to accept a carbon tax. We can afford it.

As a kid I lived in a remodeled barn for a year, so growing up I thought that I was very poor.

Then I had the opportunity to live in Africa and I realized how wealthy I am.

We are some of the richest people in the world. We must lead this transition.

What we can’t afford is to continue subsidizing fossil fuels and driving one vehicle per person. We are consuming too much and it’s time to change.

Alex French, Clarkson teaching assistant