Editor, The Times:
Last week’s issue contained a letter to the editor titled: Re: “Former Times editor promotes global carbon petition.”
The letter from “Rambling Man” Jim Lamberton was in response to a letter from me published the previous week that asked people to add their names to a petition I have posted on Avaaz.
The petition calls for global carbon fee-and-dividend as a way to help control climate change.
Under carbon fee-and-dividend, there would be a steadily rising fee charged on fossil fuels, similar to a carbon tax.
Unlike a carbon tax, however, the money collected would not go into government revenue but would instead be distributed to everyone as equal dividends.
We human beings produce more than 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year by burning fossil fuels.
Global carbon fee-and-dividend set at a starting level of $30 per tonne of carbon dioxide would therefore generate about $1,000 billion per year.
Assuming there are about 5 billion adult human beings on this planet, that would be enough to provide each of them with a dividend of about $200 per year – effectively doubling the annual incomes of millions of people.
Jim and I have been going back and forth about this and related issues on the pages of the Times for several years.
When I try to pin him down on why he disagrees with me, however, I have never been able to get a clear answer. He tends to ramble on.
Here are some questions for the Rambling Man:
1. Do you disagree that the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is increasing?
2. Do you disagree that carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas?
3. Do you disagree that the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is changing our climate?
4. Do you disagree that our climate could change so much and so quickly as to endanger our civilization?
5. Do you disagree that the most efficient and economical way to control climate change is by putting a price on carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels?
6. Do you disagree that best way to make a price on carbon dioxide politically acceptable would be by distributing the money collected as dividends to everyone?
7. Do you disagree that a price on carbon dioxide is unlikely to be adequately effective unless it is global in scope, meaning through the United Nations?
8. Do you disagree that national governments would be unlikely to surrender their powers to the U.N. and so a worldwide referendum would be necessary?
9. Do you disagree that the best way for ordinary people to get a worldwide referendum would be through a worldwide petition?
I am becoming more optimistic that we are going to solve this global warming problem because, paradoxically, the effects of climate change are becoming more obvious.
I also believe that global carbon fee-and-dividend will play an important role in doing that.
If you want to help by adding your name to my petition, please go to: https://tinyurl.com/GlobalCarbonPetition