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Dead set on denying science of climate change

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To the editor:

NASA and NOAA, two top U.S. government agencies, have just issued their analysis of last year’s record weather. The Associated Press also reported that insurer Aon Benfield said the world had 41 billion-dollar weather disasters last year, the second highest number, with 2010 being the previous record holder. Extrapolating from that, if the world has 41 weather disasters for 10 years in a row, that would total $410 billion; almost halfway to a trillion.

How long before we can’t afford insurance at all? At what point does it make economic sense to take steps to mitigate climate change?

I don’t know the answer to the first questions, but the second one is easy. We’ve already passed the point where it makes sense to reduce our destructive use of fossil fuels like coal and oil.

Just watching the national concern over fracking and chemical spills shows how much we value clean water. Clean water is priceless, since we all need it to live.

And there’s the effect on our health from airborne pollution and the billions that costs the taxpayers every year. Add that cost to the weather disasters. And what about all the crops that weren’t insured? Or the properties swept away by torrential rains in the same states with long-standing drought? And what about the drain on the economy by shipping billions of dollars overseas to buy foreign oil?

What about the opportunity cost of all those jobs in clean energy that could have happened if only we weren’t so dead set on denying the science of climate change?

There’s a simple way out of this impasse. Do what the economists recommend: Tax the bad things and people will use less. Making the fossil fuel producers pay a small fee for CO2 emissions would send just the right message.

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