Letter: Addressing climate change crisis in an effective way

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

To the editor:

An aggressive tax on carbon at the point of extraction is the most effective method of addressing the climate crisis. Extracting and burning fossil fuel is responsible for 80% of the increase in greenhouse gases. The crisis simply cannot be addressed adequately without radically decreasing the fossil fuels use.

It would discourage fossil fuel use by increasing the price. Alternative energies would be relatively more competitive. Return on improved efficiencies would increase. It is a market solution and eliminates free riders by forcing those damaging the environment and society to pay. The amount could be increased annually until the desired result is realized

The tax proceeds can be distributed equally to each citizen, so on average there is no net cost. It would decrease income inequality because emissions are proportional to consumption, and wealthy people consume more. A total of 10% of the people are responsible for 80% of emissions world wide.

China does have two times the emissions of the U.S., but five times the population. On a per capita basis, we emit two and a half times more.


Carbon levels in the atmosphere are 50% higher than before the industrial revolution. The last decade was the warmest in recorded history. The last five years were the hottest ever recorded. Last year was the hottest and this year looks to be a new record.

"We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.” -- Greta Thunberg

Change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Bryan Van Gorp

Alexandria, MN

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