A Bold Plan Climate Change

To Stop Climate Change, All Americans Need to Get Involved

A major problem that we have as a nation is our inability to deal with the big issues. Our leadership has failed us by not confronting critical challenges like climate change; our $34 trillion national debt

A major problem that we have as a nation is our inability to deal with the big issues. Our leadership has failed us by not confronting critical challenges like climate change; our $34 trillion national debt; our expensive but underperforming health care system; and our giant stockpile of active nuclear weapons puts us one accident away from nuclear Armageddon.

Our leaders fail to address these and other large issues because they are more interested in re-election than they are in making the best long-term decisions for our country. To fulfill our responsibility as citizens of the United States, we should know the facts surrounding the key issues. We should not blindly follow political parties. They have fallen short. We need to push for solutions.

In my opinion, the one issue that stands above all others is our inability to address climate change.

If we don’t curb it, none of the other challenges will matter because our existence will be threatened. Here are the facts:

  1. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased from 315 parts per million in 1958, to 421 parts per million today.  
  2. The United States is the second largest polluter in the world, emitting a total of 5.98 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The average American emits 13 metric tons annually. Compare this to the average German who releases 7.3 metric tons, or the average person in the UK who is responsible for 4.6 metric tons.
  3. The temperature of our planet has increased 2°F since 1880. Global scientists are predicting that by the year 2100 the earth’s temperature will increase by 5º– the equivalent of the human body reading 105.2°! (The human body dies at 108°F.)
  4. Since 1970, there has been a 68% loss in mammal, fish, reptile, bird and amphibian populations.  
  5. The global average sea level has risen 8-9 inches since 1880, with nearly half of that increase coming since 1993. So much of our population and economic activity is concentrated along coasts, and it’s now at risk.
  6. Climate change costs the American economy at least $240 billion annually. It is estimated that this cost will increase by 50% over the next decade. 

In 2022, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” Ninety-seven percent of global scientists agree with this assessment. As citizens of the United States, we should expect the candidates running for the highest office in the land to have a clear plan for global climate change leadership.  

My advice for the next president of the United States is the following: 

  1. Make climate change leadership the top priority of your administration. We only have one planet. We all breathe the same air; we all drink the same water; and we are all vulnerable to changing weather conditions. We helped bring about world peace after two world wars; we helped to win the Cold War; we put a man on the moon in 1969. The United States is fully capable of leading the world in solving global climate change. If we fail, none of our other problems will matter. 
  2. Implement the Baker-Shultz Carbon Dividends Plan, which would increase the tax on carbon. Tax increases have worked to curtail cigarette and alcohol use and would do the same with carbon. Let the market work its magic.
  3. Task NASA with developing technology to remove a significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere. NASA knows more about the health of the planet than any other organization in the world, has a lot of smart people on its team and a track record of success. The survival of the human race is too big of an issue to leave to private industry. Let’s put our best and brightest on this project.

There will be hard work and sacrifice along the way for every American to turn the tide and lead the world on climate change.

Robert Swan, the first explorer to walk to both the North and South Poles, once said, ”The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

If we want to save the only planet we have, we need to demand more from our leaders and more from ourselves. We all need to pitch in.

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See ‘A Bold Plan For America’ for citations.