Official Act of Leadership

Blog—Official Act of LeadershipIt’s official! My first logged act of leadership for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal in response to an opinion piece they published on the cover of the Sunday Opinion section on Sept. 8, 2013. “Three smart steps to help curb climate change.” You can read their editorial here.

They invited letters of 200 words or less in response to the question, “Should Wisconsin and the nation increase the gas tax for fiscal and environmental reasons?”

My response was posted to their website on Sept. 9, and my letter appeared in the Sunday print edition on Sept. 15. You can view my letter to the editor on their website here. (Their Sunday print circulation is 109,000.) Fellow Chicago-trained climate leader Bruce Jamison also had a letter published in response to the same question.

The text of my letter (as edited by the newspaper):

“Wisconsin and the nation should increase gas taxes if the aim is to repair roads and support transportation infrastructure.

But last Sunday’s editorial and headline were misleading. The headline emphasizes curbing climate change, while the editorial focuses on finding revenue to fix roads and positions any positive environmental effects from an increased gas tax as simply a bonus. Even if the focus were put on curbing climate change, the effects of a gas tax would pale in comparison to addressing carbon pollution on a broader scale. What needs discussion is a carbon tax.

By taxing the carbon emissions of businesses and industries responsible for most of the billions of tons of carbon pollution dumped into the atmosphere every year, society could address the climate crisis on a more substantial, urgent level. A carbon tax, combined with a swift and meaningful shift to renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and wind power, takes a far stronger swipe at the climate crisis.”

So, that’s one down and many, many more to come.


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