One of the key aspects of human efficiency is making decisions based on facts, data, and nonideological logic. We are at the point where we need to begin taking more aggressive action to slow down the impact of climate change by reducing the amount of CO2 emissions we release into the atmosphere. Luckily, accomplishing this is becoming less expensive all the time due to the decreasing cost of alternate energy sources, with solar being 75% cheaper now than in 2009.
The two best ways to reduce CO2 emissions are through the implementation of a carbon tax and the faster implementation of rooftop solar collectors. But both of these are running into resistance.
The carbon tax is a tax placed on fossil fuels based on their carbon content. This accomplishes several objectives: It puts a value on pollution which drives the highest polluters to go to cleaner sources of energy rather than imposing more regulations. It also offers another revenue source for the government and can be used to offset other taxes.
Many countries already have or are in the process of implementing carbon taxes including Canada, Australia, Chile, and many of the European countries. Since carbon taxes at the federal level are being blocked by Republicans, some states are beginning to look into implementing their own programs including Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and others. California has had a program in place since 2006 and it works great with 69% of Californians approving.
Rooftop solar power is also taking off around the country but with this popularity comes resistance. Some power companies are adding fees to home solar customers. In Florida, voters rejected an amendment to the state Constitution which was backed by the utilities and which could have limited rooftop solar. Obviously, power companies need to keep making money and should be reimbursed a fair rate for the use of their grid, but they should not be allowed to slow down progress.
Luckily, renewable energy is growing, even with resistance. With 64% of Americans now concerned about global warming per a Gallup poll, and economics for renewable energy becoming more favorable, the state and federal governments should be reinforcing the drive toward clean energy. This is true especially for the states along the Gulf coast which are most threatened, but it is not always the case.
As mentioned above, we are on the road to change. As was done in Florida, it is time for people who are not ideological extremists to fight back with facts and data where necessary. Unfortunately, the government does not always represent the best interests of the people.