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Fresno activist: The climate change conference was a failure

Fresno activist: The climate change conference was a failure

OPINION and COMMENTARY

Editorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives and information on issues that are important to our community. They are not dependent on the work of our reporters in the newsroom.

Trees scorched by the Caldor Fire smolder in the Eldorado National Forest in Northern California last September. The Biden administration wants to thin more forests and use prescribed burns to reduce catastrophic wildfires as climate changes makes blazes more intense.

Last September, trees that were scorched by the Caldor Fire still blaze in the Eldorado National Forest, Northern California. Biden’s administration wants to thin forests more and use prescribed fires to reduce wildfires that can be catastrophic as a result of climate change.

AP file

I was happy to see an opinion piece published by The Bee in November. Dr. Peter Kalmus, a well-known climate scientist who is widely published. According to WikipediaAfter earning his doctorate, Dr. Kalmus worked as a researcher at NASA and Cal Tech on climate-related issues. He has been advocating for policies to address climate change for a while.

The Bee’s main topic is the Bee. COP 26Dr. Kalmus considers this a failure. Dr. Kalmus argues that we need to recognize COP 26 for the failure it was since any official progress made was inadequate to address the magnitude of the climate crisis we are facing; he suggested the world needs to shift into emergency mode since, he says, “incrementalism can no longer save us.”

Dr. Kalmus explains that the largest group at COP 26 was the one representing oil and gas. This partially explains the poor response from the delegates. CNN and NPR both reported separately that this group contained more than 500 individuals.

On the other side, I’d like to mention that many business leaders representing other industries attended the COP 26 meeting and many of them voted for stronger commitments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They know, like many economists that the economic costs of climate change will have a devastating impact on all economies.

COP 26 also saw many demonstrators. According to The Washington Post on one day, Around 100,000 peopleGlasgow was awash with climate activists calling for action. I believe that almost all of those who attended COP 26 as well as the climate advocates from around the globe who did not attend, will continue demanding political action to effectively reduce climate change’s risk.

As someone who has had an expert’s front row seat as the predicted destructive effects of climate change have begun to emerge, Dr. Kalmus has earned the right to a negative view of COP 26. While we should listen to Dr. Kalmus’ warnings about the urgency and importance of the crisis, it is important to remember that there were also positive aspects to COP 26. While I recognize that the crisis is serious, I believe that there is still time for us to address it in a more or lesser orderly fashion so that we don’t live in a hotter world.

Citizens Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan organization that believes a carbon price for the entire economy with dividends to households is the most fair, efficient, and politically possible way to reduce our 2030 emissions. This tactic is popular with economists, climate scientists, and many members of Congress.

See Also
In this September 2017 photo, Mariko Shimmi helps carry items out of Ken Tani’s home in a neighborhood still flooded from Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

The Building a Better ActThe House passed the Act. It has a good chance of passage in Senate. The Act, which is subject to Senate revisions and likely includes a number climate change provisions, will likely be approved by the Senate. We know, however that the U.S. won’t be able meet its fossil fuel reduction goals if the current provisions are implemented without a carbon tax and dividend.

Our organization has reached out to members of Congress and the White House over 160,000 times in the past year to promote the inclusion of a carbon tax and a dividend feature in the act. We will continue to work in the short term to convince the Senate that the act includes a carbon fee and dividend provision before it is adopted. If the Senate fails to act, we will continue lobbying for standalone, bipartisan carbon tax and dividend legislation.

I know that Dr. Kalmus supports a carbon fee policy and dividend policy. I believe he would agree that such a law would help to demonstrate the U.S. commitment towards addressing climate change. I believe he would agree that such an action would send a powerful message of urgency to the COP delegates meeting in Egypt in November this year. Perhaps such a law in the United States will set the scene for a successful COP 27.

Ken Wall is a retired banker, bank regulator in Fresno and is currently a volunteer group leader with Citizens Climate Lobby Fresno. You can reach him at: kwall9175@gmail.com

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Ken Wall Contributed



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