In response to “Base climate decisions on data,” Nov. 20, Letters to the Editor.

I agree with the headline but can’t let the letter go unchallenged.

I teach an OLLI class on climate change. One of the first things we learn to evaluate is the information source; in this case, a letter from an economic geologist and a mining geologist.

We can’t know motivation without more details, but mining and economic geologists generally work for the industries that mine things like oil or coal. In a climate change discussion, this alone should give us pause, as we already know that the coal/oil/gas industry is motivated to block climate action. This letter could be fossil fuel industry propaganda.

The letter dismisses the claim that 97% of climate scientists agree that current warming is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. They describe studies that investigated consensus as “a little suspect” without elaborating. We are instead referred to a 2004 Friends of Science Society study that finds only 50% agreement. I looked up Friends of Science Society in Wikipedia, and the first paragraph states “They are largely funded by the fossil fuel industry.”

We now have a second reason to view this letter as propaganda.

There are other obvious flaws in the letter, but once we can identify something as propaganda, we dismiss it.

We are facing potential civilization collapse in the near-term and impacts globally are already causing enormous suffering and loss. We have the knowledge and ability to do something to change direction, but we lack political will because propaganda is effective. It causes reasonable people to doubt. Doubt paralyzes us. Game over.

The first step we must take is to put a price on carbon and return those fees equally to U.S. citizens. It’s fair because those who pollute the most will pay the most. It’s compassionate because those at the lowest economic levels will actually come out a little ahead. It incentivizes good decisions by business. It will grow the economy and create jobs. Carbon fee and dividend has bi-partisan support, too, especially from the younger GOP.

The House bill that does all this is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR763).

Take some action. Let your members of Congress know you support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. It’s a small step, but if enough of us do it, it just might save the world.

Connie Williams lives in Rio Rico.

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