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Thursday, October 14, 2010

James Hansen: Conservative Principles and the 350 Work Party

Conservative Principles and the 350 Work Party

by James E. Hansen

Jim DiPeso, Policy Director of Republicans for Environmental Protection, has written an article on "Fee and Dividend" or, as I sometimes call it, "Fee and Green Check". He writes with clarity that I envy.

In my remarks at a 350 Work Party last week-end, I decried the partisanship that reigns in Washington. Sixty percent of Americans, me included, believe that we need a third party.

Bill McKibben properly notes that the White House solar panels are a symbolic gesture, not an energy or climate solution per se. In the past week I completed installation of solar panels on our barn, at a cost just over $72,000 (I will describe interesting accounting in a subsequent message).

Then what is needed? The first thing, the foundation, must be a carbon fee collected from the fossil fuel companies at the first sale at the domestic mine or port of entry. The essential complement is 100 percent dividend (green check) to the public on a per capita basis. Not one cent should be at the disposal of the government. (The accounting of the solar $72,000 will provide an example of why we do not want the government deciding how to invest our money.)

Then efficiency, renewable energies, nuclear power, carbon capture can all compete freely.

Is it possible for the large number of Americans in the middle of the ideological spectrum to send a message to Washington today (other than by throwing out one party after the other, which has not proven effective)? My suggestion: participate in the Million Letter March. See introductory video. Your contribution could take less effort than for me to write this note. But if we get enough people to make the effort, it could be the first step in moving the country in the right direction.


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