National news continues to tell an irreconcilable story of America’s relationship with climate. At the same time the Climate Science Special Report (part of the 2018 National Climate Assessment) confirms the West has warmed on average 1.5 degrees, intensifying wildfires and reducing our water supplies; the President nominates a climate/renewable energy skeptic to the Council on Environmental Quality.

It is difficult to imagine a bigger disconnect. Climate change remains in question only in America. The rest of the world is already working to solve it. Even Syria, torn by civil war and hardship, recently joined the Paris Accord leaving America the only country out.

Solving climate change is a new economic engine with enormous purpose and benefits of health, prosperity, and a livable future. China is now the world’s top producer and buyer of solar panels. Japan has more e-car charging stations than gas stations. But where is America in the new economy line-up? Arizona has the potential to become a leading exporter of solar energy, ‘mining’ a free and abundant renewable resource to build our state’s economy.

To make the shift, we need strong policies. A gradually increasing carbon fee will correct the price of fossil fuels, provide investors a strong market signal, and offer a generational transition for coal, oil and gas workers. Returning fees to families through a monthly dividend makes the transition affordable.

Join the City of Flagstaff and ask Senators Flake and McCain and Congressman O’Halleran to be national climate leaders and support carbon fee and dividend.

SHAWN NEWELL

Co-Group Leader, Flagstaff

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

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