Unless we address the root causes of local plant and animal losses ("Ask a Ranger," Aug.23), the trend will only accelerate. While some species may find ways to persevere, others like alligator juniper trees will apparently move up in elevation--or out.
That carbon dioxide traps heat is now well understood. And as CO2 continues to pile up in the atmosphere, an obvious question might be this: How could such a growing accumulation not raise both global and local temperatures?
Putting a price on carbon, as Citizens Climate Lobby and others urge, can both decelerate and ultimately reverse this trend. Pricing carbon can also be done quickly without new bureaucracies. If it is accompanied by a dividend to American families, economic growth and clean energy availability will follow. We will also have a chance of limiting the losses of local plants and animals. Congress should not delay the transition to a renewable energy economy, but should instead put a price on carbon now.