“This is the just the policy we need! It’s like when President Reagan led the world in response to the depletion of the ozone layer. First, find the consensus of the scientific community then initiate an insurance policy against devastating and perhaps irreversible damage to the atmosphere – a Reagan-like insurance policy addressing global warming,” pitched Baker. The crawler across the bottom of the screen read, “The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends.”
“But that’s not all!” exclaimed George Schultz, Sec. of State under Reagan and Sec. of Treasury and Labor under Nixon. He hoisted a large mock-up check made out to John Q. Public. “If we act now…” And he ticked off the benefits:
- Tax carbon from fossil fuels at $40 /ton as it enters the economy i.e. at the mine, oil/gas well, or port. Then raise that amount 2% above inflation each year.
- Distributed the money collected through the Social Security Administration sending quarterly dividends to all American households - about $2,000/household the first year.
- Eliminated the regulations of the Clean Power Plan.
- Let the marketplace drive the reduction of fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. By 2025 half as many greenhouse gasses would be emitted as compared to the Clean Power Plan.
- Create even more renewable energy jobs, which already outnumber fossil fuel industry jobs.
Ralph awoke on the couch the next morning. “Crazy dream,” he murmured. Later, as he scanned his favorite news sites, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, he realized that in his bleary state he had mistaken a news report for a late-night TV pitch.
“Hmm…” thought Ralph. “Republicans taking the lead on addressing climate change! Fewer regulations, rising employment, less pollution, and money in my pocket. What’s not to like? It’ll help create a sustainable future right here where we’re forever…Earthbound.”