Edward D. Roderick (The Capital Nov. 8) asks a good question: What is a reasonable solution to global warming?
My favorite answer would be market-based: Place a fee on carbon being introduced by fossil fuel energy producers and return all revenues thus obtained to American consumers.
There are several reasons favoring this solution. It would reduce the hidden public subsidy going to energy producers who are polluting the air without paying for that cost. It would also help working-class Americans, incentivize growth and innovation, accelerate the transition to domestic energy independence, reduce the expense of protecting American interests in oil-producing regions and lower the risks of political instability resulting from climate impact.
There is hope for bipartisan support for such a program. Elder statesmen of the Republican Party – James A. Baker and others in the Climate Leadership Council – have proposed a fee starting at $40 per ton of fossil carbon, with all proceeds raised, as Baker and others wrote in an article in February, “returned to the American people on an equal and monthly basis via dividend checks, direct deposits or contributions to their individual retirement accounts.”
In setting the initial fee, we need to consider the dangerous costs that fossil fuel combustion is imposing on people. Once a fee exists, we will need to watch how quickly consumers reduce our purchases of carbon products. The critical first step is to enact a carbon-fee-and-dividend policy into law.
Place for hope
Regarding the article “‘Not today Satan’: Six graduate from drug court” (The Capital, Nov. 21):
A critical difficulty in the advancement of disadvantaged people throughout the world lies in the loss of hope. When a person abandons hope in their heart it leaves room for other pursuits that otherwise wouldn’t have scratched the surface of a person’s mind, let alone their heart.
Opioid use in Anne Arundel County and throughout Maryland has become extensive and incomprehensibly deadly with the introduction of fentanyl as a cutting agent. There were 372 fentanyl deaths in the first three months of 2017 in this state alone, and all signs point to climbing usage and fatality rates, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
This daunting number brings about recurring arguments over the nature of criminality and drug use. What can we do to stop “the criminals” from resorting to such activities? While it is necessary that decisive action be taken to reduce drug use, this article helps to combat another great threat to all these victims of the drug trade — the idea that they are different.
People do not make mistakes like these because their values do not align with those of the average person. They are thrust into a situation that takes advantage of their weakness to hook them and drag them in. This article proves that there should be a place for hope in these people’s hearts, and that the criminal justice system of Maryland is capable of giving that hope a basis in reality.