It’s good news when economists and scientists agree on a problem and its solution.

On Tuesday (Page C1), the Portland Press Herald published an Associated Press brief describing a new World Bank report, which seeks to “incentivize bold climate action and … deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement” to keep global temperature increases below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It recommends that governments around the world put a price on carbon.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and former World Bank chief economist Nicholas Stern have now joined conservative Republican American economists George Shultz, Jim Baker and Gregory Mankiw, as well as liberal Democratic economist Robert Reich, in calling for carbon taxes. Not only that, 97 percent of climate scientists are in agreement about all the essential elements of global warming.

Here at home, the Press Herald has continued its excellent coverage of climate change and supported “carbon fees and dividends” as a tool to protect Maine lobsters from climate change impacts.

Both the nonpartisan Citizens Climate Lobby and the conservative Climate Leadership Council propose a national carbon fee and dividend, a “revenue-neutral” plan that would charge the fossil fuel industry a fee per ton of the carbon content in coal, oil and gas. All fees collected would be paid directly to every American citizen in monthly “dividend” checks. No new government programs or regulation!

The vast majority of American households, especially the poor, would come out even or ahead on a cash basis, even after the consumer price increases resulting from the fees. Better still, the carbon fee and dividend keeps money in local economies, levels the playing field for clean energy and growing jobs and the economy.

Let’s convert the good news into action. Join me in helping the Citizens Climate Lobby and telling your member of Congress that you support carbon pricing and the carbon fee and dividend.

Jonathan “Jay” Kilbourn


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