In “The View From Here: Climate culture change is still upstream” (March 15), Greg Kesich suggests that a shift in social norms is needed to solve the climate crisis. Even concerned citizens are complacent when they “jump behind the wheel of a car or truck and drive solo to work, never considering that their choices a billion times over are making the planet uninhabitable.”

I know many concerned citizens who are making uneconomical purchases to lower their carbon footprints, but we must not expect do-gooders to bear the brunt of climate mitigation. Everyone needs to participate. That requires leadership and a comprehensive national policy.

True: Even though 57 percent of Americans are either “alarmed” or “concerned” about the climate and support national action (according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication), social norms do not yet demonize burning fossil fuels. But we can harness other inherent aspects of human nature: self-interest and the urge to save money.

Proposed legislation in the House is the first, best step to mitigate climate change. The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763, levies a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels. Facing higher prices of goods containing carbon, consumers – families, businesses, governments, investors, innovators – conserve and find lower-carbon alternatives. All fee revenues are sent back to American households on an equal basis as a carbon dividend. Lower- and middle-income families break even or do better under this climate policy.

Your most effective step to save the planet is to call your senators and tell them you support legislation to price carbon.

Dorothy Jones


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