What is it about us humans? We are capable of great kindness in our own communities when disasters strike, but when a threat like atmospheric warming comes along that endangers people everywhere we lose our moral compass.

A piece of us whispers that we needn’t worry. Heat domes, hurricanes and wildfires are usually somewhere else. Food and water shortages, mass migrations due to global heating? It’s not our problem. If the end of a stable climate that supports life as we know it is still a few decades away, we carry on with business as usual, shrugging that there is nothing we can do anyway. This makes the problem worse because, per capita, we Americans spew more greenhouse gases than any other nationality, unfairly impacting those millions who didn’t cause the problem.

Guilt doesn’t help. Reducing your carbon footprint through lifestyle change is a miniscule solution, even if it helps. But we do live in a democracy. If the politicians have failed us, we can use our democratic rights as citizens to steer them towards solutions. One solution is to put a growing fee on fossil fuel emissions. H.R.2307 will accomplish that as it returns the collected cash equally to American households.

Tell Sens. Collins and King that you insist: The U.S. must tax the mining of fossil fuels ruining our future and return the money collected equally to all Americans on an equal basis, the first best initiative to take to get us to “Net 0” (emissions) in 2050.

Sam Saltonstall