A recent letter ‘UMaine students can lead by example on climate change’ (Oct. 5) takes a sarcastic snipe at climate science and climate activism. We believers and activists can take it with a smile. We would point out that on this same day the Portland Press Herald reported on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics, given to three scientists for their pathbreaking models and forecasts of the role of greenhouse gas accumulations on global temperatures and climate. The harm that fossil fuel combustion is doing to our planet is undeniable and the evidence is unassailable.

There is no hypocrisy in working for collective action but recognizing the inadequacy of personal sacrifice. No individual, organization or state can affect the climate through their own actions. But if the government can create incentives for everyone to reduce the use of fossil fuels, in fair fashion and slowly over time, we can solve the problem. That is why a high and slowly rising tax on fossil fuels is the most effective and fair policy.

There is one last chance to implement this policy: Put it in the budget reconciliation bill. The single most powerful action to address climate change is a call to our senators and representatives, urging them to put a price on carbon.

Michael Jones

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