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Even if we tax carbon and reduce emissions, will it control climate change?

Even if we tax carbon and reduce emissions, will it control climate change?
Demonstrators call for action to fight climate change during a march in Bordeaux, France, on Oct. 13. (Nicolas Tucat / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Before I support a carbon tax in the United States, I would like to know what I can expect from one.

In fact, I would like to know what I can expect from this country reducing its carbon dioxide emissions in general. If the world (not just the U.S.) reduces its emissions 50% by 2050 (a virtual impossibility), what will the effect be? Will it stop global warming? Will it slow down global warming? And if so, how much?

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Those who propose cutting carbon emissions as the solution should be able to tell me what to expect if we do.

P.J. Gendell, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: Yes, Citizens Climate Lobby’s proposal calls for a slowly growing per-ton carbon fee that would likely reduce emissions more rapidly (by 50% in 20 years) than other policies. Studies show that millions of jobs would also be created, as the revenue generated by the carbon fees would be divided equally between all Americans, acting as a stimulus. Reducing health hazards from pollution would also save lives.

Does Congress know about this policy? Intimately. Citizens Climate Lobby has talked with virtually every member of Congress.

So, what’s the holdup? The GOP, primarily, won’t touch it. Its members cling to worn generalizations, like Sen. Ted Cruz’s assertion that the “climate is always changing.”

Too many of us who do care about this simply don’t vote. The despair of millions will rest on our political decisions.

Jan Freed, Los Angeles

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To the editor: The carbon-fee-and-dividend proposal is a carefully considered plan that will drive real change while being as fair as possible to everyone. We desperately need to enact a plan like it in order to have any hope of averting a catastrophe.

David Salahi, Laguna Niguel

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