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Letter: Fossil-fuels fee would spur alternatives

A thick blanket of smoke is seen against

A thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as young ragpickers search for reusable material at a garbage dump in New Delhi, India on Oct. 17, 2014. A groundbreaking agreement struck Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, by the United States and China puts the world's two worst polluters on a faster track to curbing the heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. Photo Credit: AP / Altaf Qadri

I wholeheartedly applaud Newsday’s editorial board for highlighting the need for climate adaptation [“Climate change rolls in,” Editorial, Jan. 17].

Some still deny the seriousness of climate change because they fear changing their lifestyle, yet costly sea-level rise and extreme weather have already begun to change our lives for us. Climate change will force us beyond our ability to adapt unless we also address its cause. It is not our habits that must change, but our outdated energy sources.

A per-ton carbon fee on fossil fuel extraction or imports, with a dividend returning all funds to all households, would protect all but the most extravagant energy users from price increases. Investments would flow to infrastructure and improvements for solar, wind and battery storage.

We’d have more money in our pockets, breathe cleaner air and see our grandchildren enjoy a livable world.

Jeanne Brunson, South Setauket

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer co-leader for the Long Island chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

 

It’s nice to see Newsday’s editorial board raise the issue of Long Island’s vulnerability to climate change. Unfortunately, what is missing in your acknowledgment is a solution.

Pushing sand around and bracing for the worst, without addressing the cause of the problem, is not a comprehensive solution. We need to fully incorporate renewable energy into our grid. Not just solar, but utility-scale offshore wind, which also could address our peak demand problem.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recent veto of Port Ambrose, the proposed natural gas terminal off Jones Beach, and his declaration of a coal phaseout, are strong steps in the right direction, but they don’t go far enough. I’m ready to have PSEG Long Island, the Long Island Power Authority and the governor plug me into offshore wind.

Matthew Kearns, North Babylon

 

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