[This post is from The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham in response to a recent article, “The Carbon Tax: A Moral Issue“, by Father Paul Mayer (co-founder, Climate Crisis Coalition). The article gives reasons for a carbon tax. IPL however is focusing efforts on the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009”, introduced by Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, which includes cap and trade legislation instead of a carbon tax.]
As far as moral issues go, I think it’s important for us to remember that the overarching moral issue is how we will respond to global warming. What it will do and is doing to the least among us and God’s creation is proving to be catastrophic. I hope that we, as people of faith, will be able to stand together this year, remembering that a house divided cannot stand.
Supporting a “good policy” that doesn’t go anywhere and has no chance of becoming law won’t protect the climate or future generations from a far different version of Earth than we have now. While there are other theoretical schemes, I believe the cap and trade bill, which is now underway in Congress, is ready for legislation. Already we can see that opponents will attempt to unravel the legislation, trying to drive a wedge between supporters by making claims that capping greenhouse gases and putting a price on carbon will further harm the poor, and are therefore immoral. But a new study says reducing emissions will lower energy costs.
While Waxman-Markey may not be perfect, it makes it possible for people to make a profit and cut greenhouse gases at the same time. It is a very big step forward and it’s the best chance we have to seriously address climate change this year. I pray that this year we will stand together and make our voices heard in support of a strong, viable bill.
[For a simple explanation of Cap and Trade policy, download this Power Point presentation from Holmes Hummel, PhD, called Introduction to Cap-and-Trade Carbon Policy Using Musical Chairs: An Illustration of Managed Scarcity:Â PC or Mac]