How do we gain knowledge? Usually through experience. In David Ford’s book, “Theology: A Very Short Introduction,” he used an apple to illustrate that we gain knowledge about an apple only after we have held it, tasted it, cooked it, picked it, etc. Once we’ve done that, we’ve gained knowledge about it.
The same can be said about climate change. We may not know much about it or even believe that the climate is changing. But once we experience some effects of climate change, we begin to build our own knowledge about it.
Take, for example, our current drought, the forest fires, our unusually warm fall and average temperatures that increase year after year. And it’s not just here that changes are occurring. Some coastal cities and islands, including Tybee Island, are experiencing “sunny day” flooding due to sea level rise. When this occurs, roads and causeways flood at high tide with no storm present.
Now that we’re getting firsthand experiences, it’s easier to see the climate is changing. We can disagree about what caused it, but we know that increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are a big part of the problem. The best way to reduce the impacts of climate change is to begin reducing our use of fossil fuels now.
Carbon Fee and Dividend is one proposal that would do that. It puts a fee on carbon at the source, and then returns that money to households as a dividend to pay for the increased cost of fossil fuels. This free-market approach will help businesses move to a green economy, creating thousands of jobs in the process.
There are good solutions to reduce the effects of a warming climate without harming the economy. We just need the will to admit it needs to be done, and then get on with it as soon as possible.