Op-Eds and Letters

Decision Time: Will Senate Go Big or Small on Climate Change?

While the media spotlight is elsewhere, the U.S. Senate this summer is seriously negotiating climate change legislation. Senate Democrats have signaled that they are focused on climate change. They plan to address the issue in this year’s budget reconciliation. This is potentially good news for those who have argued for a price on carbon. That’s because consideration of a carbon price meets the strict parliamentary requirements of budget reconciliation. The reconciliation is not subject to the filibuster, meaning that it can be passed with 51… Read More »Decision Time: Will Senate Go Big or Small on Climate Change?

Time for Carbon Fee is Now

We didn’t see that coming. Extreme drought in the west. Extreme wildfires out west. Flooding in the southeast. More and stronger hurricanes. More tornadoes. Dangerous heat in the west. The drying of the Great Salt Lake. Possibly a high-rise condo on a barrier island collapsing. Rivers flooding in Europe. These are occurring due in part to misinformation campaigns by the oil industry and by climate change-deniers on social media. We can’t solve this crisis by recycling more, eating less red meat, planting trees and driving… Read More »Time for Carbon Fee is Now

Climate Watch: How agriculture and climate change are connected, and why it matters

BY SYLVIA NEELY This OpEd appeared in the Centre Daily Times on JULY 11, 2021 Agriculture faces serious problems in a warming world. California, according to one recent article, “supplies two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts and more than a third of America’s vegetables.” The Central Valley’s bounty is made possible by water from the north flowing down rivers and irrigation streams. When rain and snow are not abundant, as has been the case recently, farmers rely on water from underground aquifers. Unfortunately, that… Read More »Climate Watch: How agriculture and climate change are connected, and why it matters

Price on Carbon Must Be Part of This Year’s Climate Legislation

Our nation’s lawmakers are currently working on a package of spending measures and policies aimed at transforming America’s infrastructure and tackling climate change. During an Earth Day summit with world leaders, President Biden committed the U.S. to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 to 52 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To achieve that goal, Biden has proposed spending hundreds of billions of dollars on electric vehicle charging stations, incentives for consumers to purchase EVs, retrofitting homes and businesses to be more energy efficient, and… Read More »Price on Carbon Must Be Part of This Year’s Climate Legislation

Republicans Engage on Climate Legislation

On June 4, a group of 25 Utah Republicans, mostly state legislators, published an op/ed in a Salt Lake City newspaper asking Congress to enact a fee on carbon pollution and to return the money collected directly to American families. This happened in Utah, the most reliably “red” state in the nation. It is the latest example of how Republicans increasingly are getting involved in finding solutions to climate change. For several years, the conservative Climate Leadership Council has made the same “carbon fee and… Read More »Republicans Engage on Climate Legislation

Climate is Everything

The climate crisis has replaced the COVID-19 crisis (Time Magazine, April/May 2021). Time reports that leaders in all walks of life (corporate, government and health) are recognizing the human and economic crises caused by extreme climate events. Science has warned us and now many are listening. Climate solutions are being infused into every government agency. Auto manufacturing must respond to consumers concerned about emissions. Some corporations have deliberately given misinformation (e.g., Toyota emissions and Manville asbestos). Builders are responding to make structures climate resistant and… Read More »Climate is Everything

Why flooding is everybody’s problem

I was living in St. Louis in 1993 when a very rainy spring turned out to be the beginning of a historically destructive flood. The rain also fell north of Missouri and all that water flowed south, through the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, to converge on St. Louis. I learned several things from this event. “Natural catastrophes” of this kind create devastation where they occur, but outside of their immediate impact area, life goes on as normal. These catastrophic events are increasing because of climate… Read More »Why flooding is everybody’s problem

Climate Watch: On Earth Day 2021 Remember That Individual Action Is Not Enough

At the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, crowds gathered throughout the country to celebrate the earth and learn about ecology. The events varied, but, in the spirit of the times, the celebrations raised consciousness about environmental problems and spurred many to change their habits to use more “natural” products in everything from fabrics to gardening. The enthusiasm of ordinary people made the first Earth Day a success, but it was obvious that individual action would not be enough. The Environmental Protection Agency was… Read More »Climate Watch: On Earth Day 2021 Remember That Individual Action Is Not Enough

Time for PA to be Part of the Climate Change Solution

Climate change is undoubtedly a significant environmental issue of our future generations. For too long, Pennsylvania has been a major part of the problem. It’s time to be a part of the solution. State officials are proposing that Pennsylvania joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program that has dramatically reduced climate pollution in many of our neighboring Northeast states. The public comment period showed that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support joining this successful program and Penn State has certainly shown their support too. Pennsylvania joining… Read More »Time for PA to be Part of the Climate Change Solution

Biden’s Plan is What We Need

BIDEN’S PLAN IS WHAT WE NEED The Biden Administration has taken extraordinary steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s working. Next up, is our economic health. Taking a page from FDR’s New Deal, President Biden proposed a social contract/recovery bill that’s centered on climate-friendly infrastructure to repair decades of under-investment in energy, education, health care and “green” innovations. Republicans say he’s gone too far; others say not far enough. State College police looking for help finding these ‘persons of interest’ in MLK mural vandalism… Read More »Biden’s Plan is What We Need