Facebook Twitter

Opinion: Trust the market, support a carbon tax

It’s one thing we can do to minimize fire, smoke and drought.

SHARE Opinion: Trust the market, support a carbon tax
California’s Dixie Fire burns.

Flames from the Dixie Fire spread in Genesee, Calif., on Aug. 21. Smoke from California fires polluted Utah’s air for much the summer this year.

Ethan Swope, Associated Press

This past summer was a tough one. One of the things I love about Utah is hiking the Wasatch, but this year’s smoke has had me trapped on a treadmill. I’ve missed the mountains, where the wonder of God’s creation nourishes both body and soul in a way that a treadmill cannot.

Unfortunately, “California on fire“ and the smoke that flows to Utah has been predicted as likely to come with climate damage. I’d had a hard time imagining what this could be like until this summer. Certainly the problem stems from a mix of climate damage plus PG&E’s faulty old infrastructure (most of the major fires were sparked by that), along with faulty forest management. But sparks won’t do such great damage without the West’s long-term drought. And California’s dry lightning — another cause of fire — is a new thing.

Fortunately, we can do something to minimize fire, smoke and drought. Let’s trust the market to work by placing a price on carbon that reflects the real damage it does, and return the proceeds to the American people.

Robert Cooper

South Jordan