Carbon Cashback! A Solution to Climate Change | Teen Ink

Carbon Cashback! A Solution to Climate Change

October 19, 2021
By A108 BRONZE, Three Rivers, California
A108 BRONZE, Three Rivers, California
4 articles 1 photo 4 comments

If you feel the way I do, climate change is overwhelming. Not because no one can seem to realize that climate change is real, but because no one can seem to agree on how to solve it. Now that society has started taking the baby steps in recognizing that climate change even exists, we need to start taking physical action. 

When people do small things like recycle and plant trees, it’s great. But what about the government? If you’re from the United States, the purpose of the government is supposed to be to protect our “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” according to the Declaration of Independence. When air pollution and extreme weather threatens our lives, the government should take action. How are we supposed to pursue happiness when we can’t go outside because of wildfire smoke or other air pollution?

I know the government shouldn’t bear all responsibility for stopping climate change, but they could at least do something more than what they’ve been doing. To be fair, they have done some, but considering that climate change just keeps on getting worse and worse, it doesn’t seem like we’re making a well enough effort. 

There are quite a few solutions that we could put into effect. Currently, the President is working with Congress to try to pass a budget reconciliation package. It sounds a little complicated, I know. It involves how our country spends its money, and can be passed through Congress with 51 votes instead of the normal 60. 

The main point though is that the government can use this to help fight climate change. There are strict requirements for the budget reconciliation package, but a concept known as the “carbon cashback” (or carbon pricing) meets those requirements. What would happen is that a price would be put on carbon and other fossil fuels so that companies and consumers would have to pay extra for polluting our atmosphere. This makes renewable energy cheaper. The money that was paid goes directly back to the people every month, with the government keeping none of it. We would get to spend that money however we choose to.

95% of low and middle wealth Americans will come out ahead or essentially break even. The idea of carbon pricing has been gaining popularity because it benefits people, the economy, and the environment. What’s left now is for us as constituents to spread the word and contact our representatives, telling them that we want a carbon cashback. Sounds like a good way to fight climate change!

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