Letter to the Editor: Climate Change Legislation Can Bridge Political Divides

Effective actions to address climate change need to happen at multiple levels of government and complementary policies, as illustrated by En-ROADS, a climate simulator. We are fortunate that these actions will also result in better health, more jobs and a more resilient economy.

The city of Appleton recently passed a municipal resolution in support of the House of Representative Bill HR763: Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Eighteen communities in Wisconsin, including Waupaca and Janesville, have passed resolutions in support of federal climate action, most of which specifically supports carbon-fee-and-dividend-type legislation.

The nonpartisan organization No Labels has written The Ultimate Guide to the 2020 Election: 101 Nonpartisan Solutions to All the Issues That Matter, which says the government can begin to successfully address climate change. It explains that government support of clean-energy research and carbon-fee-and-dividend legislation are bipartisan problem solvers. No Labels assists the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus, of which U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher is a member.

A recent long-running survey conducted by Stanford University’s Resources for the Future states that the “COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished support for climate-change mitigation, with 82 percent of Americans saying the U.S. government should act on climate change.”

The same study found that in 2015, 13 percent of the public felt that climate issues were personally urgent. Today, just five years later, 25 percent of the voting public feels personal urgency. This translates to 50 million Americans who are passionate about our government acting on climate change, according to social psychologist Jon Krosnick, one of the directors of this study.

En-ROADS, a climate simulator, allows anyone to build her or his own solutions scenario. A January 2020 article in Yale Climate Connection by Dana Nuccitelli concludes that the model identifies carbon pricing as one of the single most effective steps to curb emissions. 

Rep. Gallagher, please continue to explore support for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (just like Brewers pitcher Brent Sutter) and to champion legislation that bridges political divides, supports a healthy planet and embraces economic opportunity.

Alisa Landman

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin