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Support a carbon tax

There is a lot to love in Representative Walden’s guest column in the Bend Bulletin on Feb. 20.

First off, he makes a firm stance that “climate change is real.” I don’t want to give too much praise for accepting science, but it is welcome.

I like Rep. Walden’s focus on forests. He correctly asserts that the world’s forests will play a significant role in mitigating climate change.

The National Academy of Sciences found that 37 percent of CO2 mitigation could come through cost-effective “natural climate solutions” such as conservation, restoration and improved land management.

However, to write an entire column boasting of conservative climate solutions without mentioning the phrase “carbon tax” or “price on carbon” misses the opportunity to explore and debate key ideas in this generational problem.

Many economists like carbon taxes because they provide incentives to lower emissions most efficiently. Businesses will choose to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to them, and a carbon tax would incentivize exactly the renewable projects that Rep. Walden writes about.

The Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy teamed up with leading independent think tanks to look at the implications of a $14, $50, and $73 per ton tax on carbon.

Overall the reports showed that a carbon tax would increase government revenues, drive carbon emissions far below current policy and have only a small effect on GDP.

There are reasons that oil companies and climate activists agree on one thing, a carbon tax. We should explore them.

Jesse Kurtz-Nicholl

Bend

Change the status quo

A group of senior citizens here at Aspen Ridge Retirement Residence have been conducting a Socratic Café for over three years.

We discuss timely topics with a goal of reaching common understandings among the participants.

Since the width of the political spectrum is represented, we have some lively and at times heated discussions.

The perception of the members of our group is that both political parties are responsible for the current condition of our country with a $22 trillion debt and an immigration policy that is out of control.

There is a consensus that a cause for the failure of the checks and balances of our republic are power, greed and money driven by a goal of our representatives being re-elected.

They are putting their respective parties before the country. The members of the Socratic Café feel there is little they can do to change the status quo.

Charlie Young

Bend

Remember the past

Recently political articles are citing the impeachment proceedings of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and review the constitutional guidelines to have Congress bring accusations that substantiate the action to remove a president from office.

As citizens who know our country’s history, we learn which leaders served honorably and which did not.

President Donald Trump communicates daily messages that activate his supporters and opponents, some of whom believe Congress should initiate impeachment proceedings to remove him from office.

A recent report stated that, out of 1,000 adult Americans surveyed, only 36 percent passed the U.S. citizenship test. Of those, only 40 percent knew what countries the U.S. fought in WWII.

Older adults scored dramatically higher than the younger ones. If our public education system continues on its current path in teaching history and civic affairs, even fewer adults will understand their nation’s past and how a democracy works.

For 20 years I advised 20-year-olds to apply IT products and processes to improve businesses. My clients demanded themselves to be faster and make money to tee up an initial public offering.

The “now” consumed their attention. Their country’s past, well, was “past.”

The neglect in teaching social studies and the generational behavior to dismiss the past — reinforced by social media — have created a body politic who see history as irrelevant and valueless.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” wrote George Santayana, a philosopher.

Tim Conlon

Bend

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