Progressives Should Welcome Conservatives to the Climate Change Table: The Planet’s Future May Depend on It

Progressives Should Welcome Conservatives to the Climate Change Table: The Planet’s Future May Depend on It


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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When it’s come to climate change, the lines of debate have been drawn very distinctly: Democrats and progressives clearly are leading with solutions while Republicans and conservatives have long resisted even the existence of human-generated climate change as a legitimate issue.

Donald Trump famously described climate change as a hoax invented by China.

As that the effects of climate change have become apparent, the majority of the American people side with the Democrats and progressives and their solutions, including the sweeping Green New Deal, according to public opinion polling.

A group of concerned Republicans, co-led by former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz, has decided to take climate change seriously and offer what they call a market-oriented solution.

The Republican approach would impose a tax on carbon-based energy, like coal, gas and oil.

“As a result, people would be disincentivized from using heavily-taxed carbon-based energy and encouraged to seek out cleaner products, while businesses would be encouraged to create green energy alternatives free from the levy. What’s more, the revenue from the tax wouldn’t disappear into government coffers,” according to a write up in the New York Post. “Under the Baker-Shultz plan it would go into a special fund, and then be divided into equal shares that would be distributed to all Americans every three months. Backers call this the “carbon dividend.”

Yes, the public back the Democrats on this issue and their solutions to the problem. They could run on this advantage and try to pummel the Republicans on the campaign trail.

Or, the two sides could try to see if they have common ground–for the sake of the planet.

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