Tom Friedman’s piece, “Fresh off our fiscal cliff, here comes climate cliff” (Opinion, Jan. 11), points up the similarities between our environmental and economic problems — a deadlocked split over by whom, and how payment will be made, for the debts we’ve run up.
I agree that we must raise a tax and could drive energy purchases away from fossil sources with a carbon tax. It’s also true that economists of many schools, as well as energy industry leaders, have given lip service to a carbon tax. When will Congress and the president stop the politics long enough to do the difficult work of crafting an effective and fair tax such as this?
PETER PETEET, ATLANTA
Congress must act
to reduce emissions
“2012 U.S.’ hottest year on record” (News, Jan. 9) is the latest in a series of news events that have awakened our nation to the harsh reality of climate change.
Given what we’ve experienced in the past 12 months — wildfires, drought and Hurricane Sandy — 2013 is the year that Congress must feel the heat to enact legislation that reduces the greenhouse gas emissions warming our planet.
A steadily rising fee on carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and gas) would speed up the transition to clean sources of energy. Returning the revenue from that fee to consumers would counteract the economic impact of rising energy costs associated with this transition.
Through the Ways and Means Committee, Congressmen Tom Price and John Lewis are in a unique position to move such a bill through Congress. How much hotter does it have to get before we act?
STEVE VALK, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, CITIZENS CLIMATE LOBBY
GUNS AND CHILDREN
It’s government’s job
to safeguard students
Government is how we protect ourselves. Through government, we set limits; we draw the line. From slavery to second-hand smoke, businesses have protected profits first. Government regulations draw the line between what was acceptable and what is no longer permitted.
It is time to protect our children from gun massacres in their schools and in their homes. A country that put a man on the moon and today watches photos sent direct from Mars should have already solved this problem. We can do it — once we make it our priority.
KATHIE CHENEY, PEACHTREE CITY
Guns won’t protect
if kept locked away
The author of “School tragedy shows kids, guns don’t mix” (Readers write, Opinion, Jan. 10) states that parents should lock their guns in a safe place and their ammunition in another locked place.
I agree. The homeowner should meet the criminal at his entry point and say, “Please wait a few minutes while I find my keys, unlock my gun and ammo, load the gun and meet you back here. In the meantime, please wait in the kitchen while my wife makes you a sandwich.”
Members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s disaster relief organization began making plans Tuesday at the group’s North American Mission Board office in Alpharetta to send volunteers and supplies to areas of Oklahoma hit hard by Monday’s devastating tornadoes.