In his letter (Sept. 8), Garrett Mason stated, “a carbon tax would raise gas and electricity costs for all consumers and have little environmental impact.” Though raising fossil fuel costs for consumers, the proposal by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby includes a dividend which would give more money back to the majority of Maine households than their increased expenses.

The purpose of a carbon tax is not to “raise prices on all kinds of energy, ” only on fossil fuels. A tax will lower greenhouse gas emissions in a measured and predictable way. Alternative energy will become relatively cheaper.

How ironic that people send their money out of state to fossil fuel companies — the same industry that is jeopardizing future generations. Extensive, peer-reviewed studies show that a carbon tax can have a powerful positive impact on the climate and the environment. Where does Mason get his facts?

The cost of inaction is huge. Farmers are dealing with costly adaptations to heatwaves, drought, downpours and increased pests and diseases. Fishermen are witnessing rapidly warming waters and ocean acidification, leading to the loss of Maine clams, cod and shrimp, and causing the disappearance of juvenile lobsters. Loggers see the trees they harvest infested by pests that are increasing their range. An increasingly unstable climate spurs extreme weather events which costs taxpayers and homeowners billions.

We owe it to future generations to do something now. A carbon tax is the best first step. What does Mason suggest?

Roberta Brezinski, Durham

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