Scientipic Whiz-Dim

Regional climate change and national responsibilities

Why join

From one of two excellent 2016 papers by Dr. James E. Hansen et. al. Dr. Hansen was the top American climate scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies: NASA GISS until his retirement in April 2013 after 46 years of government service. Many of his works are available to the public at

These excerpts are from Dr. Hansen’s first 2016 paper, “Regional climate change and national responsibilities,” with Dr. Makiko Sato coauthoring. It was published 2 March 2016 in Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 3, last retrieved 6/20/2017. The headings are my own additions.


Climate as bell curves show decadal shifts toward hot and chaotic

Figure 1

The bell curve shifts in 2005–2015 are only about one-third of the shift that will occur with 2 °C global warming. (Although warming of land areas in 2005–2015 is ~0.8 °C, figure 4, global mean warming is only ~0.6 °C relative to 1951–80; 1951–80 is ~0.3 °C warmer than pre-industrial, Hansen et al (2010), so 2 °C warming above pre-industrial implies 1.7 °C relative to 1951–1980.) Given the approximate linearity between mean temperature increase and bell curve shift, 2 °C global warming would yield a shift of about six standard deviations during summer in the Mediterranean, Middle East, Sahara and Sahel regions and a similar shift in all seasons in the African Rainforest and Southeast Asia (figure 3).

Regional climate decadal shifts as bell curves worse for some

Figure 2

Implications of these regional climate shifts are manifold. We note several consequences, focusing on their geographically uneven impact, especially the difference between developing countries at low latitudes and more developed northern nations. The examples and not a review of these burgeoning research areas, but they are sufficient to introduce discussion of relevance of these regional changes to the issue of dangerous human-made climate change.

Figure 3


Climate change and human conflict

Hsiang et al (2013) assemble the results of 60 quantitative studies of the relation between climate change and human conflict spanning the last 10 000 years and all major world regions. They find that interpersonal violence increases by 4% and intergroup conflict by 14% for each standard deviation change in temperature toward warmer temperatures. [Standard deviations are the numbers along the bottom axis in the bell curve charts.] Such findings do not constitute natural laws, but they provide a useful empirical estimate of impacts that can be used for at least a limited range of temperature increase. Increases we infer of 2–6 standard deviations with 2 °C global warming imply significant effects in all regions, but with larger effects at lower latitudes. Conflicts in turn tend to result in migrations with effects on both displaced and host populations (McMichael et al 2012).

Climate change and newly uninhabitable areas

Temperature rise itself imposes a strong disproportionately large effect on low latitude countries. Pal and Eltahir (2016) note that business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions result in some regions in the Middle East becoming practically uninhabitable by the end of this century as the wet bulb temperature approaches the level at which the human body is unable to cool itself under even well-ventilated outdoor conditions (Sherwood and Huber 2010) [“fit people can just disintegrate into a pool of useless people on stretchers. That’s what I see happening to society, to cultures” – Huber from “Limits to Adaptability”]. Today’s global temperature distribution has notable nonlinear effect on economic productivity (Burke et al 2015). Middle latitude countries have near-optimum temperature and limited impact from projected temperature change, but, in contrast, warmer countries, such as Indonesia, India and Nigeria are on a steep slope with rapidly declining productivity as temperature rises (figure 2, Burke et al 2015).

Climate change and sea level rise

These regional consequences of warming are accompanied by a threat that sea level rise poses to global coastlines, thus jointly creating a need for prompt strong actions to avoid tragic results. Earth’s history suggests that warming of even 1 °C above pre-industrial levels could eventually lead to 6–9 m sea level rise (Dutton et al 2015). IPCC (2013) estimates that about 1 m or less sea level rise would occur by 2100, but Hansen et al (2015) argue that amplifying feedbacks make a highly nonlinear response likely with potential for several meters of sea level rise this century and recent ice sheet models explore mechanisms that may contribute to rapid ice sheet collapse (Pollard et al 2015). If the ocean continues to accumulate heat and increase melting of marine-terminating ice shelves of Antarctica and Greenland, a point may be reached at which it is impossible to avoid large scale ice sheet disintegration. Given that a majority of large global cities are located on coastlines, sea level rise would add another source of migration pressure.


Climate change prevention remains the goal

The United Nations 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC 1992) stated its objective as ‘…stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’. The 15th Conference of the Parties (Copenhagen Accord 2009) changed the focus to a goal to ‘…reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase of global temperature below 2 °C…’, and the 21st Conference of the parties added an aspirational goal of below 1.5 °C (Davenport 2015). However, we suggest that the UNFCCC (1992) objective to stabilize GHG concentrations is fundamental and starkly informs policy requirements.

Prompt restoration of 350 ppm CO2 ceiling hard but necessary

Atmospheric CO2 amount, in particular, is a great challenge in limiting GHG concentration. Earth’s paleoclimate history, especially the sensitivity of sea level to global temperature (Dutton et al 2015), and knowledge of Earth’s carbon cycle (Archer 2005, IPCC 2013, ch 6 ) provide a strong constraint, which Hansen et al (2008) use to infer that CO2 must be restored to a level no higher than ~350 ppm, with restoration prompt enough to avoid practically irreversible ocean warming and ice sheet disintegration. This estimate for the CO2 ceiling was affirmed by accurate measurements of Earth’s present energy imbalance (Hansen et al 2011, von Schuckmann et al 2016).

Dangerous human interference with climate system includes both insufficient action and geoengineering

Restoration of CO2 to a level at or below 350 ppm within a century, even with optimistic assumptions about restoration of biospheric and soil carbon, would require reductions of fossil fuel emissions by 5%–7% per year if reductions are started promptly (Hansen et al 2013b). Failure to achieve such reduction will result in continued long-term energy imbalance with Earth’s surface and ocean continuing to warm, growing regional climate impacts, accelerating ice sheet disintegration, and more rapidly rising sea level. As evidence of the situation and consequences grows, there may be increasing calls for climate ‘geo-engineering’ (Royal Society 2009) with unknown consequences (Sillmann et al 2015).

Voluntary goal effectiveness will require a rising price on carbon distributed uniformly to the public

Country-by-country goals, the approach of the 21st Conference of the Parties (Davenport 2015), will not lead to planetary energy balance and climate stabilitzation if fossil fuels are the cheapest energy. It is necessary to include ‘external’ costs to society in the fossil fuel price, especially the costs of climate change and air and water pollution (Ackerman and Stanton 2012), so that carbon-free energies and energy efficiency can supplant fossil fuels more rapidly. Such inclusive pricing of fossil fuels makes economies more efficient and reduces net economic hardships, if the carbon fee, collected from fossil fuel companies at domestic mines and ports of entry, rises gradually and if the funds are distributed uniformly to the public (Hansen 2015).

A few cooperating major powers can and must initiate

A carbon fee can be initiated by a few major economic powers and spread to most nations via border duties on fossil-fuel-derived products from non-participating nations and fee rebates to domestic manufacturers for goods shipped to non-participating nations (Hsu 2011). Issues raised by ‘coercive cooperation’ implicit in border adjustments (Bohringer et al 2012) will be subdued, once the severity and urgency of the climate threat is widely appreciated, by realization that fossil fuels cannot be phased out if some countries are allowed to export products made with untaxed fossil fuels. Developing countries have rights, recognized in the concept of common but differentiated responsibilities, and leverage to achieve economic assistance, which should be tied to the improved agricultural and forestry practices needed to limit trace gas emissions and store more carbon in the soil and biosphere. Finally, international cooperation in generating more affordable carbon-free energies is needed, or economic development in many nations will continue to be based on fossil fuels, despite pollution and climate impacts.

Dr. Hansen is one of my all-time heroes working on behalf of all children to come. DO GET INVOLVED in preserving a livable world: volunteer today –

Tricks and Traditional Whiz-dim

Congress Call-In Day, Friday June 9, 2017!

Dear volunteers/friends,
If you’ve been disappointed by some current events regarding climate change, then this is for you! Friday’s the day I’m calling my U.S. Senators and Representative to respectfully ask them to support carbon fee and dividend. Will you join me? Early next week members of Houston’s local CCL groups along with nearly a thousand of our fellow Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers will be in D.C. to lobby on behalf of all of us, and our phone calls will help underscore that we want strong and timely legislation. Especially right now, every single call or letter counts! Our chapter’s goals: 3 completed calls per person, with a record of at least 20 calls made. Won’t you please help us reach that by calling too?

It will take just a few minutes to make each call. You can get the script and phone numbers using this handy online calling tool:

Or you can call using these numbers and the scripts below:

Representative Rep. Al Green (D-TX-09): 202-225-7508

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): 202-224-2934

Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): 202-224-5922

Whichever way you make the call, would you please let me know when you’ve done it, so we can track our progress towards reaching our goal? or 832-231-8373

Thank you so much! It’s up to you and me to persuade Congress to take action and I’m so grateful we are side by side!


Paul M. Suckow, Volunteer Chapter Leader

Citizen’s Climate Lobby – Houston SW – Missouri City

5738 Cartagena Street

Houston, Texas 77035-2510



PS if you feel uncomfortable cold-calling your representatives in government, feel free to call my number and I’ll be your sounding board. Practice makes perfect, and your genuine message to Congress makes all the difference.

PPS don’t forget to set aside time to attend our regular chapter monthly meeting on the second Saturday, June 10 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. All details will follow in tomorrow’s email!

Script with Admiration, Respect and Gratitude for our Democratic Congressman Al Green:

I’m a constituent and I’m calling about climate change.

Would you like my address to confirm I’m a constituent?

I want my Congressman Al Green to find ways to work across the aisle on bipartisan legislation which enacts Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal.

Congress should be moving strongly forward on solving the climate problem, rather than pulling back.

This is a very important issue to me because…..

(Your own personal reasons are the most important…suggestions are just to get you started…)

??? (I’m concerned about environmental injustice that lack of action creates for every citizen of the future and for citizens of color and lower incomes today who are most in harm’s way.)

??? (clean tech is our future and needs to be cheaper than fossil fuels ASAP)…

??? (coral reefs are amazing and we may now have lost the biggest one on Earth)…

??? (we all need access to clean water, and sea level rise, droughts, floods and fires damage water quality and sustainable supplies)…

??? (snow leopards, turtles and polar bears are awesome, like so many amazing species on the move as climate zones shift, including we humans)…

??? (the amount of damage from Hurricanes and other extreme weather is only becoming more serious due to where we choose to live and climate change)…

??? (I like winter sports, which climate change threatens)…

??? (I care about our State and National Parks and Forests, under threat from fire and heat, and lack of visitors)…

??? (I am alarmed by the number of children with asthma, which studies have linked to African dust storms made worse by climate change)…

??? (the Paris agreement was in itself insufficient without greater participation, and now the USA has proposed to abandon even that insufficient action!)…

Don’t forget to add your respect, thanks and admiration for the difficult job Al is doing to represent us in the government of the United States of America.

Figure 1 source:


Admirably Grateful and Respectful Script for our Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz:

I’m a constituent and I’m calling about climate change.

Would you like my address to confirm I’m a constituent?

I want Senator John Cornyn/Ted Cruz to sponsor bipartisan legislation which enacts Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend proposal.

Congress should be moving strongly forward on solving the climate problem, rather than pulling back.

This is a very important issue to me because…..

(Your own personal reasons are the most important…suggestions are just to get you started…)

??? (the science is clear, responsible action is required, and only becomes harder to address as time goes by)…

??? (bees are pretty important to us, and we grow a lot of stuff here in Texas and nearby in Mexico)…

??? (I care about Texas’ natural heritage and its great outdoors)…

??? (I’m really worried about the costly floods we’ve had during big rain events)…

??? (Texas’ agriculture, health, water supply, infrastructure and more is threatened by climate change)…

??? (I love shrimp creole, and Gulf shrimp are having trouble breeding in the warmer water)…

??? (I need my coffee in the morning, Houston has a decent coffee industry, and supply could shrink due to climate change)…

??? (Texas oil industry is linked with Alaska’s, where permafrost is melting and threatening the pipelines)…

??? (natural disaster numbers have doubled in a few decades – and 90 percent of them are weather related, with climate change causing greater destruction to property and loss of life)…

??? (physical outcomes of the energy and lifestyle policy choices we make today will linger way past our lifetime or even that of our nation, a huge responsibility)…

??? (I care about human health)…

Don’t forget to add your respect, thanks and admiration for the difficult job they are doing to represent us in the government of the United States of America.



Tricks and Traditional Whiz-dim




When thinking about environmental justice for all, can’t we stop playing around the edges and take the bully by the horns? Let’s talk about for-real Justice for slave-descended families…

What if the US reduced its wealth gap by distributing $2.77 trillion of 564 billionaires’ equity to 6 million slave-descended families that have each gone without their promised farm with mule since 1865? Each family would receive $462,944.00 in il-liquid equity shares from 564 former US billionaires, forever-after to be known as the US Council of Jubilee Patriots (the billion-dollar donor club).

Each donor would still hold personal equity of $99 million to keep them going on the day after equity transfers complete. As each reinvigorated super-rich donor family works to rebuild personal billions they once held, each would volunteer as (or arrange for) mentors for “their” set of slave-descended beneficiaries, with special attention to parolees mass-released from prisons across the country.

They’d tutor all in the fine arts of wealth building, which I understand to consist of buying only things that pay you even more money than you spend on them. Some Jubilee Patriots might even enjoy continuing to manage the whole amount of their former wealth as if it were still their family fortune.

Except after Jubilee day, their “families” will have grown tremendously! At least 1,946 additional slave-descended tribes will join the family of the smallest US billionaire (who owns the Patagonia brand) up to the case of super-billionaire Bill Gates at the top of the US pack who will at a stroke hand off 99.98 percent of he and Melinda’s holdings and (don’t ask me how) begin to mentor an amazing 188,362 newly wealthy black families.

Former $3.5 billionaire, US Jubilee Patriot President Donald J. Trump, would rank #205, a good bit above middle ranking on the Council. But I’m sure he would want to take on a much larger role, perhaps organizing hugely compelling reality TV coverage of the six million slave-descended families and their fabulously wealthy mentors as together they reach again for the stars.

We can all hope that those nest eggs would soon to grow in value to a million dollars and beyond. We might even pick up a thing or two of value for ourselves in the shared experience!

What a way to reduce the wealth gap between the millionaires and the billionaires, which is so much larger than the wealth gap between we regular folks and the millionaires among us! What a way to delay a horrible market crisis by spreading risk out much further. And if it succeeds, what a way to lead the world into a voluntary program of significant wealth gap reduction that justly rewards families most harmed by specific actions taken to build these great nations on Earth.

With reparations settled at last, and with all boats rising in a sea of optimism, we can go on to directly solve our real problems in the world such as heading off global heating due primarily to excess greenhouse gas and eliminating extreme poverty by ensuring universal water, food, education, contraception and health care! We can do this. So what do you think?

Tricks and Traditional Whiz-dim



About this event:

Created by Paul Suckow, German, Ian

Takes place on March 18, 2017

Houston, Texas

When:  Saturday, March 18, 2017 time t.b.a.

Where: t.b.a.


Meeting led by CCL SW Houston-Sugar Land Chapter’s Ian and German, finding common ground with our local NAACP chapter.  The NAACP maintains an


section (  


Our legislators include Al Green (D-TX9), who has expressed concern about how solutions to climate change will rank on the scales of Environmental Justice.  German has laid the groundwork for this meeting, so many thanks to German for bringing this together on March 18.  Reserve your calendars now!


Invited:  Representative Al Green, Texas 9th Congressional District (


Invited:  Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Distinguished Professor and the Father of Environmental Justice, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University ( ( (


Invited NAACP Locals:





(6864) NAACP TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIV 3825 BLODGETT HOUSTON TX 77004 832-576-8719 President: JYLISE SMITH (


Map data ©2017 Google

Terms of Use

Report a map error

February 6, 2017 by Paul Suckow



What Does an ASTM Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (Ph. 1 ESA) Include?

The two items that will save any non-residential real estate buyer money are a low interest rate on the mortgage and a thoroughly performed Phase I ESA.  The Phase I ESA for all practical purposes can save more money than shopping interest rates as a Phase I can find that $$$$$$$-eating environmental problem (Recognized Environmental Concern) BEFORE you pay (too much) for the property. Note that a Phase 1 ESA does not substitute for an environmental review record, but may satisfy HUD site contamination and toxic substances review elements in a federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.

The form and content of any Ph. 1 ESA will follow the form and content outlined in ASTM standard E 1527-05

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is meant to identify the potential for contamination of a site by hazardous or toxic materials and to identify other possible environmental constraints on the site.  It is not meant to be a detailed, comprehensive investigation based on quantitative or qualitative analytical data.  No environmental sampling and analysis will be performed under the normal Phase I scope of work.  The results of the Phase I ESA will be used to determine whether or not further study (such as a Phase II ESA) is warranted, based on the background information gathered and the results of the site inspection.  To obtain and develop the information required for the Phase I ESA of the property in a timely and efficient manner, the scope of work shown below is needed, subject to minor additions and deletions, as indicated by the availability, relevancy, and adequacy of the background information, and by best professional field judgment.

Task 1 Off Site Review

A.        Identify the city, county and state where the site is located.

B.        Obtain and review current Federal and State databases of suspected and confirmed contaminated sites within the zip code of the site, or within a minimum of one (1) mile, including the following:

1.    NPL [Superfund], FINDS [EPA’s Facility Index System], CERCLIS, RCRA, Open Dump Site listings, ERNS [Emergency Response Notification System], and the State Priority List, UST Facility Information, and Solid Waste  Facility Information listings.  State and local agencies will be contacted as necessary to determine if environmental monitoring or enforcement activities, investigations or claims are or have occurred on or near the site, and if industrial or waste water discharges to surface waters occur near the site.

2.    Scope of relevant minimum search distances:

  • Federal RCRA Generators List Property/Adjoining Prop.
  • Federal Institutional Control/Engineering Control Registries Property Only
  • Federal Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) List Property Only
  • State- and Tribal-Equivalent NPL 1 Mile
  • State- and Tribal-Equivalent CERCLIS 0.5 Mile
  • State and Tribal Landfill and/or Solid Waste Disposal Site Lists 0.5 Mile
  • State and Tribal Leaking Storage Tank Lists 0.5 Mile
  • State and Tribal Voluntary Cleanup Sites 0.5 Mile
  • State and Tribal Brownfield Sites 0.5 Mile
  • State and Tribal Registered Storage Tank Lists Property/Adjoining Prop.
  • State and Tribal Institutional & Engineering Control Registries Property Only

C.      1.           Indicate other agencies contacted, the name of the person contacted, and the information obtained.

2.           State the name and address of any listed facility found to be within one mile of the site.  Based on the search, indicate the distance and direction from the site to these facilities.

Task 2 Past Uses of the Site and Surrounding Land

A.        Review title information of the property (provided at Client’s expense), and Sanborn Maps, if available, to obtain information on past uses of the property possibly pertaining to the storage, treatment or disposal of hazardous substances.

B.        Interview the current owners, employees, neighbors, government officials etc., regarding present and previous uses of the property and surrounding area, to a reasonable extent.  Indicate the name of the contact and information obtained.

C.        Examine readily-available historical aerial photographs and/or maps for indications of historical uses of the property, and for any evidence of potential on-site contamination, such as dumping or land filling.

D.        Investigate whether the site or surrounding land within a one (1) mile radius of the site is being or has been used for any of the following purposes:

 1.        Agricultural (may be indicative of pesticide or herbicide used).

 2.        Landfill.

 3.        Tank/drum/equipment storage.

 4.        Industrial/manufacturing facility (type).

 5.        Oil/gas exploration.

 6.        Chemical/petroleum or waste storage/processing/ injection wells.

 7.        Military installations.

 8.        Fill areas.

 9.        Quarries/sand and gravel extraction.

E.         Investigate whether there are or have been any storage tanks on the site and, where possible, what was stored in them.  If possible, determine the age and the capacity of the tanks and whether a suspected release from the tanks has been reported. Determine if any existing tanks are in compliance with applicable tank laws and regulations.

Task 3 Present and Proposed Use of Property/Surrounding Land

A.        Provide a Site Location Map of the area using a USGS Quadrangle Map with the site clearly identified.

B.        Identify any land within one (1) mile of the site that is indicated or proposed as a permitted landfill, hazardous waste, or solid waste facility.  If so, determine potential for environmental impact on the site.

C.        Determine if there is evidence that water wells, in use or abandoned, exist on the property.  Indicate if they are the primary source of drinking water.  Specify the present and proposed method of supplying drinking water.

D.        Determine the present or proposed method of sewage disposal, whether public or private.  Determine if a septic system, abandoned or in use, exists on the site.

E.        Provide a preliminary hydrogeological characterization of the site by reviewing soil survey maps, geological maps, topographical maps, flood plain maps and data, and any other pertinent data available for the property and its vicinity.

Task 4 Walking Inspection of Site’s Property

A.        A qualified Environmental Professional will conduct a walking inspection of the property in order to determine whether any of the following were discovered:

 1.        Discolored or disturbed soil areas.

 2.        Areas of sparse, sick or dead vegetation.

 3.        Drums or storage tanks (note type).

 4.        Discolored or polluted water; unusual or noxious odors.

 5.        Groundwater monitoring wells.

 6.        Floor drains.

 7.        Roads with no apparent outlet or purpose.

 8.        PCB containing transformers within structures or on power poles and lighting ballasts in older buildings.  Other potential PCB containing    material, such as soil near current or former railroad tracks.

 9.        Maintenance practices and hazardous materials handling procedures.

10.       Any storage of significant quantities of potentially hazardous chemicals, including herbicides and/or pesticides.

11.       Potential use of lead based paint.

12.       Potential wetlands and flood plains.

B.        Provide documenting photographs/ written results of interviews with anyone knowledgeable that was contacted during a site visit.

Task 5 Final Report

A.        Review the data developed from the field reconnaissance, agency contacts and records for technical accuracy and corroboration.  Analyze and assemble the data into a final report stating conclusions and recommendations either that no further study of the site be undertaken or that a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment be initiated.

B.        Determine whether there are any unique environmental factors, observations, or aspects of the site history which would justify further investigations.

The report will detail the information obtained from the site research.

It should be noted that a warranty on the environmental condition of the site cannot be provided, nor a guarantee of any kind.  The report provided will represent professional opinion based upon the information disclosed by the Client and available in public records, together with the application of standard scientific field investigation methods.  It must be recognized that at the completion of the Phase I ESA, there may be unresolved issues regarding the possible contamination of the site, or the potential presence of suspect materials.  Based upon preliminary findings of the Phase I study, the Client will be immediately informed by letter of any suspect or unusual conditions which may result in a recommendation for further study.


Free Market Solutions to Climate Change

“Houston, we’ve had a problem”…but for not much longer!

With every election held in America, citizens come together to compete at the ballot box for their chosen candidates and proposals. More insistent and on a far larger scale, the economy and society our representatives are elected to govern cooperate in a spirit of opportunity and enterprise to rapidly forward a better future. Increasingly fierce competition in ideas and projects has ever perfected our union, bringing us solutions to problems once feared intractable. The population explosion, formerly deadly diseases like typhoid, yellow fever and smallpox, clean water, food, public education, a national highway system, air travel, even landing on the moon proved solvable when citizens of good will have come together around a real solution.

This work is not over! There remain externalities that prevent our economy and society from solving some very real and pressing problems. Our next common-sense solution, emerging over this next year, addresses the most challenging problem not only for America, but around the world. For the past 157 years, Houston’s mainstay industry, producing energy from oil and other fossil fuels has not internalized the costs of disposing its waste products into the open atmosphere, clearly causing climate to change the ocean and atmosphere in unprecedented ways. Mounting costs of severely damaging and crazy weather, rising and acidifying seas, melting permafrost, rising extinctions and reduced biodiversity from shifting climate zones, greater competition for fresh water with less snowfall and retreating glaciers, advancing wildfires and diseases, failing crops…are all currently left to public funding sources for clean up or recovery, or simply ignored and punted into an unknown future.

Amid calls for solutions ranging from dire – like geoengineering – to ineffectual – like cap-and-trade, there’s one clear stand-out. It is the carbon fee-and-dividend. It is revenue-neutral, unlike a tax. The substantial and slowly rising fee is charged directly at the source to each company that generates fossil-carbon-based fuels – on the order of a thousand entities in the US – and is directly proportional to the amount of carbon these fuels contain. This means that coal will bear about 1.6 times the carbon fee that natural gas will bear, with gasoline sandwiched somewhere between, and truly cleaner fuels charging less. It is the missing incentive that the free market and its consumers – we –need to make reasonable choices among, and beyond, fossil fuels.

Because a carbon fee is charged at the source – the wellhead, mine or international port of entry – it will inevitably be passed on to the consumers of fuels produced from these natural resources. That’s why the second half of the carbon fee-and-dividend solution becomes so important. A direct dividend is put back into the pockets of consumers on a straight per-capita basis. All of the fees collected during a given period – say a month or a week – will be evenly distributed to all legal residents of our nation at the rate of 1 share per adult, and half-shares per child up to two children total. Those persons who do better than average mitigating against climate change will see their outlays for the increased cost of fossil fuels returned to them, with a small premium for their trouble. Those who do better than average at mitigating fossil fuel use will include most of the people – over 80% – because as the richest quantile will quickly discover, they consume vast amounts of fossil fuel! These dividends become a convenient way for the common person to save and invest in personal solutions that further limit their exposure to carbon fees – say a photo-voltaic solar system, organic and better-tasting locally-grown fruit, a fully-electric vehicle, a more efficient air conditioner, low-e windows or simply better insulation and weather sealing.

This solution works. It uses the free market’s greatest strengths! An upper bound exists at the current price of physically scrubbing carbon and returning it to solid earth reservoirs! The carbon price rises reliably and imperceptibly as a fractional portion of natural market price increases that occur! Anger at rising fossil fuel prices will remain where it does the most good – against unrepentant fossil fuel cabal members! All incentives will align to boost consumer action toward ever-greater fossil fuel independence just as corporate America is kick-started to innovate to meet this increasing consumer demand! Those with the greatest exposure to fossil fuel expenses can reasonably be expected to exert themselves to reduce this liability as quickly as possible!

All the collateral benefits of reduced fossil fuel use will also accrue to the public – lower levels of toxic air pollutants and the health risks these present, healthier foods and the health benefits these represent, gradual retirement of fossil fuel infrastructure and the safety and environmental risks these represent! All without increasing government agency, nor entanglement with government coffers! A carbon fee and its direct dividend distributed to the public are the kind of carbon price signal that is proven most effective at quickly reversing our trend toward ever-greater fossil fuel burning in the most natural – and comfortable – way possible! Even fossil fuel companies, now led by Exxon-Mobil, will gain valuable public permission to operate while consumers transition from sending fossil fuel expenses down a black hole, to receiving a regular dividend! Carbon fee-and-dividend incentivizes forthright action across the US and global marketplace!

If you want to find out more about the carbon-fee-and-dividend proposal, please visit to get answers and to find other people just like you who are discovering that what once seemed impossible to solve in fact has found resolution. It’s a solution we can unite around – people from every sector and strata. And with protection against nonconforming nation-states, we can even unite for a fee-and-dividend across the globe. It’s a simple and elegant solution that properly reflects conservative values of our center-right majority, AND the urgent direct action demanded by the center-left minority to solve our most encompassing and complex issue with greatest clarity.