Another Earth Day has come and gone, and again there are few signs that public opinion has shifted on the climate change issue since last year.
The latest Pew Research study finds that only 44 percent of American adults believe that human-caused climate change is actually happening. The American Association for the Advancement of Science notes that 97 percent of climate scientists believe that climate change has been proved based on thousands of years of data. Why the Grand Canyon-sized disconnect between our scientists and citizens? How can we hope to confront the challenges facing us with so little public awareness and political will? The scientific debate is over, but the inertia continues, much to all our peril.
Most scientists and economists agree that the price of carbon fuel must be raised high enough to give renewables an opportunity to compete in the marketplace. We must put a tax on carbon, with all of the revenue rebated to consumers on an equal basis. For this Earth Day, let’s resolve to close the gap between science and wishful thinking. The very lives of our grandchildren may depend upon it.