To the Editor:
Does spring seem to be coming earlier than it used to? Do the winters seem warmer, and the summers hotter? If you think so, it’s not your imagination. Data on temperature trends in New Jersey through 2020 are now available, and they show that New Jersey, like much of the world, is warming significantly. According to data from Dr. Dave Robinson, NJ State Climatologist, 2020 was the second warmest year since records began in 1895, and 4 of the 5 warmest years on record have been since 2006.
Global warming, and the alterations in precipitation, frequency of droughts and storms, rising sea level and other changes that this warming is bringing to our world are now becoming impossible to ignore and are increasingly recognized as an existential threat that we must deal with.
That’s why it was heartening to learn, via an April 8 article in MercerMe, that help in the form of an exciting new research effort is on the way. The D&R Greenway has embarked on a major research study to explore how environmentally-friendly farming practices might help capture and return to the soil some of the carbon that’s contained in the pollutant carbon dioxide released in huge quantities to the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels.
Help is on the way on other fronts as well. On April 1, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 2307, was introduced to Congress. This bill, if implemented, would place a steadily increasing fee on the carbon content of fossil fuels at the point where these fuels enter the economy. This fee would incentivize low- and zero-carbon energy sources and energy efficiency and discourage the combustion of fossil fuels. The revenue collected would be returned to households, offsetting the additional costs families would bear for purchases of fuels and electricity. Low and moderate income households would, on average, actually benefit financially.
The new bill is a reintroduction of a similar bill that was introduced in 2019. That bill was co-sponsored by several New Jersey Representatives, including Bonnie Watson Coleman of NJ District 12. The new bill has already been co-sponsored by Representative Tom Malinowski of nearby District 7. To help push for passage of this landmark legislation, readers of MercerMe can write or call Representative Watson Coleman https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/ and urge her to again show leadership in addressing climate change by co-sponsoring the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
Michael Aucott, Ph.D.,