Paying for our suicide

Mother Nature has been trying to get our attention. This winter a “bomb cyclone” roared up the East Coast bringing extreme freezing and flooding. On Tuesday, January 2, the temperature was colder in Jacksonville, Florida than in Anchorage, Alaska. This past year we have suffered destructive hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and massive wildfires. All told these climate change disasters have cost the U.S. at least $306 billion dollars in 2017.

Setting aside the devastating emotional toll on the people who lived through these events, the damage to the economy is enormous. The money lost in real estate destroyed and the interruption to jobs and business is gone — and it can’t be called back.

There is simply too much carbon in the atmosphere, trapping too much energy from the sun — resulting in ever more extreme weather events. The majority of Americans recognize this; our military recognizes this; the fossil fuel industry itself has known this since at least the 1970’s. We need to reduce our use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible to remain in a livable world.

And yet the Trump Administration continues to push further exploitation of fossil fuels.

The new tax overhaul, passed in December, continues the fossil fuel subsidies to the tune of $20 billion each year . . . money that comes out of our taxpaying pockets to add to the coffers of arguably the most profitable industry in history. Yes, we are actually subsidizing the industry that is killing us . . . and we have done so for 100 years or more.

Considering the damage to the climate, any attempt to subsidize or enable the fossil fuel industry in any way is not just wrong headed, but actually, literally, suicidal.

While our Congressman Tom Garrett voted against additional disaster assistance to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Maria, (H.R. 4667); he voted in favor of the tax overhaul which continues the giveaway of our tax money to the fossil fuel industry. We should think about that.

Linda Croxson

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