How to Save the World in 15 Minutes – Step 1: Share This

For those with short attention spans:

  1. Share this post. It takes 15 seconds, and spreading this idea is one of the most important things that you can do. If you do nothing else, do this.
  2. Read more about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act . This takes 5 minutes.
  3. Write your congressperson and ask them to support it. This takes 10 minutes or less.

That’s it. 15 minutes and you’ve made a real contribution towards saving the world.

The Longer Version

Let’s say that you want to save the world from catastrophic climate change: that you want to prevent the displacement and suffering of millions as well as the myriad less dramatic effects, and that you are concerned about the disproportionate effect climate change will have on the world’s already most vulnerable people.

How do you go about this?

You could agonize over every decision:

“should I purchase the organic tomatoes from Mexico, the conventional tomatoes from the next state over, or should I make a separate trip to the farmer’s market to buy local?”

“which tee-shirt has the lower carbon footprint?”

“should I wrap this thought up now, to save electricity (and carbon emissions) from my computer, or should I think of a better example?”

I’ve been in that zone before, and it’s not fun. I don’t recommend it.

You could also try to estimate your impact and offset your fair share through carbon credits and organizations that promote carbon reduction. Regular readers of my blog (hi Dad!) will recognize this approach from one of my earlier posts.

Or, you could hit the freaking easy button.

The Freaking Easy Button

Question: What would solving climate change look like if it were easy?

Answer: We would go about our lives more or less as usual with the comforting knowledge (or even blissful ignorance) that solving climate change is magically baked into every purchasing decision that we make, and we wouldn’t be any worse off for it.

That’s what the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act could do for the United States.

Obviously…I’m a fan.

It’s a simple idea: put a price on carbon pollution as close to the source as possible. Take that revenue and distribute it back to the people. Let the power of the market do the rest.

We should all be able to get behind this.

Love the power of free-market capitalism and hate government bureaucracy? Markets don’t work well with externalities, so this approach simply brings it into the market and then lets the people spend their money how they want, with the full costs properly accounted for. There’s no government agency directing this, mandating that, or limiting our freedom.

A fan of fairness? Great! A carbon dividend is paid equally to all Americans.

Worried about the impact of mitigating climate change on the poor? Stop your fretting! This is a progressive approach, since the dividend is distributed equally, but the wealthy tend to spend more.

Prefer the advice of experts? This is exactly the sort of solution that many of the climate scientists and economists have been calling for.

Your Call to Action

We can solve this. And we can do it without freaking out over whether and how we should buy strawberries.

We get our government to pass the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, we do a solid for our planet and our descendants, and we get on with our lives.

Here’s your 15 minutes assignment (from the top of the post):

  1. Share this post. It takes 15 seconds, and spreading this idea is one of the most important things that you can do. If you do nothing else, do this.
  2. Read more about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act . This takes 5 minutes.
  3. Write your congressperson and ask them to support it. This takes 10 minutes or less.

Peace, Love, and Happy World Saving.

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