Young Republican voters are as concerned about climate change as their Democratic counterparts. That was the message given by Alexander Posner, founder and president of Students for Carbon Dividends, on the Tri-Valley Citizens Climate Lobby’s October video.
“Reaching out to students across the country, we found out that the reality of climate change is not the partisan divide found in Congress. There are over 100 bipartisan college student groups talking together,” Posner said. These groups are “leading discussions with value messages and not policy details. They are telling broader stories about how and why climate change can affect our futures,” he said.
“Talking to conservatives about how their past presidents recognized the need for environmental solutions is a starting point. Teddy Roosevelt preserving and adding National Parks, Nixon and the EPA establishment, Reagan and the Montreal Protocol addressing the ozone layer, and George H.W. Bush tackling acid rain. This is not about deviation from the past. It is about reclaiming that proud legacy,” Posner stated.
Kiera O’Brien, vice-president of the students’ group, recently testified at a senate congressional committee hearing about climate change. She pointed out that the younger generation is very concerned if nothing is done now to control global warming. “Climate change is a bi-partisan issue. There needs to be dialogue between Republicans and Democrats across the country,” O’Brien said.
“Focusing on the human consequences of climate change, versus the environmental,” is a more acceptable approach for consensus. “This is about protecting our families and the communities we know and love,” Posner said.
Carbon fees and dividend income is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also decrease global warming. By imposing a rising tax on the sale of fossil fuels, and therefore carbon emissions, those fees collected, minus administrative costs, would be returned to households directly as a monthly energy dividend on a per person basis, O’Brien said.
Both O’Brien and Posner agreed that carbon dividends are a “target goal” among both conservatives and liberals. “However, ultimately the legislators will have the final decision concerning carbon dividends,” O’Brien said.