2016-12-10 / Front Page

Carrying climate change message to Washington


Dr. Mike Aucott and his wife Louise live part-time at their farmhouse on Niles Hill near Coudersport. He brings education, passion and specific proposals to his crusade for federal legislation to address climate change. Dr. Mike Aucott and his wife Louise live part-time at their farmhouse on Niles Hill near Coudersport. He brings education, passion and specific proposals to his crusade for federal legislation to address climate change. Part-time Potter County resident Mike Aucott took his message about climate change to the nation’s capital last week.

A member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), he and his colleagues visited 300 Congressional offices. They were seeking support for a “revenue-neutral, steadily increasing carbon fee and dividend program,” Dr. Aucott said.

“This is the way to cut carbon emissions that are causing global warming without harming the economy,” he explained. “It has been the case for a while that any action to mitigate global warming has to have Republican leadership, and over the last three years we’ve detected real movement among Republicans towards acceptance of the need for action.”

“It may be a while before we see a bill, but we’re not going away,” Aucott added. “Climate change is too important of an issue to be left to uninformed arguments and the whims of political debate.”

Aucott, an environmental consultant, energy researcher and adjunct professor of chemistry at the College of New Jersey, pointed out that the tiny fraction of deniers in the scientific community are being discredited and shrinking even more in number.

“We need to get to work,” he said. “There’s still time to prevent the worst of it. Our planet is heating up, the building (of carbon dioxide) is human-caused, and it’s virtually certain the heating will continue. Some of the predicted regional impacts are starting to become apparent and the conditions in some areas could get hellish for future generations.”

In general, the tax being proposed by CCL would be placed on fossil fuels, based on their carbon dioxide content, at the first point of sale. Revenue would be returned to the public to protect households from rising costs associated with the carbon tax.

It would encourage producers and consumers to shift toward energy sources that emit less carbon and generate greater demand for electric and flex-fuel cars.

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