Read More: Scientific American
Over the past two years, two thoughtful, innovative, and dramatically different plans to address global warming have been presented to the American public by the Democratic and the Republican Parties. Both plans would move the nation significantly toward a sustainable future. The first, the Clean Power Plan (CPP), introduced by President Obama, calls on states to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 32 percent below their individual 2005 baselines by 2030. The CPP further makes $8 billion available to retrain and aid coal-workers and their families. This is a sizeable transition fund for an industry now valued in total at less than $50 billion, a tenth of what it was just a few decades ago. The second, the Carbon Dividend Plan (CDP) was recently proposed by the Climate Leadership Council which is headlined by former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and George Schultz, as well as former Treasury Secretary Paulson, two former Chairmen of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a Chairman of the Board of Walmart. The CDP calls for a modestly rising carbon tax, with dividends paid directly back to American families amounting to roughly $2,000 per year for a family of four. Both plans have a great deal to like. The home run strategy for American job creation and industrial leadership is to implement both the CPP and the CDP.