I applaud SMDP contributor Al Barrett for his opinion commentary, “Humans and Planet Earth.” It is urgent that we realize that failure to take immediate action to drastically curtail the burning of fossil fuels is critical to the future survival of mankind. Yet the naysayers in Congress, influenced by the coal and oil industries, have blocked even the most conservative attempt by the EPA to reduce carbon emissions.

Fortunately, elsewhere around the world, over 40 national and 20 sub-national jurisdictions have already implemented or scheduled emissions trading schemes or carbon taxes. Together, these jurisdictions account for more than 22 percent of global emissions. It is interesting to note that only 2 of the 10 largest economies in the world do not have a carbon price: United States and Russia.

One bright note is the recent formation of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Climate Change. Currently there are just 10 members, 5 from each party, but more are joining. We should all lobby Congressman Lieu to become a member of this conclave. As the caucus grows in size it could be instrumental in breaking the logjam that is preventing action on carbon emissions.

Barry Engelman
Santa Monica