Dear Members of Congress,
I am writing to ask you to take quick and decisive action addressing the climate change crisis. Specifically, I ask that you pass legislation creating a tax on fossil fuels based on the CO2 content of those fuels at the first point of sale. I am a public-interest environmental attorney and have been studying solutions to climate change for years. A gradually increasing fee on carbon is the most effective way to rein in our country’s dangerous carbon addiction.
This letter also serves as an invitation. In addition to lawyering, I am a fiction writer. I have recently written a novel that takes place in San Francisco in 2091 called Out of the Fog. My story depicts a world radically altered by climate change. I am publishing it serially on my newly created blog (http://outofthefogjh.blogspot.com/). I will publish one chapter per week for the next 52 weeks, starting this Friday, January 24, 2014. And here’s the twist: the ending of the story will be dictated by your action or inaction. Thus the fate of my characters will be decided by you, just as the health and well-being of future generations depends on your passing a rapid and robust response to the climate crisis.
Governor Jerry Brown just declared a drought emergency in California, my home state. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is staggeringly low at 17 percent of normal. California’s looming disaster is only one of a long list of recent climate-related tragedies, including unprecedented wildfires in Colorado and Texas and the extremely costly Superstorm Sandy. How many catastrophes must our nation endure before the federal government is willing to take action?
Please read Out of the Fog and make 2014 the year America rises to the climate change challenge and begins leading the world toward a healthier planet.
Joshua A.H. Harris