To the Editor:

The 380 square mile Carlton Complex Fire, the largest in Washington’s history, is a wake-up call.

Many of us are concerned that fires are increasing in frequency along with many other issues such as drought, decrease in snow pack and insect infestations so integral to forestry, farming and fruit production in Central Washington. 

These are the signs and symptoms of rising world temperatures caused by the burning of oil and coal and experts tell us that we should expect more wildfires in the drier, hotter Eastern Washington of the future. 

This year the National Climate Assessment and Development Committee along with a team of 300 experts produced a report (nca2014.globalchange.gov) summarizing a large body of scientific peer-reviewed research. The report was reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and 13 federal agencies.

One of the eight major findings states “Climate change threatens human health and wellbeing in many ways, including through more extreme weather events and wildfire, decreased air quality and disease transmitted by insects, food and water.” 

But there is hope that we can slow down this process through a market based revenue-neutral carbon tax and rebate system which pays taxpayers $250 per month while reducing carbon emissions and boosting the economy. 

In June, 2014, Regional Economic Models Inc., a well-respected non-partisan economic consulting firm, released the results of a macroeconomic model that recycles the carbon tax revenues back into society over 10 years creating 2.1 million extra jobs nationwide.

Carbon emissions would drop by 33 percent in the first 10 years and 52 percent in 20 years, and improvements in air quality would save 227,000 lives over the course of 20 years.

The U.S. gross domestic product would also see a significant benefit after 2020, and would grow by a cumulative $1.4 trillion over 20 years. Megan Mccormick, a Miss Washington Contestant and graduate student in music at Central Washington and myself, a local physician were among 600 members of the Citizens Climate Lobby who met with our national representatives and senators June 24th and 25th in Washington, D.C., to share this study and encourage them to sponsor a carbon tax and rebate bill.

Review these findings yourself (http://citizensclimatelobby.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/REMI-carbon-tax-report-62141.pdf)and then please contact Rep. David Reichert and our senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Sara Cate

Yakima

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