I had a great dialogue with a group of bright eighth grade students today at Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. We spoke for close to an hour over Skype on a lot of interesting topics including whether or not we should have a carbon tax, if and when the price of renewables like solar panels and hybrid cars will ever come down, and whether or not the government should be funding green energy projects after Solyndra. The students also asked my opinions on the Kytoto Protocol.
Throughout the conversation I underscored the fact that climate change is a global issue and therefore needs a collaborative approach that brings on all nations, particularly developing nations like China (whose GHG emissions exceed those of the U.S.). I also highlighted the importance of making wise choices in energy subsidies and not to pick risky ventures that don’t attract private investment. Any type of policy approach to tackle climate change must look at the costs and benefits, particularly now with our struggling economy. U.S. proposals like cap and trade, carbon tax and others that don’t bring developing nations to the table put a strain on our industries and economy, resulting in job loss, higher energy prices and drops in household income, something our economy doesn’t need now. In the end, there is little to no reduction of greenhouse gases globally.
I am very appreciative to participate in today’s discussion and am very encouraged to see such inquisitive students that are open to both sides of a complicated debate. Thanks also to their enthusiastic teacher who served as a great moderator.
See the Power Point presentation I shared with the class.