Dear NH State Legislators,

Why should we price carbon in NH?

The New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) members produce 90% of the electricity in the region.  NEPGA commissioned a report that recommends multi-sector carbon pricing, saying it is the most cost-effective and beneficial way to reduce climate pollution.  It says that doing so will save the region $100 million - $300 million in energy spending over ten years.  This is a smart way to reduce energy costs and pollution for businesses and residents.

Please see the one-page NEPGA Press Release and the Summary for Policy Makers document attached.  

The third attachment is a one-page description of the cash-back carbon pricing approach endorsed by nearly every leading US economist (and over 3500 other US economists).  You can read about the policy based on those principles here:  Carbon Fee and Dividend.

After reviewing those, please spend a few minutes reading the "Home", "Carbon Cash-Back", and "Benefits" pages at carboncashback.org.  This spring, through a local grassroots project, 28 New Hampshire towns voted to ask you and our federal legislators to pass cash-back carbon pricing legislation to efficiently and equitably reduce climate pollution.

Why should New Hampshire price carbon before others?  Because it's an efficient way to get a step ahead of the rest of the country and the world in decarbonizing our economy, which will soon become a competitive advantage.  Carbon pricing is coming from above - the US will eventually be forced to do it via international tariffs later this decade.  The economic advantage of being a couple years ahead will be a lead New Hampshire will profit from for decades.  When climate pollution has a cost, homes, businesses and states that do less of it will have lower costs.  Lower costs are a competitive advantage.

But this opportunity won't last.  A bill in Congress to do this has 82 co-sponsors and support is growing.  When the US government uses the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy to push a carbon price around the world, states that have started earlier will get an immediate competitive advantage.  There will be no catching up.  If you have any questions about this I would be happy to talk.  I've done extensive research into global carbon pricing, and I am convinced it is coming.  Here are a few of my resources: Our Energy Future.  See the World Bank report linked in there for details (pages 28-31).  The difference between leading and following others in pricing carbon will be in good local jobs and economic advantage for decades to come.  Forty-six countries and another dozen territories are now pricing carbon, but most of their prices are not yet in the necessary range:

World Bank:  Figure 2.2 / Share of global emissions covered by carbon pricing initiatives 

An additional advantage New Hampshire will get by pricing carbon now is that doing so will help Congress price carbon earlier than otherwise.  Since we know that the world is already far too late in significantly reducing climate pollution for our own good, and every day we delay will cost us and future generations dearly, it is certainly in our best interest to accelerate Congressional action.

Thank you for all your efforts to guide our state, especially through these trying times.

Best Regards,
John Gage
12 Fordway Extension
Windham, NH 03087

This is the first in a series to help inform the NH state legislature about one of the biggest opportunities to head off problems we face.  There are many co-benefits to the carbon cash-back approach.  See carboncashback.org/benefits for some independent studies about it.

-------- Forwarded Message -------- 

Subject: It’s All Hunky-Dory, but…

Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2020 14:55:19 +0000

From: James Hansen <jimehansen@gmail.com>

Reply-To: jimehansen@gmail.com

To: jhgage@gmail.com

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It’s All Hunky-Dory, but…

06 July 2020

James Hansen and Makiko Sato

Well-meaning souls*, rightfully concerned about the effect of “gloom-and-doom” talk on young people, say that everything is hunky-dory, climate change impacts are exaggerated (they often are) and climate change is not a serious threat (unfortunately, it is).

Let’s look at reality, real data for the real world.  The bell curves refer to summer average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, relative to what they were in the base period, 1951-1980.  The bell curve shows the frequency of occurrence of local temperature anomalies in units of the standard deviation, which is the magnitude of typical year-to-year fluctuations.  The natural, year-to-year, variability leads to a symmetric bell curve about the average during the base period.

The bell curve also defines the likelihood (probability) of a season being perceived as relatively cool, normal or hot.  One of us, in the 1980s, colored dice with two sides blue, two white and two red, to represent those chances.  The dice are now loaded, really loaded.  The past decade has summer temperatures that yield only one side of a die being part blue and part white.  Four sides of the die are now red (hot) and one side is deep red for extreme heat, more than three standard deviations warmer than in 1951-1980.  Dark red (22%) is creeping onto another side (one side is 1/6, which is about 16.7%).

The shift depends on where you live and the season.  We updated graphs in our longer “Regional Climate Change and National Responsibilities.”  The subtropics in summer and the tropics all year are becoming uncomfortably hot, and will become unlivable if we stay on our present fossil fuel emissions course.

Old people should not apologize for revealing such facts.  They should apologize for letting political leaders accept bribes to stay the fossil fuel course.  Young people deserve more responsible leadership.

There is no reason to panic.  It all can be hunky-dory, if we use common sense.  Don’t let politicians milk your anxiety about the future to fund their ideology, a sure-fire path to more fruitless ideological warfare.

A focus on personal emissions, or even national emissions, has little effect.  The underlying requirement is a steadily rising carbon fee, readily accepted by the public if the funds are distributed uniformly to all.

International technological cooperation will be required.  We are all together in the same boat.