Mark Gould of Charleston is the Golden Pen winner for his Oct. 5 letter, “Is the fate of the planet already sealed?” in which he suggested a carbon tax as a way to address climate change.
“The president has taken a position that climate change is mostly a hoax,” he wrote, despite clear evidence average global temperatures are rising.
“Climate change dismissal and climate change hopelessness are both arguments against taking action to eliminate fossil fuel use by mid-century. Though absolutely necessary, such action is opposed by the coal and petroleum interests that have the ear of the Trump administration.”
If no action is taken, Mr. Gould said a scientifically predicted 7-degree rise in the average temperature would translate into sea level rise of 6 or 7 feet in Charleston by 2100.
Still, Mr. Gould said there was reason for hope, because “technologies for transitioning to a global, non-fossil-fuel energy economy are rapidly scaling up and dropping in cost.”
Countering climate change will require global cooperation affecting all industries, he said, and a carbon tax could be part of the solution.
“The most effective change will come from putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels, reflecting their true environmental cost,” he wrote. “A carbon tax would reduce fossil fuel use in electricity generation, property management and industrial processes, as well as in vehicles, and hasten the transition to a clean energy economy.”
Despite all of the challenges presented by climate change, Mr. Gould said he sensed a “willingness to embrace change” at a recent renewable energy panel discussion in Columbia that included ways to expanding solar energy and other means of generating clean electricity
“These are what will save our civilization and way of life for our grandchildren,” he concluded.
The Golden Pen is awarded monthly, and winners are invited to attend an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.