What an amazing experience to participate in the People’s Climate March in New York City. How can I convey the power of a wave of silence passing through the enormous crowd in remembrance of those already devastated by climate change, and of the eruption of sound that followed? Or the commitment of so many people and organizations to changes they believe we need to avert climate catastrophe.

Even as we marched, however, some of us were thinking “After today, then what?” How do we bring about the change we need? Among the many organizations participating was the Citizens Climate Lobby, a non-partisan group advocating for a revenue-neutral carbon tax (fee-and-dividend system) to accelerate the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

The climate lobby proposes that a steadily rising tax be placed on all fossil fuels at their source, with all revenue being returned to each American household equally. The total cost of energy would not change but fossil fuels would become more expensive relative to renewable energy. Border adjustments would ensure that U.S. businesses are not at a competitive disadvantage and will put economic pressure on foreign countries to tax their carbon emissions also if they want to compete for the U.S. market.

The military, insurance companies and many corporations have been making plans to deal with global warming for some time; it’s time for Congress to act. Adopting a revenue-neutral carbon tax would make the United States a leader in shifting to renewable energy, and border adjustments would provide economic pressure on other countries to do likewise. Let’s urge our congressional representatives to adopt this approach.

Philippa Solomon

Winthrop and Edison, N.J.

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