“The poster state for climate change” (Baltimore Sun editorial, Sept. 5) highlighted Alaska’s rapidly melting glaciers and historic forest fires that make it the canary in the coal mine for us. And fossil fuels are the threat.

The simplest, fastest and most economically beneficial way to get us to a clean-energy economy (without economic sacrifice) is a fee on all fossil fuels, a fee distributed monthly to every American: a carbon “dividend.” Fossil fuels would become increasing more expensive than solar and wind energy, and people would, naturally, use their carbon dividend to switch energy providers.

In terms of per-capita income, the ordinary American would end up with more money in pocket each year, according to the Citizens Climate Lobby.

This free market plan would create millions of U.S. jobs and increase our GDP by tens of billions annually, according to a report by REMI (Regional Models Inc.). It’s a conservative economic plan that Republicans should endorse for its massive economic benefits alone, climate change aside.

“Fee-and-dividend” has worked as promised in British Columbia for seven years, lowering energy bills and taxes and growing its economy faster than any other province in Canada. It has an 83 percent public approval rating there, according to the World Bank.

By putting a gradually increasing import fee on countries such as China, whose emissions are higher than ours, the U.S. would force them to reduce their carbon dioxide pollution. Their business model depends on selling to us. Returning all of the import fees to U.S. consumers would allow them to afford American products again, bringing back our manufacturing jobs.

More than 2,500 major economists support putting a price on carbon, nine of them with Nobel Prizes. We have everything to gain by doing this and everything to lose by doing nothing.

Lynn Goldfarb

Lancaster, Pa.

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