Camila Thorndike: Why I Support a Price on Carbon - The Years Project

Camila Thorndike: Why I Support a Price on Carbon

By Put A Price On It

By Camila Thorndike, #PutAPriceOnIt Co-Director and Founder of Oregon Climate


This is a story about an orange. It was a hot Saturday morning in LA, just hours before I met Nikki for the first time. I walked to the nearby farmers market to stock up on snacks.

I love farmers markets. My mom is an organic farmer, and my first job was selling flowers and produce at a market. At this one I met a friendly vendor selling oranges grown right there in southern California, and I wanted to buy from her, even though there was a chain convenience store nearby where everything was cheaper. Not only did I want this orange because it was local, it just looked way yummier. Sadly, I had budgeted for the day and only had $3 more to spend, and also wanted to buy some almonds…

We could go so far in solving this dilemma we all face–having to choose between food that’s good for us and the planet, and our wallets–by putting a price on carbon. Why? Right now, local food is often more expensive than the stuff that’s trucked, flown, and shipped from far away and uses a lot of dirty fuel in the process. The problem isn’t that the local orange costs more. It’s that the cheap price tag of the imported orange is a lie.

Right now the price of just about everything leaves carbon pollution out of the equation. It’s nearly impossible to know how much our choices contribute to climate change. And I get it, we all only have so much money and no one wants to spend more on the stuff they need. But by not making the polluters pay the true cost of the greenhouse gases they’re dumping into the air, we’re making everyone bear the expensive price tag of climate change. Costs like homes wrecked by superstorms, farms that disappear because of droughts, and trips to the hospital caused by smog. Done the right way, a price on carbon saves everybody a lot of money–because choices that discount our future are no longer profitable.

We all want to do our part for the world. And we want the yummy fresh local orange to be the choice that’s better for our wallets and the climate. That’s why we need to ask politicians to put a price on carbon pollution!

This post was originally shared by YEARS of LIVING DANGEROUSLY correspondent Nikki Reed. See the original here.