Tom Erb: Why I Support a Price on Carbon - The Years Project

Tom Erb: Why I Support a Price on Carbon

By Put A Price On It

By Tom Erb, #PutAPriceOnIt Campaigner

This is a story about my mother and a story about fairness. When I was growing up, she always embraced my successes, but also reminded me that someone, somewhere didn’t have access to the same opportunities as I did. I remember her telling me that when I take a step forward, it is only fair to reach back and take five people with me. My mother raised me to be a man who progresses when others do better and who struggles when others do worse. If a young girl develops asthma because of exposure to damaging pollutants, that hurts me even if she isn’t my child. If a mom struggles to feed her children because opportunity isn’t stretching far enough, that starves me even if it isn’t my mother. A fair world is where one person’s pain is everyone’s suffering. To this day, my mother has taught me that I should fight for a world that’s fair.

That is why we need a price on carbon. Today, polluters pour harmful gases into the atmosphere without having to pay for the damages. The people who pay are the vulnerable ones; the ones who don’t have the opportunity to avoid the pollution. It is the little boy who gets sick because his family can’t afford to move away from a power plant. It is the small island nation drowning because of the pollution other countries emit. This isn’t fair. We need a price on carbon because we deserve a just world. A world where polluters pay and all people can thrive. We need a world my mother would be proud to leave behind.

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