Overwash on Ocracoke while Hurricane Teddy passed the coast in September caused dune breaches on Ocracoke and on Hatteras Island where Buxton is located. NCDOT photo.

Editor:

The NYT article in Sunday’s (March 14)  paper, “Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight the Rising Sea?” reminds us that if we don’t take real action against climate change it won’t be long before our coastlines are entirely gone, and with it towns like Avon and generations of history.

Over the past decade, our town (Avon), like so many other coastal towns, has experienced beach erosion, increased water levels, constant flooding, regular evacuations and human tragedy, all leading to nearing insurmountable damage.  As the damage continues to get more acute each year, we are now frantically scrambling to find a solution before the only major road in and out of town is washed away in a major storm.  Property tax hikes, beach restructurings, new tourist taxes, forced relocations away from the beach.  

No disrespect but these conversations are just a waste of time coming up with band aids that will only waste millions of dollars and buy a tiny bit of time (just look next door at Buxton, whose multi-million dollar beach restructuring lasted a mere two years and has already completely washed away due to the effects of extreme hurricanes).  

Carbon fee and dividend return is the cure for climate change!  It’s a simple solution – charge a fee to those discharging carbon pollution into the atmosphere and return that money back to the most vulnerable households.  Not a tax and not government regulation.  Formulaically rising fees each year would encourage innovation and a market shift to a clean energy economy.  Many leading economists and studies widely agree, carbon pricing would add millions of new jobs and decrease greenhouse gases by 90% by 2050.  

So…no tax, no government interference, increased well-paying jobs, money in peoples’ pockets, a stronger economy and a position as a global leader in green energy. Sounds like a conversative win all around!

And this solution already exists as the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act that has bipartisan support.  This is the only way to stop the destruction that climate change is causing.  Take action now.  Write to Senator Richard Burr, Senator Thom Tillis and Representative Greg Murphy and ask them to support this bill.  They can help save our town!!  

Lora M. Epstein
Manhattan, NYC 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Couldn’t disagree more. Another tax and spend liberal solution that WON’T solve the problem..

  2. Sounds like a great idea! Let’s add expense to things, which trickles down to those who can least afford it, while not making any real difference (assuming less CO2 “pollution” would actually make a difference) because China continues to pump out more than enough CO2 to offset our reductions. If you read a little history, you will quickly realize that the islands are constantly changing, and have been for all of recorded history. The only change is we have now placed immovable objects on the sand and are amazed when the sand shifts as it always has. If anything, the bigger issue are the dunes and preventing the ocean and barrier islands from doing what they have always done, rolling over themselves and moving and building as they see fit…the dunes stop that dynamic from happening naturally.

  3. The foolishness that a tax that will only go to the most corrupt never ceases to amaze me as a solution.

    First, I will agree that sea level is changing, although it is at a fraction of the rate claimed by politicians and many “scientists”. However, only 10,000 years ago, sea level was some 420 feet lower than it is today. Think about that, an average change of 4.2 feet every 100 years. We have witnessed a small fraction of that over the last 100. Next, the string of islands we refer to as the Outer Banks, are classified as barrier islands. Barrier islands MOVE. They migrate with weather and sea level, not really ideal for long term development.

    It really is shame that we have failed the public so seriously to have them accept the hogwash that a new tax is the solution.

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