Press-Republican

Environment

December 17, 2012

Local health-care provider focusing on climate change

(Continued)

“We’re perched at a critical threshold. We have to deal with a lot of confusion” on the accuracy of climate-change statistics, which have been intentionally created by special-interest groups, such as large oil companies, he said.

Evidence of climate change does not have to come from the scientific community, he added as he noted the changes in plant and animal species this are occurring in northeastern New York.

FUEL INCENTIVE

Palmer’s support for his community began early in his career, when he worked as a nurse for Planned Parenthood and was directly responsible for establishing the AIDS Council for Northeastern New York in the mid-1980s.

He sees several parallels in the initial response to the HIV outbreak in the ‘80s to how people are now facing the pending global crisis connected to climate change.

As an activist, Palmer has identified a potential step toward reducing the impact of climate change through a fossil-fuel initiative that would provide citizens with a financial incentive to reduce the amount of fossil fuels they use on a regular basis.

“We need to make gas more expensive for everyone. But instead of having fees returned to the government, those fees are returned to the citizens. People will be using less gas, but they will see a financial gain.”

He describes the concept in a detailed essay written for his studies, in which he argues that a fee-and-dividend program would require uniform assessment of fees on all carbon fuels and equal distribution of proceeds to every adult resident of the country.

“The fee is applied to all oil, natural gas and coal as it enters the economy, whether at the time of production at the wellhead or mine or when delivered via pipeline or port,” he writes.

“The intent of this levy is to initiate a meaningful increase in the cost of using these fuels.”

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