Reader's View: Pick carbon pricing over mining
Anyone who shudders at the thought of precious-mineral mining of any kind near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness should be quick to grasp the power of carbon pricing as the only thing that might save it.
Much has been made of our dependence on the Middle East for oil, how it has dominated and warped our foreign policy, and how a clean-energy revolution will get us out of Middle Eastern affairs.
Awareness is rising, too, of another dependency: our dependency on China and Russia for critical minerals used for everything from smartphones to power lines to batteries, all items deemed essential to a clean-energy economy. New technologies continue to rocket forward and create possibilities in the future to reduce dependence on these minerals.
However, we all know we don't have decades to respond to climate change. Today, the simplest and most obvious solution to our dual problems of raw-mineral supply and climate change is to reduce emissions in a major way. The lower the demand for products that today are made of precious minerals the lower the pressure to mine domestically and the quicker we reign in climate change.
How can we accomplish this? A market signal is the quickest and least disruptive way to change behavior, as the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed.
A price on carbon can accomplish what no level of governmental regulation can, in both the short and long term. Anyone who shudders at the thought of precious-mineral mining of any kind near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness should be quick to grasp the power of carbon pricing as the only thing that might save it.
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