Dear Editor,

With temperatures setting records daily in the U.S. and Europe some people are asking, is the climate changing? Some say the change is caused by burning fossil fuels, some say it’s cattle belching, now some say it’s the gas range in our kitchens and our barbeques. I am sure all of these are contributing in some extent to a changing climate. These carbons are released at ground level and partially cleansed from the air by precipitation, captured and sequestered by trees and plants. They say our forests are the lungs of our planet.
But what happens to carbon emissions emitted by commercial jets flying at an altitude of thirty to forty thousand feet? They say at any given time there are a 1,000 commercial air liners en route around our globe. They burn millions of pounds of jet fuel every hour. You must wonder how these high-altitude emissions are impacting our climate? Should we impose a carbon tax on airline fares to discourage travel?

During covid, air and ground travel were drastically reduced, and air quality greatly improved. We were still cooking on gas ranges; barbequing and the cattle were still belching. If we gamble, our climate is not changing and we are wrong, the next generations will suffer because of our inaction. Are we that self-centered, do we lack any sense of stewardship for our planet and concern for the generations who are to follow us?

What strikes me as peculiar is, the same people who believe the climate isn’t changing are much the same people who believe Trump’s presidency was stolen. Their fallback position on climate change is it’s just a cycle. I asked in a previous letter, during the last million years and all the climate cycles that occurred, did this planet support 7.9 billion inhabitants, who were sucking the natural resources from it? No response to date.

If we were to levy a tax on common sense, would these people be impacted financially? I would think at most it would be chump change.

— Tom Janicki