With excessive heat warnings for over half the country, mid-July was a bad time to have a broken air conditioner in Hoboken. Fortunately, I’m able to hop around to various air-conditioned pizzerias and bakeries, but many people aren’t so lucky: In the New York City area, hundreds of people die every year due to heat-related issues. And a 2016 study from Columbia University warned that that number could be in the thousands by 2080.
In light of this, I am very thankful to Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his colleagues at the US Conference of Mayors for passing a resolution earlier this month calling on Congress to put a price on carbon emissions. Economists and scientists agree that a price on carbon is the most effective way to fight climate change, thereby reducing the number of heat waves.
Representative Albio Sires has cosponsored a bipartisan carbon pricing bill—the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act—and I hope that he and his fellow members of Congress can get it passed. The 2014 National Climate Assessment warned that, at the current rate of emissions, New Jersey is “projected by mid-century to experience more than 60 additional days per year above 90°F compared to the end of last century.” And after this weekend, that is not something that I’m looking forward to.