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e live in a "false economy" of cheap fossilfuels that is obstructing transition toclean-energy future, claims Dr JamesHansen. He calls for a "simple, honest"carbon fee, as outlined in his People's ClimateStewardship Act, which he proposed on 25 April 2010. It is time to take back Earth Day. Some of our bestfriends have become the planet's worst enemies. Theclimate and energy bills in Congress were designed bybig banks and fat-cat environmental organizations thathave lost touch with the people and nature.The bills all use smoke-and-mirrors: cap-and-trade,offsets, and give-aways. The truth is, as long as fossilfuels are the cheapest energy we will go to the mostpristine land for the last drop of oil and gas, anddestroy mountains for the last shard of coal. Fossil fuels are cheapest only because they do not pay their costs to society - for damage to humanhealth, the environment and future generations. Sotoday, based on discussions with religious leaders,congressional staffers, economists, and concernedcitizens, I propose a People's Climate Stewardship bill.The bill defines a simple carbon fee, collected fromfossil fuel companies upon the first sale at the mine,wellhead or port of entry. The money collected will bedistributed monthly to the public as a green check - sofamilies can afford the energy they need during thetransition to a clean energy future. The rising carbon feewill stimulate investment in low-carbon energy. We willreduce our dependence on foreign oil. We will creategood jobs. And we will preserve for our children andgrandchildren this remarkable planet. It is time todemand a government of the people and for the people.It is time for effective action for all life on the planet.THE PEOPLE'S CLIMATE STEWARDSHIPACT PROPOSES:1. Collection of Carbon Fees/Carbon Fee Trust Fund:Beginning on July 1, 2011, a carbon fee of US$15 perton of CO2 equivalent emissions will be imposed on allfossil fuels at the point of first sale in the US economy.CO2 equivalent fees shall also be imposed for othergreenhouse gases including methane, nitrous oxide,sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)emitted as byproducts, perfluorocarbons, and nitrogentrifluoride. All fees are to be returned to Americanhouseholds as outlined below.2. Steady step-up of CC2 Fees, Ensuring Replacementof Fossil Fuels with Low-Carbon Energy:The yearlyincrease in carbon fees including other greenhousegases shall be at least US$10 per ton of CO2 equivalenteach year, to reduce US CO2-equivalent emissions by2050 to 10 per cent of the 1990 US CO2-equivalentemissions. EPA and DOE shall annually reviewgreenhouse gas emissions data and determine whetheran increase larger than US$10 per tonne per year isneeded to achieve emissions reductions commensuratewith that reduction trajectory. If EPA and DOE find thatUS emissions are not being reduced sufficiently, theCO2 fee shall increase by US$15/T CO2 in the followingyear. [Modeled after Rep. Larson's H.R. 1337"America's Energy Security Trust Fund Act."]3. Mechanisms for 100 per cent Revenue Return:Allrevenue from CO2 and CO2 equivalent fees shall bereturned to households. Mechanisms include: (1)Equal monthly per-person "dividend" payments madeto all US households (1/2 per child under 18 years old,with a limit of two children per family) each monthbeginning on August 28, 2011, (2) Use all carbon feeHONEST EFFECTIVEACTIONFOR PEOPLEANDTHEENVIRONMENTPROTECTING 034THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENTWDR JAMES HANSEN, DIRECTOR, NASA GODDARD INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES AND ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY,

PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT035Below: The recent spill inthe Gulf of Mexicorevealed again theinherent danger of oil rigsrevenue to reduce payroll taxes for employers andemployees. Unemployed persons and Social Securityrecipients shall receive equivalent distributions.4. Border Adjustments:To ensure that US-made goods remain competitive abroad and to provide anadditional incentive for US trading partners to adopttheir own carbon fees, Carbon-Fee-Equivalent Tariffsshall be charged for goods entering the US fromcountries without comparable Carbon Fees. Carbon-Fee-Equivalent rebates shall reduce the price ofexports to such countries and ensure that US goodsremain competitive in those countries.5. Phase Out of Fossil Fuel Subsidies:All existingsubsidies of fossil fuels including tax credits, shall bephased out within five years.6. Moratorium on New or Expanded Coal-Fired PowerPlants without CCS:No new coal-fired power plantsshall be permitted, constructed, or operated. Noexpansions in capacity of any existing coal powerplants shall be permitted, constructed, or operated.[Exception: permits may be issued for facilities thatsuccessfully demonstrate safe and effective long-termCarbon Capture and Sequestration of at least 90 percent of CO2 emissions.]7. Seeking Treaties:The President shall seek treatieswith other countries that encourage adoption of similarprogrammes to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gasemissions worldwide. nDr Hansen's proposal was produced after discussionwith religious leaders, the Carbon Tax Centre,Citizens Climate Lobby and the Price CarbonCampaign. It incorporates key elements of billsproposed by Congressmen John Larson (D-Conn) andBob Inglis (R-S.C.), whom Dr Hansen calls on to joinforces in building a "Climate Stewardship Act". Formore information visit: or call James Handley on: +1 202-546-5692.Above: Dr James Hansenis calling for a carbon fee