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To the editor:

Imagine my surprise when I found out that I've been a Margaret Thatcher conservative all along. This I discovered when I came across a speech she gave on climate change at the UN in 1989. And, when I attended a presentation sponsored by USU Logan College Republicans and the Citizens Climate Lobby entitled "Applying Conservative Principles to Climate Policy" by Bob Inglis, I found that I'm also a Bob Inglis conservative. Bob Inglis has confidence in capitalism. I do too. The way Bob Inglis puts it, capitalism solves pollution problems by "Internalizing negative externalities." Capitalism doesn't rest on a foundation of hiding costs; it rests on a foundation of accounting of costs. That's how we get low costs. Milton Friedman, were he alive, would tell you the same thing.

Does this mean I've given up on being a progressive? No. I still maintain that the USA urgently needs service, namely yours. We need to un-gerrymander the voting districts, de-dark-money our government, and stop stone walling climate science. Climate science = facts we must face.

I find that being a progressive and a conservative go together. Both are embodied in the Clean The Darn Air ballot initiative campaign for Utah. It proposes $100 million a year for air quality programs, $50 million a year for rural economic development, and long-needed tax reforms like eliminating the state sales tax on grocery store food, all of it paid for with a modest carbon tax on fossil fuels, which are the main source of both local air pollution problems and global climate change.

If you are a registered voter of Utah and would like to sign the Clean the Darn Air initiative petition to get this proposal on the 2020 ballot in Utah, there's a table in the hall outside the Logan Library where you can sign when we have a volunteer to person the table, or you can sign at any of these Logan businesses: Sunrise Cyclery, 138 N. 100 East.; Westside Coffee Co., 285 N. 100 West.; The Sportsman, 129 N. Main St.; Wimmers Ultimate Bicycles, 745 N. Main St.; Caffe Ibis, 52 Federal Ave.; The Italian Place, 48 Federal Ave.; The Island Market, 400 E Center St.

And also, come hear the Highline Drifters at 7 p.m. at the Whittier Center in Logan on Saturday Nov. 16. Also hear addresses from our state legislators Val Potter, who is vice chair of the Utah Legislature's Clean Air Caucus, and Dan Johnson on “Water Storage in a Warming Climate.” This will be followed by "The Economics of Pricing Carbon" by USU environmental policy faculty Sarah Klain and economist Noah Enlow.

Charles Ashurst


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