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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City Council took important action on climate change

In your Sept. paper, Matthew Liedke reported on an important action taken by the Bemidji City Council. (Council approves preliminary levy, will revisit in December).

Thank you, City Council, for passing a resolution that names climate change as an important issue, and further, that offers a policy solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Bemidji celebrated being named Best Minnesota Town with a party in July. Residents and visitors know that the lakes and forests that make the Bemidji the Best Minnesota Town depend on a safe and stable climate. Like other Minnesotans, Bemidji residents know that climate change is happening now and that it will cause harm to current and future generations. Scientists have clearly shown that burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, and in turn causes climate change. Increases in greenhouse gas concentration has the effect of keeping more heat in the atmosphere, and generally warming planet earth. The warmer temperatures results in more extreme weather events, melting of glaciers and rising sea levels.

Bemidji’s resolution supports the most effective method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- that is a market-based price signal. Bemidji joins several other cities in Minnesota is urging Congress to pass legislation that imposes a fee on greenhouse gases and returns the funds to all households on an equal per capita basis. This price signal recognizes the cost associated with dumping (disposing) of CO2 in the atmosphere. Most importantly, all fees collected are returned back to residents so that lower income households are not adversely impacted by this policy.

Readers, you can help build political will for a livable world by learning more about this solution at

With much gratitude for leadership from the Bemidji City Council.

Linda Kingery