What would we see if we traveled into a green future? It might not look that different. Perhaps we’d notice things more by their absence: The sky is clear. No more open fires polluting the air we breathe, no more smoke burning our eyes and nostrils, no more haze dimming visibility. Instead, the roar of internal combustion engines has been replaced by whispering electric vehicles, a quiet that makes the green downtown more livable.

The green future is different in one crucial area: power is clean, cheap, plentiful, and dependable. We’re free from the tyranny of energy because decentralized power generation provides steady local jobs as well as energy.

We’re healthier in the green future. Lungs and hearts are less congested because air particulates are reduced. Cancer rates are lower because there is no more exposure to gasoline and diesel fuel. And our mental health is better because children no longer ingest neurotoxic coal mercury.

After this glimpse into what is possible in a green future, we might ask ourselves, “Why have we waited so long?” And more importantly, “Why do we continue to wait?”

We don’t have to. To reach our green future, we can put a price on carbon to reduce fossil fuel emissions immediately and buy time. And we can boost energy innovation to develop more alternatives. So call your representative, senators, and President Biden. Share with them what you like about your green future, and request that they work together to put a price on carbon.

Simon Smith, Pullman, Wash. 

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