I appreciate former Sen. Bob Bennett for his recent appeal to good sense ("On climate change, let sense rule," Dec. 5). What would really make sense would be to take a whole-systems, long-term view of the effects of burning fossil fuels to provide our energy.

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Our current combustion of fuels brings with it the cumulative costs of treating respiratory and other diseases, waging war to secure energy resources, smog, acid rain, and species extinction — not to mention the astronomical costs of climate disasters.

If even a portion of these is taken into account, then it most definitely makes sense to institute policies to promote a shift to clean, renewable energy sources as quickly as possible. A fee on carbon combined with a dividend of 100 percent of the revenues back to households (as proposed in the Save Our Climate Act — HR3242) would be a good start in having real costs reflected in our energy equation.

It makes a lot of sense to drive our economy to more livable and resilient outcomes.

Ben J. Mates

Salt Lake City