To the editor: Alaskans concerned about climate change need to urge our state government leaders to stop depending on oil income to finance our state. Oil may always be part of our state’s income because petroleum will always be needed, but it’s time we take responsibility to pay our way with taxes and consider use of the permanent fund dividend to mitigate the effects of global warming. Alaska is the state most affected by climate change as the Arctic warms, we experience droughts causing forest fires, and rising sea levels are already impacting coastal areas. The time to act is now if Alaskans want to act responsibly.
Then again, we have allowed our government leaders to ignore reinstating taxes to pay for services we need. It has been easier to live off oil as our primary state income and deny our oil is the source of the carbon emissions causing climate change. Are we going to sit idly by and wait for more disasters to convince us taxes are the way for us to reduce our dependence on oil?