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Letter: Join us for a civil climate change debate March 13

This letter is in response to Al Coen's Jan. 27 letter calling for a civil climate change debate. I agree that we need to talk about it. So far, conversations that have happened haven't worked well for two reasons: our methods of discussion and the solutions.

The first reason we haven't gotten far with talking about climate change is because we often start the conversation by trying to convince people about the science. That just doesn't work. The whole point of the conversation is "I'm right. Let me show you why you're wrong."

Obviously, this is not a good way to get someone on your side. Instead, we have to find things that we can agree on and focus on the solutions, which brings me to the next problem. The second problem with talking about climate change is a lot of people haven't liked the proposed solutions. This is especially true for conservatives. Up to this point, many options have involved imposing regulations, growing the size of government, or increasing government spending. Again, not good selling points to get support from both sides of the political aisle. What many people don't realize is that there are solutions out there that do have support from both parties. They just haven't heard about them yet.

One example of a climate solution that has bipartisan appeal is carbon fee and dividend. This idea has so much appeal that even companies like Exxon, Shell and BP support it. This approach is also promoted by a group called Citizens' Climate Lobby, of which I am a member. Which leads me to the last purpose of my letter — an invitation. Two volunteers (myself included) from Citizens' Climate Lobby are hosting a free informational meeting to teach people about carbon fee and dividend. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Moorhead. We would love to have that civil climate change debate that you were asking for, Al!

Lewis is the state coordinator of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.