February 22, 2019

Letters to the Editor

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Carbon tax would do more harm than good, Criterion reader says

A letter writer in the Feb. 8 issue of The Criterion celebrates the support of Bishop Frank J. Dewane, chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, for a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions and a redistribution of the same tax money back to the poor. That redistributed money may be so trifling in size and so late in arriving that it would be hard to see its benefit.

Green policies like this one almost always burden the poor rather than the elites who advocate them. The president of France got a rude awakening to this fact by the intense reaction of the “yellow vests”—rural workers who must travel great distances for employment and could not stomach further taxes on their diesel fuel by distant elites.

The skepticism of more ordinary people caused a recent rejection of a carbon tax by voters in Washington and Arizona.

Isn’t the mess that California is now in the result of greenhouse gas policies that raise the prices of essential needs—energy, housing and transportation and severely burdened Californians at the lower end of the economic scale?

Such a carbon tax to reduce carbon emissions would accomplish the opposite of what the letter writer advocates if it were applied to most of Africa or India.

Food prices would increase and hunger would follow. Where energy is cheap and abundant and not constrained by emissions controls and taxes the groundwork is laid for prosperity.

Our bishops have bigger concerns than approving a carbon tax … maybe the saving of souls, especially the souls of political elites?

- Colleen Butler | Indianapolis

Let’s do all that we can to welcome back fallen-away Catholics

It has been said that “fallen-away” Catholics would form the largest denomination in the United States. I haven’t read where our Church is addressing this missionary field.

Two of my relatives have left the Church. I have submitted several suggestions to people with “evangelization” in their titles, but so far, I have heard nothing.

To quote from Archbishop Charles C. Thompson’s “Christ the Cornerstone” column in the Feb. 8 issue of The Criterion, let us “go out into the depths” and attempt to welcome back some of our former members.

I’d like to learn of some action to attract this people back.

- Don Marcotte | Indianapolis

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