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Taxing carbon could help end world food shortage

Recently, Lester Brown, the founder of the Earth Policy Institute and a leading thinker on climate change, predicted that we are one bad harvest away from mass starvation. The effects of climate change -- drought, desertification, excessive rainfall and a warming environment -- are a factor that can't be ignored as we contemplate this specter of world hunger and starvation.

Already, U.N. estimates place the number of under-nourished people worldwide at one billion, easily one out of six of us. High corn and wheat prices have caused many of the world's farmers to switch out of rice, which, amazingly, is the main protein source for over a billion people worldwide.

Our recent international travels revealed unusual flooding and weather everywhere we went. Coming home to the U.S. and our home in Alexandria, Minn., was not comforting.

We can do something about climate change if not population numbers. The Citizens Climate Lobby recommends a carbon tax, a fee and dividend approach that would rationalize the cost of our carbon economy and return the proceeds to the American people. Perhaps this solution needs wider discussion among our citizens and with our elected officials. -- Judy Rose, Alexandria