Blogs, environment, politics, technology and the kitchen link, often all in one post!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Global Warming's Simple Remedy

Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post:
Any lasting solutions will have to be extremely simple, and -- because of the cost implicit in reducing the use and emissions of fossil fuels -- will also have to benefit those countries that impose them in other ways. Fortunately, there is such a solution, one that is grippingly unoriginal, requires no special knowledge of economics and is easy for any country to implement. It's called a carbon tax, and it should be applied across the board to every industry that uses fossil fuels, every home or building with a heating system, every motorist, and every public transportation system. Immediately, it would produce a wealth of innovations to save fuel, as well as new incentives to conserve. More to the point, it would produce a big chunk of money that could be used for other things. Anyone for balancing the budget? Fixing Social Security for future generations? As a foreign policy side benefit, users of the tax would suddenly find themselves less dependent on Persian Gulf oil or Russian natural gas, too.

Most of all, though, the successful use of carbon taxes does not require "American leadership," or a U.N. committee, or a complicated international effort of any kind. It can be done country by country: If the British environment minister or the German chancellor wants to go ahead with it tomorrow, nothing is preventing them. If a future American president wants to rally the nation around a patriotic and noble cause, then he or she has the perfect opportunity. If the Chinese see that such a tax has produced unexpected benefits in America and Europe, they'll follow. And when that happens, we'll know that the apocalyptic climate change rhetoric has finally been taken seriously.

1 comment:

vikrantsuri said...

(Quote ) – “It is not the amount of work one puts into one's research, but the quality of the time you devote. Many of the Nobel-winning experiments took very little time and energy to do. What made them landmarks in science was the fact that they took a look at something from a different perspective. Most of the experiments were elegantly simple. They were condensed right down to the fundamentals of logic: "if..., then...." What is more is that they applied that logic to very momentous questions. You might define such questions as pertaining to characteristics of a large sector of the universe. “ ( Un-Quote )