Making Tough Decisions

From Green Car Congress, news that Britain’s Royal Society (“the UK’s national academy of science”) is proposing that the UK follow New Zealand’s lead and institute a carbon tax. Sir David Wallace, the Society’s vice president notes:

There are some tough political decisions to be made, in this parliament, about how the UK manages its seemingly insatiable appetite for energy at a time when cutting emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide is imperative. This is underlined by the fact that, at the current rate, even the Governments revised assessment of how much carbon dioxide the UK will cut is frankly unrealistic.

GCC adds that “[An] analysis by the Royal Society determined that the impact of a carbon tax on the long-term global GDP would be negligible.” As I’ve said before, I think such “green fees” are an important step towards internalizing the costs of emitting carbon. I’m all in favor of individual choice (which seems to be one of the mantras of the “pollute at will” crowd), but I also believe in taking responsibility for one’s choices. Carbon taxes are one way to couple choice with responsibility.

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Read Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce for a detailed discussion of “Green Taxes.”

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