That’s the crux of British Professor Andrew Oswald’s argument for “global warming bonds.” Essentially, bonds are issued that pay people to choose more environmentally-friendly modes of transportation. According to Professor Oswald, these bonds would be paid for “…by unborn generations, in a sense that would allow unborn babies to vote with their wallets to get us to change how we act today.” And while to concept of passing on the costs of today’s choices to future generations may sound irresponsible to some, Professor Oswald argues:
On the face of it, it does sound harsh to require unborn people to pay for our excesses, but what’s the alternative? We need to get our citizens to change their actions now, future generations will be much richer than us anyway, if they were here they would be happy to pass over some of their cash to get us to drive cleaner cars to take shorter holidays. Why not use some of their money through a global warming bond to get our citizens to change their actions today?
An interesting, radical idea… Does it have a prayer of a chance, in Britain or other places?