Human-caused climate change presents us with an opportunity to unite around a solution to a common problem. No one nation, religion, race, or group of any kind can address this issue on its own. It will take all of us working together for the long term common good. That presents a possibility for peace, renewed economic security, return to rational thinking and a chance to recognize our common humanity.
Our common enemies are the rogue outlaws, political and corporate, that think it is OK to increase carbon levels in the atmosphere by 60% in a century. These are true radicals who tell us there will be no consequences for violating the laws of physics. They should lose their social license to operate. Conservatives would conserve resources, a livable climate, and the commons we all depend upon.
Sustainability does not have a lobby to buy politicians. Those marketing fossil fuels and lying about climate change do. The climate will not distinguish by country, religion, or wealth. We must all unite in common cause against this common enemy. It is the challenge of our generation and what future generations will measure us by. Carbon dioxide is altering the composition of our oceans and our atmosphere, it is imperative to preserve what we cannot afford to destroy.
The most practical tool in this fight is a carbon tax. That means paying the full price of our consumption including the environmental cost. Paying our own way rather than passing the cost on to future generations. The beautiful thing is that it doesn’t have to cost us anymore than we are currently paying. The extra income generated by this carbon tax can be offset by a reduction in other taxes so that the total amount paid in taxes on average stays the same.
This accomplishes four things using the basic principles of economics. First, it increases the price of fossil fuels which means less will be used. Second, it makes renewable energy even more competitive relative to fossil fuels. Third, it creates many new jobs as we create a renewable energy infrastructure creating full employment and good paying jobs. Fourth, we will have very low cost energy virtually forever once the transition is complete because sun, wind, tides, etc., don’t cost anything. By the way, this is why corporations and politicians resist; no one will be making much money from your energy bill. All this happens without costing the average person more.
Sustainability is not about perpetuating the current system; it is about aligning with the laws of nature. There is no downside potential in getting honest about this challenge we must face together; there is upside potential.