Saturday, December 12, 2009

Global Warming

Here's the main body of a letter from Frank de Jong to a newsgroup I belong to.

"Climate change is again at the top of the global agenda. Hopefully this time the nations of the world will take concerted action.

Two points:

1. Conventional wisdom states that addressing climate change will cost huge amounts of money. The climate change defenders say it would be money well spent, while the climate change deniers say it would be a waste of money. But this entire premise is incorrect.

Climate change can and should be addressed at zero cost, by using the tax structure as a policy tool, through tax shifting, i.e. untaxing jobs and business and up-taxing resource use, land values and the privilege of polluting. Green tax shifts are revenue-neutral and cost taxpayers and governments nothing. In fact they benefit the economy by rewarding value-added, labour-intensive, resource-efficient, clean production and punishing ecologically destructive manufacturing and life styles.

2. Switching the source of government revenue from personal incomes and business profits to levies and fees on the use and abuse of the global commons, should become policy whether climate change exists or not. There are multiple benefits to green tax shifting, including more jobs, a more prosperous economy, less sprawl, more walkable neighbourhoods, increased economic viability of local food and clean energy, resource conservation, nature preservation, less poverty, less cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

These points obliterate the arguments of the climate change deniers by presenting a fiscally responsible, politically attractive market mechanism that will address climate change by dramatically reducing the human impact on the Earth without unfair subsidies or punitive compliance legislation."

I think he has some good ideas here. What do you think?