December 27, 2018

One country, setting the example of a very high carbon tax, and sharing out all its revenues equally among all its citizens, would be a real game changer, in so many ways.

Sir you correctly argue, “Time is running out for us to halt dangerous rises in temperature…this is no longer a scientific or technological challenge, it is far more a political and social one.”, “How to rescue the global climate change agenda” December 27.

But when you hold “The depressing reality about climate change is that we could solve the problem, at manageable cost” that is not necessarily so. Sir, let’s face it, the truth is that there are way too many whose real interest, more than solving the challenges of climate-change, is to profit from the process, whether financially or politically, whether they are aware of it or not.

I’m as concern as anyone with the problem but in my case I really did not mind so much president Trump’s blindness, since I have always thought of the Paris agreement in terms of being just an interesting photo-op that would serve as a very dangerous pacifier.

So to align political and social incentives; to allow the market signaling how the problems should be best tackled; and to keep costly profiteering out of the process, I have for years thought the best alternative is a very high carbon/pollution tax which revenues are shared out in their totality equally among all citizens.

Why does that idea not meet more interest? The answer is clearly that the redistribution profiteers see that route as one that could very dangerously affect the value of their franchise, since there could be pressure for the revenues to be redistributed to all, a sort of unconditional variable basic income, should also for instance include all income generated by any existing gas/petrol taxes.

Our planet that I often refer to as our pied-à-terre needs a champion that decides to go down this route to set an example to follow. My grandchildren are Canadian so I would love Canada showing the way.

PS. This is exactly what I proposed how Mexico City should tackle its serious pollution problems in a letter you kindly published in May 2016.