December 05, 2018

To save the earth, start by saving it from phony saving-the-earth profiteers

Sir, Martin Sandbu writes about “how a conflict of interests over climate change — something that really is humanity’s common challenge — aligns with and reinforces a deeper culture war dividing centrist urban elites from system-critical populists… [So] we have missed the potentially much greater obstacle of political polarization in the age of populism” “The burden of tackling climate change must be shared”, November 5.

Hear hear! This is exactly the type of issues and challenges we must learn to tackle, if there’s going to be any hope for us to survive as the society we always dreamt of, or avoid turning into that society we always dread, something that in fact means even more than our survival on earth.

But, when Sandbu speaks about what “reinforces a deeper culture war dividing centrist urban elites from system-critical populists”, I disagree, because the real hard core divide in this case is between those expected to pay for to help save our planet, and those who expect to profit from those efforts.

But Sandbu also refers to a remedy to that, when he mentions, “the carbon ‘fee and dividend’ approach advocated by climate scientist James Hansen [which] would levy duties on fossil fuels and redistribute the revenue in equal per capita amounts to all residents”

If Emmanuel Macron, perhaps hand in hand with Canada’s government that is also thinking about higher carbon taxes, decides that all revenues from taxes on fuel, and similar, are to be shared out equally among all citizens, that would set an example to other nations, that would at least be worth some ten Paris agreements.

Sir, let me be cleat about it. If I am going to help to save the world, by paying higher carbon taxes, I want all of it translate into a clear market signal that saves the planet, and not into something which unduly enrich those promoting saving the world, or those profiteering on the process.