Thursday, July 17, 2014
The Easiest, Simplest, Most Efficient, Least Intrusive, Least Governmentally involved, Almost Entirely Market Driven Solution to Mitigating and Ultimately Ending Further Extreme Additions to our Radically Changing Atmosphere
The best solution to Climate Change replaces processes which have a high additive impact upon atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, with those that have a low, neutral, or even negative impact. And it lets the market determine this.
Thus many advocate carbon credits, and things of that sort. But that creates a large unnecessary trading market, with additional (and completely unnecessary) secondary costs. It also is a bit more cumbersome to sensibly structure. It is not nearly as complete.
And it is also somewhat intrusive, though widely seen as the opposite. In other words, it assumes an inherent right to "pollute" in addition to what has already been polluted. And thus is a hidden tax, in the form of lost revenue that has to be made up somewhere else, and essentially forces the public, and each individual, to grant to manufacturers and others some set level of right to pollute or, in this case "damage" (really, just affect, which is not damaging at all, but is just damaging to us because we and the systems and species we rely on evolved under the current climate.) This is a burden on all individuals, and also not efficient.
It has more costs than what is advocated below, though some don't seem as real because they are hidden. But they are just as real, more burdensome, more expensive, and somewhat (though perhaps not enormously) less efficient.
It's not a terrible approach. It's just not anywhere near the best. The best maximizes all goods, and minimizes all bads (or bad/neutrals, since some people have differing opinions on certain basics of government), and individual rights.
The Best is Simple. It is Easy. (Though obviously many secondary questions in order to implement it in the best way possible will need to be answered.)
It is by far the fairest all around, taking everybody's interest into account: individuals (along with the idea of individual liberty and responsibility and ability to make their own, within reason, adjustment decisions), and companies - all companies across the board, including ones that don't yet exist because their existence has been inhibited by a lack of real market need (or motivation) and unfair and extremely high, if hidden, subsidization, to many competing businesses and processes,and one's struggling or not getting nearly enough market share or profit for reinvestment, for the same reasons..
It not only captures the brilliance and entrepreneur spirit of the marketplace, it maximizes motivation while also maximizing efficiency.
It also fosters general independence, and energy independence.
It absolutely minimizes real government involvement, and limits most decisions to the secondary questions to be answered to most effectively, broadly, and sensibly implement it. (Which are also public policy questions, and not really pure government decisions.)
It is by far the lowest cost (though it's questionable if in the long run any change to what we produce, and thus to how our GDP is composed - particularly if its to address, mitigate, or solve a problem - is actually a cost), for by far the greatest level of improvement.
It is revenue neutral while at the same time allowing for both affected business and individual transitional assistance, as well as assistance for the heavily disadvantaged.
And it is, to simply levy a user fee on the energy sources and processes that contribute heavily to the problem (and higher fees for higher contributions or additions, lower fees for lower additions), and thereby put them on a much more even playing field with all the energy sources and processes which don't. Energy sources and processes, which, right now, critically, are being wildly inhibited and unfairly prejudiced because none of their enormous benefit (or in this case lack of such extensive harm, which is the same thing, since we are transitioning away from overriding harm), is integrated into the pricing structure. So, in in affect, all the wrong processes are receiving enormous, if hidden subsidies, in comparison. And the entire system is not only super counterproductive and counter productive habit reinforcing; but from this perspective - which simply takes more relevant information into account - it is super inefficient as well.
It should not be an immediate enormous user fee dump. (And user fees - or taxes, or whatever the few inevitable opponents to any idea that puts costs in front our noses, instead of hides them, so we and businesses can make better decisions, prefer calling it - would have to be high to work.This isn't a minor issues, and the changes will reshape us into the modern era in a far more productive way.) But one phased in for transitional industry and individual adjustment, with, the market, at all levels, working its magic. Or,more importantly, allowed to.
With revenue raised to be used for offsetting transitional assistance - short term heavily affected business and individuals, including workers transitioning, as well as the heavily poor, who will still be a big part of the solution in having major economic incentive (and thus benefit!) to make the most effective behavior changes along with everybody else, but receive some transitional supplemental help; as well as lastly, for a credit (sort of the other end of the user fee spectrum) for any processes or energy sources somehow net negative in contributory affect. This in turn will prompt the most brilliant and important innovation and businesses of all, and work to not only cease adding to the harm, but work to offset some of the ongoing additions to atmospheric levels that, of course, for a while will inevitably continue, though will lessen far more rapidly than under any other plan, and again, at a fraction of the overall imposition, cost, and disproportionate "choosing" type of inequity. And of course, with the negative user fee in contrast to the highest end user fees, these processes that convey the highest level of benefit - the ones we want- will have the highest level of incentive for selection, by consumers and business alike.
It won't solve the "Climate Change" problem. It's already probably going to be a big deal. But it will keep it from being a much bigger deal. Which we are otherwise on a very serious, extremely fast (it's not the time frame of the lagging and non linearly increasing changes that matter, but the additions), track toward, and more.
And, with the world leader (that's the U.S.), and long time, big time, world leading contributor to the problem, showing the way, and leading, it will be easy to get the world to follow suit (or use their own form of this or a similar structure that fits in with their political systems). And will provide a way to minimize any seeming costs to still developing countries (both on wealthy countries' and the poor countries' ends).
Despite what "economists" like Bjorn Lomborg and some others may incorrectly argue, the only real cost will be short term economic transitional shifts. There is otherwise no cost. The user fees are an illusory cost, because they are being simultaneously used to convey an equal benefit, while simultaneously providing heavy mitigation, an enormous, additional, net benefit.
One that by not sensibly acting, we are giving up. (It is, in those silly economic terms, thus "costing" us not to act. And, given the likely potential, and with each addition far more radically increasing harm (each addition makes underlying yet enormously critical stabilizing system condition like ocean clathrates, permafrost carbon, sea ice, ice caps, etc increasingly likely to destabilize or more completely destabilize), it is a huge unrecoverable cost, every hour of every day. Accumulating in units. And, due to the basic nature of the issue, increasing in level of harm, per unit.)
Posted by John Carter at Thursday, July 17, 2014