Saturday, November 2, 2013
Fixing The Planet
Barry, My Liege :
We know that carbon emissions will make the Earth uninhabitable in the predictable future.
And, we know that free market capitalism will oppose most solutions which promise carbon emission reductions to safe levels since real solutions require adjustments to the market system or eliminating private property and free markets entirely.
The EPA estimates that electricity production creates 33% of total US carbon emissions of 6,702 million metric tons in 2011, Transportation 28%, Industry 20%, Buildings 11% and agriculture 8%.
So, Barry, what can we do? How can we fix the carbon emission levels and retain our capitalist, market structure?
Here is a two fold process that CAN reduce carbon emissions to acceptable levels while preserving markets.
The steps are drastic and painful, but the alternative of doing nothing will be even more drastic and painful
STEP 1 : Tax all carbon emissions. Then, let the markets decide how to allocate the extra costs. The result will be less carbon emissions and more efficient use of those carbons which remain.
And, some people will be hurt more than others, so economists have proposed an income tax credit to offset the carbon tax; that may lessen the impact on some vulnerable sectors.
STEP 2 : Make the largest carbon emitters into Public Utilities; that will lessen their profits to manageable levels and reduce their lobbying power. That happens because the Utility regulators allow a normal profit or enough to stay in business but do not allow any economic or monopoly profits.
Industries affected by public utility designations will be oil and gas producers, electricity producers and public transportation providers, some of which are already publicly owned or regulated.
Private industry which creates emits large amounts of carbon emissions will be taxed but not necessarily placed under public utility designation.
Private motorists will be taxed at the fuel pump.
These actions will preserve the private property and market structure of the economy except for those businesses required to become public utilities.
Your faithful servant,