Our Carbon, Our Climate, Our Cash

We all buy stuff that generates carbon dioxide emissions and threatens the stability of our climate. 

We don’t directly pay the resulting costs, which are postponed to a vague and indefinite future in which none of us can be held individually accountable for a devastating increase in the level and variability of average global temperatures.

A tax on carbon consumption could help solve the problem, bringing the prices of carbon-intensive goods and services into closer alignment with their true costs and discouraging us all from buying more of them.

We would be hard hit by a sudden shift in relative prices, and some of us are especially vulnerable to an increase in energy costs. However, we could use carbon tax revenues to help compensate for the shock – offering everyone a rebate-like dividend to buffer reductions in purchasing power and encouraging ourselves to invest in technologies that reduce our carbon footprint.

Read full text at The New York Times