[Sust-mar] Fw: Green Ideas
cduivenv at nbnet.nb.ca
Wed Aug 6 12:42:30 EDT 2008
I do a short biweekly e-note on saving money, energy and the environment, always with the aim of providing a valuable tidbit for readers, plus a link or two. Today's note is below, and I was thinking that it might be of interest to Sust-Mar subscribers.
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----- Original Message -----
From: Carl Duivenvoorden
To: Carl Duivenvoorden (h&o)
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 1:28 PM
Subject: Green Ideas
For a healthier planet and a better future
Putting a price tag on the environment
Under our economic system, anything available in unlimited quantities has no perceived value, so it has a price tag of zero. Economists call such things externalities. For years, the environment has been treated as an externality - limitless and therefore free.
Unfortunately, of course, our planet's environment is not unlimited - and it's sending us plenty of signals to back that up. But as long as pollution has no price tag, under our economic system, there is no incentive to pollute less.
That's why the idea of putting a pricetag on the greenhouse gas most responsible for climate change is so important: a much-needed disincentive to pollute, that will at the same time get us thinking more creatively and developing more sustainable ways to do what we do. The 2 most commonly talked about methods of pricing carbon are a Carbon Tax and a Cap and Trade system. Both have strengths and weaknesses. (For more information on this subject, click here.)
Politically, putting a price on carbon is a huge risk for any leader. But perhaps courage is how leaders can distinguish themselves from politicians.
In the news
August 1: Health Canada issues a 500-page report warning of the health risks of climate change to Canadians. (Health Minister Tony Clement said Canadians will "have to get used to" the gloomy scenario laid out in the report.)
Please forward Green Ideas to anyone who would like to make a difference.
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