21 March 2011

Paul Hawken via Janine Benyus

"Government, in its role as tax collector, might play a natural role in rewiring our economic steering wheel to its drive train. Paul Hawken thinks we've had it backward. Instead of taxing good things like income, Hawken would like to see government tax bad things like pollution or excessive use of energy or virgin materials. Taxing fuels based on carbon content, for instance (more carbon is more damaging), would encourage use of low-polluting fuels like natural gas in every stage of a product's life cycle."
Janine Benyus, Biomimicry

This is a further argument for a carbon tax. Taxes were originally conceived as a way to pay for government services - the military in particular. The Egyptians most certainly used it as a way of creating stability. Grain acquired via taxation would be stored and dispensed in times of famine. Thus the wise ruler used the system to benefit her/his people, and to plan for the vicissitudes of nature. A tax on the carbon dioxide content of fossil fuels would have much the same effect - we would conserve more of it.

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