Carbon Costs and Bill Gates

Scientific American‘s December issue begins with an article “A Tax on Carbon Pollution Can Benefit Business” and this image. The article, in summary, explores the idea of taxing commercial carbon emissions to reduce the rapid increase of carbon in our atmosphere and stimulate a new environmental economy.

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I like this concept and this article is blunt and honest, worth a read.

My favorite line is towards the end:

“If the word “tax” remains too frightening for politicians, there is another way, albeit a less direct one, to make an honest carbon market: stop spending tax dollars on subsidies for fossil fuels.

I also read another article via the Gaurdian in which Bill Gates claims that divesting from fossil fuels is a false solution. 

He gave an alarming statement: “If you think divestment alone is a solution, I worry you’re taking whatever desire people have to solve this problem and kind of using up their idealism and energy on something that won’t emit less carbon – because only a few people in society are the owners of the equity of coal or oil companies,” he said. “As long as there’s no carbon tax and that stuff is legal, everybody should be able to drive around.” 

The problem, Bill, is that there is no carbon tax and that everyone already drives around, mining fossil fuels at rapid and destructive rate. I can’t see how a man of his power and (hopefully) intelligence can make this statement and stand by it.

If one of the wealthiest men on earth does not believe in getting out of fossil fuel reliance as soon as possible then who, with actual usable power, does believe this? I wish Bill could spend in a day in Green World, aka “reality sucks”. Maybe then he would feel different about the lack of carbon tax and legality of fossil fuel mining. Bill, if you’re reading this, feel free to join us next Tuesday at Tisch!