Carbon fee and dividend is a practical solution to end the rise of climate altering emissions. It is also an ethical solution to the injustices imposed on the world by modern industrial civilization. Our standard of living is based on the uncompensated wresting of resources from the natural environment. No one repays the earth for energy and mineral resources mined out of the earth.
The natural “resources” of a country, such as the air we breathe, are public resources which we all benefit from. It is also a resource that we all have a responsibility to maintain for continued public use. However, the atmosphere is not being maintained for long term public benefit. The ability to dump climate-altering waste products into the air is overused by major industrial enterprises, and also by consumers. Because there is no cost for this pollution there is no restraint on its overuse and abuse.
A carbon fee collected on fossil fuels at the earliest point they enter the economy will pass the cost on to all those who benefit from the disposal of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Cost is proportional to use of the resource. The extra cost will encourage all, producers and consumers, to seek lower carbon technologies to meet economic needs. Return of fee revenues equally to all households would compensate fairly for the use of the atmosphere which we all depend on and need to protect.
Corvallis (Feb. 8)