Monday, August 6, 2007

The Power in the Carbon Tax

Successful laws to protect the environment are built on simple concepts. They discourage harmful behavior -- the dumping of sewage or industrial waste into bodies of water, the destruction of habitat, the emission of toxic chemicals -- by a variety of measures, all of which raise the cost of engaging in certain behavior. You can't develop land, and profit, if you're endangering a threatened animal. You have to dispose of chemical substances responsibly. And so on.

Good environmental law can also encourage good behavior: the development of alternative approaches, such as substances that cause less harm, or new technologies.

We should keep this in mind when discussing carbon. How do we raise the cost of emitting carbon, promoting conservation and efficiencies, and make alternatives more economically viable, thus addressing the problem of climate change?...

From the Washington Post