There’s One Trick To Solve ‘Climate Change’ Through Capitalism Or Something

It’s always amusing when people who despise capitalism (well, for other people, because they like getting their own money and maximizing profits in their own life) try and explain capitalism as it applies to their favorite cult, as Peter Kalmus gives it a shot

The Trick to Make Capitalism Help Solve Climate Change

Welcome to the climate emergency. This is what it looks like: dying coral reefs and dialed-in ice sheet disintegration; drought, flood, and refugees. This is what it feels like: a deep uncertainty about the future expressed in economic and political instability. To escape the heat, land and ocean species everywhere are migrating toward the poles. Of the millions of species on our planet, only one foolishly continues to make the problem worse by burning fossil fuels—the one that named itself “wise man,” Homo sapiens.

But as the crisis deepens, the world—with the stunning exception of certain intransigent U.S. politicians—is finally getting the message. The question becomes what to do.

I’m a fan of deep voluntary personal reduction, which (I’ve found) leads to a more satisfying and connected life and enhances one’s ability to effect broader change. But it’s not a solution; we need to leave fossil fuels quickly and globally. The consensus among economists that the way to do this is to make the price of fossil fuels reflect their true cost to society.

Here we go

The best step any nation can take is a revenue-neutral carbon fee.

Here’s how it works: Those who wish to disrupt the climate (to be fair, all of us are complicit as we live our modern lives) should pay for the “privilege.” A price is applied at the first point of sale after the oil, coal, or gas is extracted; then it passes downstream in proportion to the amount of emissions embodied in the transaction. The price will increase over time, giving individuals and businesses time to plan and adjust.

Go that? Government intervention and price controls is “capitalism.”

A carbon price, properly designed, would be comprehensive and effective. It would go far toward correcting a horrifying market failure: that destroying the planet that gave rise to us and cradles us in the violent vastness of space … is profitable. But to realize this potential, two key details must be worked out.

So, the headline is a bunch of mule fritters? Because this sure seems like Classical Socialism, whereby the Government is mostly in charge of the means of production and the economy.

A well-designed carbon fee isn’t the only thing we’ll need to create a deeply just and sustainable society on Earth; ultimately we’ll need a steady-state economy and an end to unsustainable population growth. This will require a tectonic shift in how we see our place in the web of life. But a carbon fee would be a huge step in the right direction.

Whoops, the cat is out of the bag. This isn’t capitalism, it’s Progressivism.

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