Carbon Tax = putting a price on the environment

image from: tribalenergies.com.au

You’ve probably by now seen the tv ad for Say Yes Australia starring Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton, or at least heard all the hype about it. Or perhaps you’ve seen the word ‘carbon tax’ pop up a lot recently? This is because in February, the Julia Gillard Government announced that they would be introducing a price on carbon emissions, which equates to a tax for those who create carbon dioxide.

What does it mean?

Essentially, the purpose of a carbon tax is: you pollute, you pay. The more you pollute, the more you pay. Allegedly the tax money raised will later come back to us (individuals and businesses) in the form of green rebates and grants. Sounds fair right?

It’s not that simple and right now it’s not even clear exactly how much this will impact individuals or businesses. People who are against the carbon tax believe the tax won’t have any effect on climate change (due to the low impact Australia’s emissions have on a global scale), some don’t believe in climate change (it’s real!), some simply don’t want to pay any kind of tax, some even think paying such taxes could put Australia into economic crisis, though we don’t seem to have a problem reaping billions of dollars in profit from raping the earth of its resources. Who said doing something worthwhile was easy (or cheap?).

Why it’s good

The environment needs a price

There is currently no price on the environment. Industries, businesses and individuals can operate not fully understanding the cost of their impact on the environment – a carbon tax would mean we finally have a way of calculating this impact.

In economic terms, pollution from fossil fuels is regarded as ‘external’ – its impact on the environment it not quantifiable. Taxation is one way to make fossil fuels ‘internal’, so there is literally a ‘cost of pollution’. This would then make fossil fuels more expensive which would reduce their use and, through funding, give renewable technologies the attention they deserve.

Carbon tax success

It’s been done before: Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, Boulder Colorado (USA), and Quebec & British Columbia (Canada) have all installed successful carbon tax initiatives. I keep hearing people say “but if China don’t do it, why should we?” – Because according to the Climate Institute, Australia is the fastest- growing emitter of greenhouse gases in the world which is now more than 20 times that of a person in India or Chinawe need to lead this change.

It would initiate change

What is it going to take to ensure all Australians make the necessary changes to become sustainable? A monetary penalty to pollute will be the drive that encourages everyone to be sustainable – and it seems that for some, money is the only incentive that delivers the message loud and clear.

If we don’t pay, then our children and future generations will – only it won’t be in the form of a tax, it will be far more life threatening.

Here are 7 good reasons to say yes to a price on carbon pollution from the Say Yes website:

What now?

If you are interested in supporting carbon tax then I thoroughly recommend you check out the Say Yes website: http://www.sayyesaustralia.org.au/do/ – this will tell you all the steps you can take to support carbon tax.

Saying ‘yes’ to a carbon tax means you are putting the earth first. You might not be able to buy that expensive dress, or attend every music festival, or buy a brand new car, or buy takeaway every night of the week – but you’ll be saving the planet, and learning to become a sustainable human being. And isn’t that worth every penny?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jules says:

    Hey EcoEmpire,
    I was totally shocked when I went to the Experimentarium in Copenhagen (similar to a Scitech, like in Perth) this year and saw that Australia was actually producing heaps more carbon emissions per person than nearly every other country! It seems to me that Australians are way more aware of the environment, compared to people in Europe, and there’s a lot of talk but unfortunately not much action. People need to stop the talking and start the doing, straight away.

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