An important reason why carbon emissions are uncontrollably rising is because the environment is a public good and this creates an issue of a negative externality. It means that the private costs of producing a product is less than the the social costs. In simpler words, the people who gain the most out of the carbon emissions do not fully pay the costs associated with it which are then passed on to society.
In order to get rid of this externality, economists suggest carbon pricing through setting up emission caps and taxation. Even though, economists disagree on which of these is a better check on emissions, both these policy measures aim to reduce carbon emissions by making the polluters pay for their emissions.
Carbon taxation works such that the government taxes firms on the amount of their carbon emissions. The implementation of such taxes would be terrible news for the producers and skyrocket their costs of production, which will eventually effect consumers because these costs will be passed on to them. People might argue that these taxes are going to raise the prices of almost every commodity, raise the unemployment rate, destroy many industries and have a disastrous effect on the economy as a whole. However, these effects are only going to last in the short term. In the long term, as firms aim to reduce their costs of production they would shift to low carbon technologies to avoid carbon taxes. There will be increased competition among firms as consumers would also shift to the cheaper carbon-free products forcing firms to further invest in low-carbon technologies.
Another widely suggested policy measure is the cap and trade system. This policy aims to set limits or ‘c...
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...ir most trivial actions, like buying clothing – growing cotton, impacts of dyeing and the energy costs of transportation. These virtues are rare in the humans of today and would be exemplary qualities in those in the future.
Moralization and non-moralization are dynamic processes that happen gradually. Smoking has transformed from being non-moral to having moral repercussions while divorce and homosexuality have gone from being moral issues to being viewed as completely non-moral matters. Revolutions in the idea behind capitalism turned the vice of self-interest into a virtue. Similarly, a revolution in morality is required for us to better address this issue of climate change that is looming large without us knowing the correct solution to tackle it. It is time when we transform ourselves in the same way and at the same rate that we have been transforming the Earth.
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