Human activity induced climate warming is one classic example of a market failure. Left unchecked, the current global carbon market will fail as earth slowly stops supporting human life. Note that a majority of those with familiar with the economics of this issue back the idea of a revenue neutral carbon tax. The current and historic market externalization of the cost of carbon in the atmosphere has been and continues to be a form of theft of the common good, of violence towards the planet and all those living in it – including you the reader. The creation of such a Pigovian tax is a tried and good way to stop the steal without creating bigger government – a revenue neutral carbon tax does not create bigger government.
Destroying the earth’s ability to sustain life is theft – it is violence. It is not right action.
Consider Royal Dutch Shell’s plastics manufacturing plant in Monaca, Pa.
Creating 600 permanent jobs in exchange for 1 million tons of brand new plastic each year.
Consider this statement of Ms. Mercer, who is overseeing the construction project for Shell:
“Where we are coming from is that plastic, in most of its forms, is good and it serves to be good for humanity.”
Ms Mercer’s statement is not true in any genuine context, particularly any context that does not externalize the long term costs of the creation of plastic and the associated contributions to global warming. Ignore those costs, and the statement becomes a study in short term economics and politics.
Regardless, by ignoring these two externalized significant costs, Shell and similar projects are manifesting wrong action and violence (see links). They are stealing from the future a livable planet, an enjoyable and hospitable environment in which to have an economy. Stealing is violence towards another. Externalizing what is being stolen without payment does not abate the violence.
It takes a healthy ecology to have a healthy economy.
Regardless if it was Chief Seattle or Wendell Berry who first penned, “We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children”, the statement speaks to the more genuine economic model that the costs of plastics and the associated global warming over the next 100,000 years is greater than the profits in Shell’s limited economic model over the next 10 years.
It is important that everyone practice right action and greater awareness, both in one’s personal and work life. Bad decisions – wrong action instead of right action; actions that are violent and steal the future, the common good, the ability for others to make free and independent decisions based on valid and available information – can too easily be made under a corporate umbrella. Using economic models based on externalizing the cost of ecological degradation, due to severing of the link between ecology / life (God’s currency) and economy (man’s currency), violent corporations are stealing the ecology of an enjoyably livable planet from the next 100,000 plus years. There is much more value in 100,000 years of human living on the planet than in 600 jobs and short term corporate and political gains.
Practice right action and greater awareness. Don’t be bamboozled by fallacious reasoning. We are entering a time of living green or dying. Your right actions and greater awareness are needed.