Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CHANGE I Could Believe In

John Podesta wrote to me today, asking that I give my advice to Carol Browner and the Obama transition team on energy and environment. Gosh, Mr. Podesta, I'd be honored.

Here's what I said:

Well, energy and environment team, brace yourselves for some basic truth: humans waste whatever is cheap and seemingly plentiful (and cook the planet in the process). And so I am alarmed to see the sudden recent decrease in gasoline prices, as millions will quickly revert to their old ways, thinking we can waste again and put off the future for months or years to come.

BUT cheap gas prices give the incoming administration a prime opportunity to raise the taxes on gasoline. This would bring in billions in revenue which could be put directly toward environmental clean-up and development of alternative energy sources. Fifty cents more a gallon seems about right. Twenty cents right away, especially if gasoline prices are still under $3 next spring. As long as gasoline is cheap, I feel there is very little reason to hope we can stave off the climate catastrophes caused by waste and pollution.

(And the even bigger picture: Population reduction is also key to our long-term quality of life, including that of the environment on which we depend, but that seems to be a topic off the political table for the time being. A reduction in population, through lower birth rates and attrition, would be a CHANGE I could really believe in.)


At 11/20/2008 6:36 PM, Anonymous selcom60 said...

Wow -- my thoughts exactly. I can see now that the gas prices are under $2 a gallon people getting complacent and go back to wasteful ways. I'd support more taxes here as well.

At 11/22/2008 10:06 AM, Blogger Allan Stellar said...

Just passing through...wasting time. Nice blog though. I like your perspective on energy taxes and overpopulation.



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