There is no doubt that Australian PM Julia Gillard’s proposed carbon tax is a massive step in the right direction towards promoting our earth’s health and the future of humanity’s home. Undoubtedly, it will promote awareness of ‘clean energy’ technologies, probably creating jobs within its related industries and also serving to make big carbon producers (and hopefully all carbon producers, i.e. everybody) more aware of their carbon output, hopefully curbing the amount of noxious gases being produced, fuels being burned, earth being plundered and atmosphere and water being polluted.
Now that the effects of all of these things are becoming widely known or least of all, widely speculated over, the inevitable questions are being posed by all those under the large umbrella of the carbon tax’s effects (also being utilized by those in opposition to its proposal).
So how much will it cost? – To put it simply, it will cost the earth if we dont do something about humanity’s carbon footprint. Unless some miraculous discovery finds that the nourishment that can be found in eating coins and banknotes rivals the nourishment of those things that our earth supports, the life it sustains and all that currently makes up our (diverse) dietary requirements, the question of ‘how much will it cost’ should be almost irrelevant.
Here’s why its not: Although Australia’s carbon tax (or indeed, any such tax that might be proposed or installed, anywhere in the world) is a general, tacit admission that we can no longer go on living the lives we’ve led, that things may be at a point where we’ve gone too far and its time that something be done about it, we’re not willing to change how we live.
Unfortunately – and as obvious a solution as it may seem – alarm about our world’s environmental state isnt translating to any kind of idea to curb our consumption and growth, even if our ‘growth’ is the most probable, undeniable cause of ‘climate change’, and a whole host of the world’s environmental problems.
To me, it makes sense to use less of what is costing us more. – If the carbon tax looks like it will affect the price of fuel, i think ill decide to drive less, rather than asking ‘how will i be compensated?’ If electricity prices are set to rise, addressing means of cutting electricity use should be the focus, not ‘what sort of financial support will the government provide to households to protect families from rising costs?’ If airline tickets become more expensive than ever before, it will beg the question of ‘is it worth paying more, to help save the earth?’ …
Although times are changing (really?), humanity still wishes to continue living out its days with the same greed and hunger for consumption and growth that got us into this very situation in the first place (obviously some of us are banking on the fact that money is indeed edible and nutritious). The Australian Conservation Foundation and the ‘Say Yes’ movement (which proposes that Australia votes a unanimous ‘yes’ to its carbon tax) even admit themselves (with notable joy and relief) as part of their youtube video ‘The price on carbon pollution explained in around 2 minutes‘ that we can “stay in line with climate science … while growing our economy”. Astonishing. And very confusing.
Fact is, before our economy started ‘growing’ faster than our earth can replenish its resources, climate change and our environment were barely a threat on humanity. Now, with growth of all kinds, chaotically tipping scales of all kinds, we’re floundering for a way to make it all last, while still sustaining (or even magnifying!) that growth! It just doesnt make sense. Its like paying lip service to mother nature, and hoping that she doesnt realise that we’d like to happily continue raping her.
Fear not though, our lives can continue as normal: keep shopping excessively, driving excessively, creating excessive waste, using excessive resources, spending excessive amounts of money, clearing excessive amounts of land, having excessive amounts of children, eating excessive amounts of food, burning excessive amounts of fuel etc etc. Just keep your fingers crossed that your children can afford the flight to another planet they can call home.