Monday, June 12, 2006
Shrink the Gap. Support the Gas Tax
"The Energy Challenge," by Stephen F. DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 12 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/the_energy_chal.html.
First, the reality:
Of course, China could buy state-of-the-art equipment that helps reduce the pollution created by coal-fired plants, but it fears that doing so could put the brakes on its economy, something it believes it can't do at this stage of its development. As a result, it buys antiquated equipment from local manufacturers, burns indigenous coal, and refuses to ask consumers to pay for measures that could protect their health. The article estimates that 400,000 people a year die in China from pollution-related illnesses. As its population ages and the long-term effects of pollution begin to kick in, the piper that China refuses to pay today will cost even more tomorrow in health care costs and subsequent productivity reductions.
In Beijing and Tianjin, I saw the face of pollution. But even I didn't see the 400,000 dead in Zhongguo per year. I am lucky I was merely robbed of the sky for a month, not my life like that annual half-million. I was merely sent to the Emergency Room.
Next, the hope. (Hint: it's a geogreen gas tax).
With oil prices continuing to break records, the time is rapidly approaching when it will become economically feasible to pursue alternative fuels. Despite the pain we feel at the pumps, the benefits of increasing our use of alternative fuels will be worth it in the long run. A few companies have already begun to see how "being green" makes them more resilient -- both to the vagaries of the energy market and by attracting "green" consumers and investors. Another New York Times article [The Greener Guys; A Few Companies Take Special Steps to Curb Emissions," by Jad Mouawad] discusses their strategies for reducing their carbon footprint.
We can speed up the economic feasibility of alternate fuels by implementing a geogreen gas tax. The economic effect for the common person could be minimal, and the benefits are enormous
- An America that relies on her ingenuity and innovation, not oil kleptocrats
- Easing the rise of New Core states such as India and China, and not forcing them to rely on the decaying regimes of the AfroIslamic Gap
- Creating a more beautiful, healthier world.
We can do it. By distributing the proceeds of the geogreen gas tax directly to the American people, it may even be popular to do so.
Increase the gas tax to $5/gallon. Shrink the gap!
This is interesting, but what exactly is your point? And, how can you trust your statistics.
((When I say that, what are "pollution related illnesses" how do people determine pollution is a major factor, etc etc))
Right now China is in it's growth spurt (econonomically). America had a similar time in the Industrial revolution, and London (the picturesque clean European city) once stunk to high heaven from all its filth.
Assuming that you are suggestion more regulation, what right do you have? I understand you had a trip to the emergancy room and became quiet ill from Bejing's air, but wouldn't this be an interruption, forced upon by other nations, in a period that many countries had previously gone through.
Posted by: Lynn | Monday, June 12, 2006
I would like to appologize for posting my comment prematurely. There must have been a loading error in my browser and I only got half the article and - thinking that I had read the whole thing - responded. Sorry about that
Posted by: Lynn | Monday, June 12, 2006
You have hit the nail on the head with respect to China. The Beijing government is trying to crack down on pollution, but they also have 1.3 billion+ mouths to feed and there is still a tremendous need for growth. The thing is the country uses fuel so inefficiently that relatively small and inexpensive changes would greatly reduce consumption. But ...
Posted by: China Law Blog | Tuesday, June 13, 2006
No need to apologize -- we agree on the dangerous of regulation, especially in an economy that needs to grow like China.
A story on CCTV9 while I was in Beijing was new farming regulations, because a lot of the dust from the storms was blown from farms. It reminded me of America's similar experience in the 1930s, where dust from farms even went over the mountains and hit Washington, DC.
Efficiency gains are part of China's solution, but if you're going to add a large fraction of the 900 million peasants to the cities, you're increasing energy consumption regardless.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, June 13, 2006