A short open letter to my environmentalist friends
I really, really want there to be a carbon tax. Even if I am not 100% convinced by the science (seriously, if there is an explanation out here for why on the famous Al Gore chart temperature changes precede CO2 level changes, I really want to hear it), the risk of my amateur scepticism being mistaken means I am right behind you on the carbon front. And hey, if it turns out we were wrong, we can always get rid of the tax. It might even have the benefit of spurring investment in technologies which save energy, which would also be pretty awesome.
But here’s the thing, I don’t share most of the other political sensibilities of those who consider themselves environmentalists. I have no desire to see the size of the state expand, although any disagreements I have had always seemed to be in good faith. But good faith is not the political norm, and people who think a lot of things that I do about the state are suspicious of you. Some people think (largely unreflectively) that environmentalism is a cover for your socialist conspiracy or something, or more mild cases of just not trusting you or speaking your language.
So, here’s my very simply suggestion: come out strongly for a revenue-neutral carbon tax. In fact, if you really want to get it done, have it offset by corporation, income or capital gains tax cuts (my people love that shit).
The environment should not be an ideological issue, and it really is within your power to prevent it from being so. There isn’t a necessary connection between environmentalism and any ideological commitment, and you have the ability to demonstrate it. I’m not claiming that implementing a revenue-neutral carbon tax is the optimal action to take, but that its serious entertainment by the environmentalist movement could facilitate a serious step forward in the dialogue across the political spectrum on this issue.
What do you say?
Your evil capitalist buddy,