Source: A simple and smart way to fix climate change | Dan Miller | TEDxOrangeCoast, YouTube, October 23, 2014.
Extended Quote by Dan Miller, Managing Director of The Roda Group, a venture capital group focused on clean technology:
"Society also conspires to suppress the discussion of climate change. As someone who talks about climate change a lot, I can vouch for this. Someone (possibly David Roberts) once said that talking about climate change is like flatulence at a cocktail party."
Notes: In ther middle of this TEDx talk, Dan Miller gives that explanation as one of many reasons why we have known about the dangers of climate change for many decades. Yet, we have done virtually nothing to stop it. Why?
According to Miller, climate change works against our human psychology because it is
3. Long Term
4. Unpredictable & indirect impacts
5. Extremely complex
6. Caused by all of us
7. We think of it as a distant environmental problem
8. Society thinks it is impolite to talk about it. (as mentioned above)
What is the solution?
Dan Miller then talks about a good news solution that everyone will like: Carbon Fee and Dividend (as proposed by Citizens' Climate Lobby).
In this solution, we put a fee on the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of fossil fuels and the fossil fuel companies pay this fee at the coal mine, oil well, or port of entry.
It starts out about $15 a ton of CO2 emitted and then the fee rises about $10 every year for about 10 years. The money collected is distributed to all American households. Thus, you and Bill Gates receive the same check every month.
This will then give you and everyone else the ability to absorb the higher prices while giving you the incentive to buy LED light bulbs, a more fuel efficient car, etc. Then you and everyone else will lower their carbon footprint (which is the goal of the policy).
Two thirds of Americans, the poor and middle class, would receive more in this dividend check than they would pay for the higher prices of goods.
According to the 2014 REMI Report, the result of the carbon fee & dividend would be in the USA in 20 years:
52% decrease in CO2 emissions
Creates 2.8 million jobs
Grows GDP by $1.4 trillion
Saves 227,000 lives
(Currently 13,000 lives are lost each year to dirty air pollution in the US according to the Clean Air Task Force).
With the GDP growth and other benefits, Dan thinks this is a solution that is "better than free."
Surely, this is much more fun to talk about this fee & dividend solution at a cocktail party than pretending to ignore someone's embarrassing flatulence.
Image Source: womenshealth.answers.com