Petition for a Green Economy & America

For the Sake of Our Children

#1 in the Series of Petitions for Smarter Capitalism

“Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth.” –  Oystein Dahle, former Exxon VP

Mr. President & Congress,

We are calling on you to lead a green reinvention of our economy leading to a clean, healthy, sustainable economy, America and world.

  • First, sponsor a multi-day series of nationally televised/online/on radio symposium where the American scientific community and military can educate the public on the clear and present danger posed by pollution, and why pollution is the mother of all taxes and a killer tax that’s threatening the future of our children and the world’s children.
  • Then, jump start this Green Reinvention by creating an economy-wide boom in demand for continually cleaner, safer, healthier, less polluting energy, goods, services and production methods.
  • Because supply follows demand, an economy-wide boom in investment and innovation will follow with millions of new green jobs developing, making, installing and selling ever cleaner, healthier alternatives as well as millions of other jobs becoming greener with Americans working in ever cleaner, healthier, safer workplaces using ever cleaner, healthier products and production methods.
  • The best way to create this green and greener job boom is to implement pricing that does tells the ecological truth.

Pricing That Tells the Truth

  • Pricing that tells the truth is when the real, overall, long term costs of  goods, services and production methods  taking into account all social, environmental, health, pollution, disposal, security/military,  government subsidy and ecological footprint costs — is reflected in the upfront cost, in the short run.
  • For example, because coal mining accidents kill and injure miners, annually its fine particle pollution causes 24,000 premature deaths, 38,200 non-fatal heart attacks and 10’s of 1000’s of hospital visits and asthma attacks, its mercury pollution exposes 100,000 to 200,000 children to dangerous levels in the womb, its acid rain and waste from mountaintop removal and mining poisons 1000’s of America’s lakes, streams, and community water supplies,  and its huge contribution to global warming is also increasingly costly, coal should be prohibitively more expensive upfront than solar and wind as they don’t have any of these enormous costs.
  • The way to make this truly realistic and responsible pricing happen economy-wide is in an open, transparent program, our scientific community, using the new science of industrial ecology and the new technique of lifecycle cost assessments (LCA’s) would calculate all these costs which in large part act as huge, unacknowledged taxes on society and huge deferred taxes on our children.
  • Making them clear and visible, Anti-Pollution Tax (APT) taxes on the pollution, disposal and ecological footprint costs of all major industrial ingredients,  inputs, services, construction and production methods would increase in predictable increments and be levied at the most appropriate points of extraction, manufacturing, importation and/or sales.
  • Their predictability will give consumers, businesses, investors and governments time, incentive and certainty to best plan how to reduce pollution and this is the Game-Changer using the most powerful economic incentive of all:
  • Reducing and eventually eliminating pollution (and thus reducing and eventually eliminating ones APT taxes!) becomes more profitable than polluting!
  • Continually Cleaner and Safer will underprice and replace Dirty and Dangerous and halt profiting at everyone else’s expense also known as privatization of profit and socialization of cost.
  • In short, Real Cost-Benefit Pricing is not only overall, long-term realistic, morally, ecologically and economically honest and responsible, it’s also fiscally conservative – a dollar of pollution prevention tax now is far cheaper than higher, even catastrophic costs to our children down the road.

Rebating APT taxes to the Public

to Accelerate the Green Recovery

  • And the best way to jump start and accelerate the creation of those millions of new green jobs and the greening of America’s economy  is as follows.
  • Deposit 25% of APT taxes monthly into the bank accounts of all adult taxpayers, documented or not, who filed and paid taxes the previous year. This would be to help people buy these ever eco-friendlier goods and services as well as to cushion them from initially, higher, economy-wide pricing. (Military costs for guarding overseas oil will drop over time as will healthcare costs due to healthier air, water, food, transportation, homes and workplaces! Heating, cooling, electricity, garbage and transportation costs will also drop with the following programs.)
  • Then allot most of the remaining 75% to be disbursed by state and local governments to, on a sliding scale, more to those with less money, to:
  • Help millions of low to average income homeowners, renters, apartment house owners, small businesses and family farmers pay for solar panels, wind turbines, better, non-toxic insulation, carpets, interiors etc.
  • Help train millions of unemployed in the cities, inner cities, suburbs, rural areas, veterans, contractors, coal miners, oil workers and others in especially effected industries to work in and start green businesses doing these installations.

Installing Solar Panels: A crucial part of a Green Recovery

  • Help millions buy hybrid and electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, cars, vans, trucks and tractors now powered by their own private solar and wind energy enterprises.
  • A new slogan for America – Your Home and Business is Your Castle – Make It Your and America’s Power Plant Too!
  • Help public transit districts lower fares and expand routes and services with new clean energy-powered bikes, scooters, motorcycles, cars, vans and trucks available for affordable rent by the hour, half-day, day, weekend or week at busy transits spots and destinations such as downtowns, malls, office and industrial parks, bus stops, train and tram stations etc.
  • The result of all this is with mass production, there will be ever less expensive clean energy for middle to high-income homeowners and businesses, millions of Americans at work in new, higher-paying green jobs and across the economy, millions of other Americans creating, making, selling, buying and using increasingly cleaner, healthier goods and services of all kinds while living and working in increasingly healthier homes and workplaces.
  • A smaller portion of this 75% would be disbursed  by non-governmental organizations  directly to communities around the world most impacted by global warming to help them cope as well as to communities living in and next to rainforests, the lungs of our world, to pay for protecting, restoring and maintaining their biodiversity and production of our oxygen and the sequestration of our CO2 we’ve already emitted.

The Bottom Line – By continually making, selling, buying and using ever eco-friendlier, now less expensive goods and services and saving money, we will also be:

  • helping America’s economy and society become cleaner, safer, stronger, more stable, healthier, more sustainable – and more competitive in the next global growth industries of clean energy, clean tech and green chemistry,
  • helping to save our children’s future,
  • and ultimately helping to save civilization.

Saving money leading to saving civilization…how powerful and universal a game-changer is that?

Mr. President and Congress —Pricing that tells the truth is the morality, reality and market-based solution and game changer America needs now, and if America takes the lead in The Human Race for a Healthy Planet, the world will follow.

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See Smarter Capitalism , a more socially just,  ecologically realistic and hence more sustainable version of the current model which includes as just one of its principles Real Cost-Benefit Pricing

See More on True Cost-Benefit Pricing for details