What a Healthier America Would Look Like
with Pricing That Told The Truth
Because solar, wind, tidal, wave, geothermal, damless, small scale hydroelectric and biofuels made from switchgrass grown on non-crop lands have much lower government subsidies and externalized pollution/ global warming and social/environmental health costs than coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power and biofuels made from food crops, they will underprice, outcompete and replace them. As in Germany, all limits will be lifted on how much clean solar and wind energy homeowners, farmers and businesses can sell back to the grid and they’ll receive a fair price while contributing a fair share to the grid’s fixed costs.
Organic Family Farms Replace Factory Farms
Organic food and other crops organically grown on family farms will underprice, outcompete and replace chemicalized, industrialized factory farm food and crops. This is because organic farmers’ goals are growing high quality crops in harmony with nature by enhancing soil fertility and biodiversity using natural methods of animal husbandry, fertilization and pest control. As a result, they use minimal off-farm inputs like water and gasoline and no off-farm inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, all of which will cost more with True Cost-Benefit Pricing.
Organic farmers also don’t use at all any chemical fertilizers which will also cost more with APT taxes. The reasons: in large run-off quantities they get carried by rivers to the sea creating more and more oceanic dead zones and destroying fisheries around the world – roughly doubling every decade, reaching 405 known dead zones in 2008 with one at the mouth of the Mississippi larger in summer than New Jersey! (Robert Diaz of Virginia Institute of Marine Science estimates the true number of dead zones world-wide is over 1000!)
Nor do organic farmers use known carcinogenic, mutagenic and endocrine-disrupting herbicides and insecticides. These will either be banned outright if they poison farm workers, children living or attending schools nearby, consumers and pregnant mothers or they’ll incur increasing True Cost-Pollution Prevention taxes that increasingly reflect their harmful short and long term true costs.
Instead, organic farmers use natural methods of feeding their animals such as pasturing their cattle who and housing free-range poultry with plenty of room to roam around outside scratching the ground for insects. This means the animals don’t live in unnaturally and cruelly restrictive, disease-causing conditions “requiring” the mass use of antibiotics in animal feed. Apart from the immoral and cruel aspects of this imprisonment of chickens, another major problem is these antibiotics become less effective for people and so they’ll incur increasing APT taxes to reflect society’s increased corresponding healthcare costs.
- organic farmers use natural methods of fertilization such as mulching, plowing crops under, compost, manure and natural mineral, animal and plant-derived fertilizers.
- organic farmers use natural methods of control for competitor plants and insects such as mulching, cover crops in combination with cultivation, beneficial insects that eat crop-eating insects, natural insecticide sprays etc.
Green Building Codes Replace Current Codes
New codes will now strongly encourage, if not in some areas require, the following:
- The use of solar water panels to heat hot water for basic hot water use, pools and hydronic radiant flooring, i.e. solar-heated water piped underneath solid flooring. The benefits of the latter are that warm floors feel good, water and solid flooring retain heat better than air and so are more efficient than the current standard of forced-air, heat rises and our bodies feel better when we’re warmed from the bottom up.
- The use of solar photovoltaic panels and when small scale is developed, concentrated solar power units sized to also power plug-in electric vehicles and installed together with green roofs, either underneath the panels or on roof sections without panels. Passive solar design would also be used by architects to design buildings that orient roofs, skylights, windows, canopies and exterior and interior walls to make the best use of the sun’s heat and sunlight for maximum natural lighting. Exterior surfaces such as walls, roofs, driveways and parking lots would also be painted with lighter colors to reflect the sun instead of absorbing its heat and heating up the atmosphere.
Insulation, Plumbing & Interior
- Non-toxic, very high insulation and individually controlled double/triple pane windows (which with TCB Pricing would be less expensive than single pane windows) would be used to minimize heating and cooling needs. The storage of rainwater in cisterns and the recycling of grey-water from showers and sinks to backyards and gardens would be used (when households moved away from toxic chemicals). These would conserve water and the energy used to treat water. Depending on water availability and costs, dual flush or no flush compost toilets would also be used. Thicker wiring that wastes less energy and would be less expensive than thinner wires would be used throughout buildings.
- Last but not least, non-toxic, carpeting, flooring, paint and furniture with zero off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and other chemicals would be used/required to reduce the huge, unacknowledged problem of indoor air pollution, a problem that can be 2-5 and occasionally 100 times worse than outdoor air pollution!
Reusable, Recyclable, Compostable & Remanufacturable
- Reusable will underprice and replace single-use recyclable. As an example, reusable sports and thermos bottles and organic canvas grocery bags will underprice and replace disposable plastic water bottles and plastic bags which will both have hefty APT taxes on them.
- Biodegradable will underprice and replace recyclable because nature is the least expensive recycler. As a result, home compostable will underprice industrially compostable as it’s less energy-intensive, not requiring garbage trucks, large plants etc. As an example, home compostable paper bags and food packaging with completely safe inks will underprice and replace non-biodegradable bags and packaging with untested or toxic inks with chemicals and lead.
- Highly manufactured products will more and more be designed to consist of remanufacturable components that in some cases the manufacturer will pay to have returned, as is already happening in Europe.
Time-Tested Replaces Untested
Natural health and everyday products time-tested as safe will in general be less expensive and will replace their untested, potentially harmful counterparts. True Cost-Benefit Pricing uses common sense, better safe than sorry, and the precautionary principle as does the European Union, which is this: a chemical must be proven safe with true, objective testing that’s not paid for by the manufacturer before it goes on the market and into our air, water, food and bodies.
True Benefits and Value of Forests
Putting the Benefit into True Cost-Benefit Pricing, forests, especially rainforests, will be priced to include the following enormous ecosystem services they provide humanity. As a result, they’ll be very if not prohibitively expensive to convert to less valuable long term use.
- For starters, they take carbon dioxide out of and pump oxygen back into the air, both of which are very important. In fact, with True Cost-Benefit Pricing, the U.S. and other countries responsible for the CO2 that’s already in the atmosphere will pay heavily forested countries, indigenous forest tribes and adjacent communities to maintain and reforest adjacent plots so they can sequester the current excess of CO2 already emitted — instead of proposed offsets that allow/“justify” emitting even more CO2!
- Then they filter, clean and recharge aquifers and slow down water, preventing floods, the silting up of waterways and soil erosion. They also provide habitat for an incredible amount of biodiversity including natural medicines and other natural products, provided we listen to and respect their indigenous inhabitants and guardians.
With True Cost-Benefit Pricing, forestry not to mention every other aspect of our economy follows the principle of sustainability: The stewardship and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant and important ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems.
As a result, sustainably harvested and reclaimed lumber will underprice and replace clear cutting and virgin lumber. Recycled paper and lifecycle cost assessments will determine if paper from hemp will even more so underprice and replace virgin paper pulp. Cutting down a tree will require planting or paying for planting multiple replacements. Indeed, living Christmas trees that can and will be replanted will now underprice and replace the “normal” dying Christmas trees. Americans will look back at this custom of killing trees at Christmas as crazy.