- Written by Alex
This page is about us people. Or rather: about what we have got ourselves into.
Here is a view on what that is:
* About the Prisoner's dilemma
Imagine you are thrown in prison, you and several partners in crime, each in a separate cell, isolated.
The police wants you to confess and tell about everyone's role. The deal is a lower sentence.
You are sure that evidence is absent and that if nobody talks, everybody walks.
But if one or more take the deal, the others get the full sentence.
What are you going to do?
The point is..
.. what if the deal is a cheap plane ticket or a juicy steak?
Fact is they mean excessive greenhouse gas emissions.
And too much gas means future generations take the rap.
What are you going to do?
So.. climate? No problem. We are.
Solving power comes from dealing with mispricing, or underpricing as the term is in the diagram. Underpricing refers to the case of actual selling prices being under the price reflecting all costs. These include the cost of the harm that products and services do to the environment and all that lives, including us. In most cases this harm can be expressed as an amount of money, through calculation and estimation. Include the amount in selling prices and what you have is the full-cost price of products, also known as true price. Increasing selling prices to this price level can be done by imposing taxes, or by increasing taxes that are already levied. That generates extra revenues. These can be used to repair the damage that products cause, or to prevent that from happening. If damage is not repairable, prices should steer consumption and production towards harmless substitutes, by making these available or cheaper with subsidies. Mind that some groups of people need support if their incomes fall due to dependence on taxed products generating less sales.
If price adjustments do not produce desired effects, regulation is the way, not including the kind of self-regulation by economic sectors we see so often: false promises.
To give an impression of the urgency of the problem of our presence on this planet, please note again what has been made known more than once: that global warming will stay with us for decades, even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases today. And that climate change is unstoppable beyond certain tipping points. Think of the melting of particular ice sheets and a critical level of loss of rainforest and permafrost. Whether these points are crossed is going to be decided by us in the coming years. These are the years in which we can reverse climate change, the last years. How many years that is has been estimated by experts. Around ten.