Originally Posted by Simon Willard
Well said, but still a bit naive in my estimation. What are the chances for a new $2.00/gal federal tax on gasoline? I think the chances of this are low in this political climate, and the resulting decrease in fuel consumption will be modest compared to what is needed to have any measurable effect on CO2.
You may have heard about the difficulties of building a wind farm here in Massachusetts. The objections are, well, environmental.
It's a hard, hard problem. In fact, the difficulty of the problem exceeds the level of certainty that it is indeed a problem at all. And that's an additional problem. That's why I tell people it's insoluble.
Increase gas prices by $.50 each year for 5 years. The anticipation of the higher prices will help drive individual effort to lower consumption without major short-term disruption. (And the income from the tax should be returned to those most in need.)
Europe already consumes only half as much fuel per-capita than the US. It would take some changes in our consumer culture (the hard part, fighting the Capitalist system) and some new ways to organize our cities, but we've made changes like that under other crises before.
The US is incredibly rich in potential wind and solar energy. We just need a little incentive, better distribution grid and some technical innovation to make the whole system work very well.
We import a lot of oil. Each one of us is sending almost $1000/year outside the country for the oil we use, and much of that money goes to unstable countries. A huge trade deficit and that dependence is a security problem that we currently spend $100s of Billions on. If we cut our consumption by 60%, we could eliminate almost all of that transfer of wealth, and decrease our Defense budget proportionately.