At 11 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 20, I’ll be demonstrating with a small group of senior citizens, the West Bloomfield Knit Club, at the traffic light in West Bloomfield. We’re supporting the worldwide climate action strike inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish eco-activist, and Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org and author of “Falter.”
Millions around the nation and globe will be marching, striking, protesting. One challenge is that climate change discussions often end in the same inexact plaint: Do something. The problem is, what exactly?
I’m lettering my exact idea onto my protest sign: Tax Carbon, Not Income. A carbon tax has always been a scary non-starter, politically. (Ask France.) Yet, income tax is a completely arbitrary method for government to obtain revenues. Let’s change that. Taxing the dirty stuff, not income, employs revised market forces to clean up our act. Conservatives and capitalists should love this. Fossil fuel oligarchs, not so much.
Phasing in a $2 trillion tax on carbon over 10 years and phasing out $2 trillion in federal income taxes will have a massive effect on moving American society toward a sustainable future and moral world leadership. And it doesn’t call for giving up hamburgers or airplanes.
Come join us! Bring a good sign.