TED Conversations

russell lester

Orchardist, Grange

This conversation is closed.

Idea: Global property tax to support environmental reform

The idea I am kicking around is to establish a global agency, perhaps a party to the world court which would assess a tax on each person globally say one one thousandth of there properties value (local market value) times the estimated shares of mean carbon production they are responsible for, which would i grant you be hard to quantify, maybe it could be based on a per capita national average.

The tax could be levied against nations wishing to or having ever used the world court, and could be once a decade or whatever time interval seems good, the revenues would be available for the world courts foundation managers to disperse to address credit challenged projects that are of great environmental value.


Closing Statement from russell lester

Corperations constrained and taxed more here than anywhere else in the world. Which is why they put manufacturing in China. 25% or more of the pollution over Los Angeles comes from China. Problem is that the China is not under the purview of California law,

I have a rare book, it is called international Anarchy and it was written and published in the interval between the end of the first world war and the failure of the united states to ratify and empower the league of nations. The premise is that conflicts wars and struggles over the sea and air can be avoided if the nations agree to a code of law and mutually enforce it. This does not even require the individual nations to give up sovereignty, just the right to launch wars of aggression, and perhaps its time to include pollution of air water land and bio spheres to the list of mutually outlawed actions. Certainly I can see that you cannot fix problems by simply redistributing wealth, or at least not all problems, but what would the harm be in providing an incentive for developing nations to not pursue programs we know now are destructive to everyone? After all the wealth of the rich nations and the rich in those nations was made on the resources of other nations from time to time, plus it was the process of amassing that wealth or more accurately the process' which were used to do so which have caused such wide spread damage.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 5 2012: Terrific idea! You see, I have this project of great environmental value, and I'm unfortunately a bit credit challenged. Start paying the taxes quickly, so that I can spend it on my project. You won't benefit from it directly, but your grandkids will say my name in awe and reverence.

    On a more serious note, if you care about the environment, do something about it, rather than coming up with ways to dispose of other people's money. These idle talks are exactly that -- idle.
    • thumb
      Nov 6 2012: I work as an orchardist constantly improving the ways and means of soil and water conservation, exploring new non chemical means of pest control I drive as little as possible i bet I put less miles on my car this past year than you did in a month, besides, i don't think I said I was exempting myself from the idea of taxation, do you think that left to individuals and individual nations and corporations we will see environmental change? Without a central authority that can evaluate the pros and cons of various projects and to prioritize them and assist in funding them we will accomplish very little.
      • Nov 6 2012: I am happy that you live in a "green" way. I try what I can too. But I work in technology, so no orchards. I wish you hadn't made that bet with me -- I don't have a car. It's Europe, so I use buses and bicycles all the time. I'm mostly vegetarian. Even in this freezing winter, I turn off the heating and wear more clothes, despite the fact that I don't pay extra for heating, and it's part of my rent anyway. I do a few other boring things.

        This is the kind of taxation I'm sympathetic towards: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/07/19/157047211/six-policies-economists-love-and-politicians-hate. I like the idea of taxing the hell out of environmentally harmful activities, like the usage of Freons, mercury, lead chemicals, etc. I like the usage of Ecolabels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecolabel). It's too late to do much about most adults, but kids should be taught a lot more about the environment, and they'll grow up to be more sensitive to the environment.

        But my previous paragraph was idle talk too. Nothing will come out of it. In the mean time, I do what I can.
        • thumb
          Nov 8 2012: I think ou are doing a lot and that you ave underestimated the ability of your opinions and information to affect people I might be an optomist but I think that you are never to old to learn and never to young to teach.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.