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Update 2: New Beginnings - Transience Divine
November 2nd, 2008
04:41 pm


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Update 2: New Beginnings
The election tension is so think you need a sawzall. Obama's got in clinched, right? Electoral-Vote seems to think so. The possibilities of having a mixed-race-- and 13th Gen-- president who actively supports building a new economy build on green-innovation are almost too wonderful to believe. I really liked Tim O'Reilly's endorsement, but I imagine my f-list is already fully-decided.

With a friend, I'm starting through Your Money or Your Life, an enlightened approach to personal finance. The first step is to calculate (a) the total amount of money you've earned in your life, and (b) the total value of everything you own. Want to join us?

I've also started taxing myself. Politicians are taking too long to implement a carbon tax, and we can't wait. Americans need to be more-than carbon-neutral (and it's not that expensive; we can do it) to offset countries that aren't ready.

I did some calculations. An MIT paper said that the per-capital carbon footprint of the world, per year, is 4 metric tons, but at the rate carbon is increasing, I calculate it at 17 tons, or 1.2e11 metric tons total per year. If just the populations of the US and EU pay carbon offsets for the rest of the world, that's only $1200 per person per year (at the costs from Carbonfund.org). Not only can we do that-- we have to if we want the Earth to survive.

I'm also doing a fair-trade tax. Basically, if I pay less than fair-fair-trade prices, it's supporting a exploitive economic, political, and social systems I hate. So, I'll put the difference into a fund, and split the money between charities that do short-term amelioration and long-term fixes.

My last tax is a self-tax, to be used for non-critical medical, educational, and devotional services, levied whenever I mistreat my mind, body, or soul. So far, I'm very pleased with the added awareness I'm getting from all three.

Anyone want to join me organizing our self-imposed taxes? We can make it easier doing it together.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:November 2nd, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
What interesting ideas. What does the carbon tax do? I hope it is more than a way to pay to pollute.
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Date:November 2nd, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
Done right, a carbon tax pays to reverse the damage done by producing carbon. As long as American capitalism is around, the incredible power of large companies will do any damage that's profitable. Currently, burning fossil fuels is very profitable, with cleaner energies struggling to keep up. With a carbon tax, the economic rules of the game change.

A friend of mine argues that we should criminalize pollution, so that power of money doesn't get privileges people don't. I'm torn over that. In a certain way, I think it is okay to pay to pollute, as long as we can fix what you've done for the price you pay. And we can't totally-- even planing a tree on every km2 of ground would only fix 1% of the problem. But between that and newly competitive cleaner energy, plus criminalization of very high levels of pollution, I think we'll be fine.
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