Friday Two Cents: Capitalism VS the Environment


  Today at the school we observed Earth hour and I reminded me of a great video article I saw this week.  It was on Facebook were a friend shared the interesting video. It is about kicking oil while the price is down, in other words add a carbon tax onto the price of oil. Usually I am not in favor of adding more taxes to things, I already pay enough in my opinion, but the author makes a valid point.


Link to The Guardian Video:  

Naomi Klein: Let’s kick oil while the price is down – video


It is best to add a carbon tax on oil or gas now while it is still relatively cheap instead of later when it is more expensive. She mentions that capitalism is at war with the environment. It almost reminds me of the battles individuals, governments and others had with the tobacco companies. For the longest time people fought cigarette companies because they were endangering peoples’ health while making billions. The same can be said of the oil companies with the environment and eventually our health.

I say it is time to make a stance and have our voices heard. We cannot deny that we humans are having an impact on the global environment and burning fossil fuels is one of them. I believe that if we make it so that gas has become too expensive and that the government allocates some of the carbon tax towards technology research for cleaner energy sources, the people will respond.

I for one made a conscious effort a few years ago when I needed a new car. My previous vehicle was a large van that drank gas and pumped out CO2. I made an effort to look for a lower emission vehicle. I like trucks and SUVs and there were some hybrid options however they where too expensive and in the long run would not make a difference, financially. Therefore I bought a smaller SUV, which had a great fuel economy, yet I truly would have liked the hybrid option. The problem is that the technology is expensive and there is no incentive to build electric or hybrid cars by the car manufacturers. But if the carbon tax went towards making the technology more affordable, the public and manufacturers will respond.

In capitalism people speak with their money. If the companies and government make it more affordable to use more eco-friendly products, like electric cars and hybrids, than the people will respond. All we need is the courage and the vision to see it through. It worked before with the tobacco companies why can’t it work with oil.

It’s the only one we have. Lets make sure we take care of it.


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