Friday, May 08, 2015

Yes, I still like taxes… in principle

Warning: the following blurberation is not well-researched at all but is useful to myself and hopefully others in terms of a thought process:

I’ve once again been pondering our pie-in-the-sky Kyoto dreams and how sadly they fly in the face of human nature. First, let me confess that I have absorbed zero media coverage of anything to do with the Kyoto Accord (or, if applicable, its absence, or whatever might have replaced it) for many years. I don’t know what kind of testimony I might be missing out on currently (though I’m very determined to do some research and soon) but I can’t imagine that the relevant popular systems of thought have changed a whole lot in the last ten years because it made perfect sense to me that they were popular at the time of my last reckoning and—for reasons relating to human nature which I’m confident could not have much changed since then (as much as such functionality indeed exists) —they still make perfect sense today.

So a bunch of world leaders sign an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Sounds delightful. But no dial exists for them to reach out and turn down. It is our very survival instinct, which could just as accurately be called domination instinct, which propels our collective greed and vanity and inability to curb our desires, and which gives corporations and other power structures all the leverage in the world to keep us duped. This I know from integral personal research, and I’m pretty sure no Kyoto-driven (or similar) plan incorporates evolution of consciousness drivers in order to overcome these main obstacles.

I also have no idea how to scale the kind of successful evolutionary processes I have reliably witnessed, in such a way that they might be effective not only for writer/musician/hippy types but also for the elite power-mongers who seem pretty clearly to be the only people who really matter when it comes to policy-making. Frankly I’m very confident that the elite power-mongers are incapable of meeting course pre-requisites for Evolution Of Consciousness 101. As for the endless armies of dull-minded ass holes who make up most of the realm between the two aforementioned groups, I’m currently unsure how I feel about their chances. I don’t mind tackling the math behind that but there’s an awful lot of it and now is not the time.

Have all of today’s three-and-a-half readers been scared away yet? Okay. No problem, I shall talk to myself from this point on:

It seems to me that if there is a workable global environmental plan that it would lie in taxation. We would have to understand the true costs of replacing Earth’s resources as they are depleted as well as the costs of repairing any kind of climate damage. A lot of work; yes. We then put a sustainability tax on everything that incurs either of these expenses. Thus when you buy a wooden table you must also pay for your share of adequate reforestation process. When you buy fossil fuels you must pay what it will cost to literally clean that portion of emissions from the atmosphere! Yes, this would incur a lot of research and development, and so it should!

So perhaps the gasoline for which I currently pay about $50 per week to keep my Lumina purring, would start costing me $500. I would be extremely happy about that. The price we pay for fuel is incredibly, ridiculously, vulgarly cheap no matter how boorishly indignant we all get each time it fluctuates a few pennies in the direction of realism.

Can I afford $500 a week for gas? Well, of course not and I damn well shouldn’t. But that is certainly a more proper price considering the true cost that we as a species are actually paying for such a privilege but without doing the damn accounting! We can hide these true costs because we are collectively mortgaging our species’ future health and financial prosperity and there is no way in hell we are projected to have any capacity to pay the bill! And by “we” I of course mean our children and grandchildren who by all accounting of our actions we love no more than domination instinct forces us to, no matter how sweet and gooey our paternal feelings might feel. The layers of illusions here are suffocating.

So what do I do about that $500 gasoline bill I can’t afford? Simple. Just like most people I would be forced to live and work in the same neighborhood, and the opportunities to do so would be created organically because we’d all be shuffling around accordingly. It is preposterous that we ever took the opportunity to embrace car culture and reap these extravagant, completely unnecessary logistical privileges in the first place, and no, I didn’t know any better, any more than you did. I’m fine with admitting to my own hypocrisy when called for, but this isn’t the occasion.

Our prospects for the future grow dimmer and dimmer every single day that we do not manifest sustainability. There is one lesson that everyone must learn if it isn’t already obvious: It is a mathematical certainty; a certainty of logic: Sustainability is inevitable. But the sooner we make it happen the better the deal we cut for ourselves. If we never embrace it then nature will serve the deal to us in the end, entirely on nature’s terms and it will be the worst possible dish for us to swallow; perhaps devastating; almost certainly a dish that will derail are most basic societal structures and expose our inherent beastliness. This is a principle of simple logic. Just how unsavory the dish—is debatable. The principle is not.

No comments: