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Should individuals be taxed on the carbon emissions they produce, in order to encourage...

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denotes | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 25, 2012 at 5:57 PM via web

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Should individuals be taxed on the carbon emissions they produce, in order to encourage greater personal responsibility and more environmentally friendly behaviour? 
  • Should individuals be taxed on the carbon emissions they produce, in order to encourage greater personal responsibility and more environmentally friendly behaviour? 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:12 PM (Answer #2)

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I think this would be a good idea.  A carbon tax would make energy use more expensive.  If this happened, companies would soon find ways to use less energy.  With a carbon tax, companies would have an incentive to use less energy, but the government would not be telling them exactly how to do so.  This would allow the private sector (which is more creative) to come up with solutions for the problem of excess energy use.

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 25, 2012 at 6:49 PM (Answer #3)

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It's a great idea but would be really difficult to impose and enforce.

If you were going to tax automobiles for the carbon emissions, how would you track the amount of carbon created by each vehicle? You couldn't simply add another tax to the price of gasoline, because different models would create different amounts of waste, as would different particular vehicles within the same model, make and year depending upon the load being transported, the speed and conditions with which the vehicle was being driven, how recently it had been tuned up for most efficient performance, and so on. This means you couldn't add a given amount for every vehicle within a particular class, either.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM (Answer #4)

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I like this idea, it might make individuals more aware of the environment. But, would you also tax large corporations in the same manner? If legislation was proposed, I wonder how much resistance it would meet. We only have one planet--we should take better care of it for future generations.

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