Ancillary #6

People may say that carbon tax policy is useless because the benefits it brings are not practical — our technological development and exploration for green energy cannot keep pace with our urgent needs for them to solve climate change. Especially for the production side, even if firms immediately react to our policy by stopping pollutive manufacturing and innovating for green technology, they need a significant amount of time to actually achieve results. This is understandable because research and development are hard. The problem is, under the worsening climate changes, what we are lack is time. As Larry Elliott discussed in his article, along with Stern’s perspective, “all the major car-makers now accept that the era of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end … but the speed of action is still far too slow”, therefore “fossil fuels will still account for more than 50% of energy consumption by 2050”. How the car-making industry improves represents how people see the urgency to stop burning fossil fuels and begin to try more environmentally friendly energy. This aligns with what we want to be the impact of carbon tax policies — making firms innovate. However, the data followed shows that we still largely depend on polluting input like fossil fuels in our production in the next 30 years, which means that our development for new green energy is far too slow. We have already had a temperature rise per decade in the past 30 years (0.18 degree C) twice as much as it was since 1880, which already brings severe storms, increased droughts, loss of species, etc (Lindsey and Dahlman). For another 30 years burning fossil fuels as we do now, who knows how detrimental our living conditions would be. Therefore, Elliott and Stern correctly identify a detrimental problem that carbon tax could not solve. However, does this mean that our carbon tax policy is worthless? No. The policy is the first step, initiating the movement for companies and individuals to protect our Earth. Without the policy, people don’t even try to produce green, which is worse. The problem discussed here — exploring new energy too slow — would not revoke the effect of our policy. It is our realization of our inability during the movement. Knowing that we aren’t capable of dealing with the urgent climate change problem with ease, we are inspired to prioritize it more and put in more effort. Here comes a follow-up question: how could we put even more effort into solving climate change, along with the carbon tax policy?

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