Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We need demand-side environmentalism

A lot of current environmentalism is supply-side. It goes like this: 
  • Demonize fossil-fuel producers
  • Interfere with fossil-fuel production and transport
  • Divest from fossil-fuel producers
  • Create non-fossil-fuel sources of energy
This is akin to trying to stop Niagara Falls with umbrellas. And creating more energy just adds to the volume of water coming over.

Here is a simple plan for demand-side environmentalism:
  • Stop wasting energy
  • Expose now-unseen subsidy of autos and sprawl
  • Change how people live
  • Lower the birth rate
Making public transit fare-free starts us on that path. The good news is, you don't have to wait for the federal government. You can have free transit in your town or city for about 60 basis points of tax.