Sunday, October 4, 2015

Stopped Clock Watch: The NYeT Lets Slip On Indulgences

The Reign of Recycling - The New York Times: "He concludes that the social good would be optimized by subsidizing the recycling of some metals, and by imposing a $15 tax on each ton of trash that goes to the landfill. That tax would offset the environmental costs, chiefly the greenhouse impact, and allow each municipality to make a guilt-free choice based on local economics and its citizens’ wishes. The result, Dr. Kinnaman predicts, would be a lot less recycling than there is today.

Then why do so many public officials keep vowing to do more of it? Special-interest politics is one reason — pressure from green groups — but it’s also because recycling intuitively appeals to many voters: It makes people feel virtuous, especially affluent people who feel guilty about their enormous environmental footprint. It is less an ethical activity than a religious ritual, like the ones performed by Catholics to obtain indulgences for their sins."
It isn't often I point out a RTWT in the NYeT but here it is. Of course it still assumes that saving 1/100th of a degree of temperature rise (which is likely wrong BTW but let's concede it for argument's sake) is worth trillions of dollars. Ugh.