We must learn how human actions - both individual and collective - affect the natural systems that sustain life. We must find our place in the global ecosystem, and appreciate the interdependence of the natural world and human societies.
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The concept of "Sustainable Development" came into the consciousness of many people following the first major international conference on environmental issues sponsored by the United Nations in Stockholm, Sweden in 1972.
While many definitions of the term have been introduced over the years, the most commonly cited definition comes from the report Our Common Future, more commonly known as the Brundtland Report, which states that sustainable development is development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
But what does this mean? What are the needs of the present? How do we decide whose needs are met? Poor or rich people? Citizens or immigrants? People living in cities or in the countryside? People in one country or another?You or your neighbor? The environment or the corporation? This generation or the next generation? When there has to be a trade off, whose needs should go first?
How can you contribute to the cause? People are dying everyday because of this devastating, but preventable, disease. The fight against cancer can be less uphill if we gather a lot of people to make even small, simple steps. *For every 1,000 downloads of this toolbar, $100 will be immediately donated to the American Lung Association.
Pass the word. Tell your friends. You’re not only installing a toolbar, you’re investing in a cause that will save the lives of millions all over the world.
Tazmania is clearfelling its native, old-growth forests at an astonishing rate and this continued destruction is affecting so much as a result. The true story of Tazmania's logging Industry is both devistating and unbelievable! Protected species are NOT being protected as forests are totally eradicated; complete felling of the area followed by the dropping of napalm means no life can continue to survive. The Government is allowing this, both through political corruption and continued funding (bribery) by the logging Industries, to happen.
A Green Tax Shift is a way to address global warming, create jobs, save the environment, strengthen our economy and reduce our dependence on middle eastern oil, all at the same time. For greenhouse emissions, it could involve reducing income tax for low income earners and increasing the tax on coal (=electricity), oil, gas, beef, milk and cement. The increase in tax on each product would depend on the amount of greenhouse emissions from it. The decrease in income tax would be set so that government revenue was unchanged. Income tax at the low end would be the best option for the decrease because it would result in the least change in the distribution of wealth and would create more jobs. Petrol will not bear the brunt of the price increases because it causes only a small fraction of our greenhouse emissions.
This method of reducing greenhouse emissions is preferred by economists. If you consider the negative impacts of global warming to have real economic value (ie, would people pay to get rid of them?) then it will actually strengthen the economy. This is because not charging companies for the right to pollute is effectively subsidising pollution.
A green tax shift is better than carbon trading because society is effectively renting out the right to pollute, rather than giving the rights away for free. It allows you to reduce other taxes to offset the increase in the price of petrol etc, rather than just having an increase in price with the extra money going to oil companies. It is also the more moral choice, because the right to clean air should rest first and foremost with the public, rather than the right to pollute resting with companies.
A Green Tax Shift is more flexible, as the taxes can be adjusted as is necessary or as more information about global warming becomes available. Overtaxing slightly will not harm the economy as it will just be an alternative form of revenue raising. Carbon trading may require governments to buy back emissions rights at hugely inflated prices (= profits for greenhouse emitters). Or, as is currently the case, the emissions rights may become worthless due to minor adjustments made by industry that have a big impact on effiency, or other changes that limit industrial activity in participating countries.
A Green Tax Shift does not require international agreements because it does not place a country at a competitive disadvantage.