If full environmental costs were embedded into consumer products pricing, then the price of high environmental cost consumer products would rise, making them less affordable and so their consumption would fall. Rampant consumerism is unaffordable to the planet anyway. But what we pay for consumer items is artificially subsidised by leaving out the environmental impact costs. Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, developed countries have partied with free lunches, and now we are learning that there is not such thing long term. The planet and its nature is now paying for that free lunch. We need only read the next article below by Bandicoot 12th November, 'Are we witnessing the death of our planet?'
Conspicuous consumption and decadence deserves taxing, because its costs are destructive on the planet and need to be curbed.
I propose a 'planet cost' measure on all products and services globally. This being the full lifecycle cost of a product/service in terms of its environmental cost on the planet - from manufacturing/procurement, inventory, marketing, distribution, to its consumption and waste ('dust to dust' so to speak).
Planet cost needs to be mitigated by imposing behavioural changes on human consumption. Carrots only encouraged those who want to change, so a behavioural stick (aka a 'planet tax') is needed for those conspicuous consumers who don't and who don't give a rats.
In order to determine the tax rate, simply apply a planet impact global test base on severity and scale relative to the other products/services.
So a plastic bottle of phosphate-based laundry detergent used in standard sewerage (so 20th C) would be priced at $30, whereas a reusable glass bottle of phosphate-free detergent used in a grey water reuse system would cost only $15. With such disparate pricing, behavioural change wouldn't take long!
"Some of the money spent on Christmas wrapping paper, decorations, and unwanted gifts might do some good feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and tending the sick." [Austin Cline, Austin Cline's Agnosticism / Atheism Guide].
Do the planet a favour, buy fewer xmas gifts. Catch up with family and friends instead!
Snowy River Region