Do we really need to think that hard to solve this one??? C’mon!

It’s late and phone sex service is not available, so I decided to reflect on a solution! Subsequent to my reading of the course article entitled “Economic man, cleaner planet”, I became enlightened by the market-based solutions proposed in the article (as an alternative or complement to conventional “command & control” approach such as heavy regulation)
My solution is simple:
– You want to flush the toilet 35 times per day – PAY FOR IT!!! (i.e. scaled rates beyond a linear cost model…)
– You want to let your lights running all day – PAY FOR IT!!!! (we already have a scaled-rate system in Canada)
– You want an big SUV with an 8 cylinder engine that runs on gasoline? – PAY FOR IT!!! (e.g. additional taxes based on emissions output ratio)
I really believe in the market-based approach. Price sensitivity is a universal concept (mostly anyways), which can very effectively alter purchasing patterns and consumer behavior. Couple this (i.e. pricing strategy upheld by government at the retail level geared towards pricing commensurate with environmental footprint) with a marketing campaign to educate and continue to raise awareness and I believe results would be better than actual (in Canada anyway). If I reflect on Canadian practices (e.g. washing our driveways as Genevieve mentioned), we are definitely not using our scare resources in an efficient manner (i.e. extremely poor service efficiency ratio!!!)
Pressure at the retail level will filter its way up the chain. In addition, how about companies having to contribute to a environment fund based on their environmental footprints (which would really incentivize them!).
All of this seems so obvious…but we don’t need rocket-science to figure this one out! The difficulty lies in the behavioral change needed and this can only come with a highly level of consciousness that comes with education.
I ask: would this be difficult?
Peace in the Middle East,

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Posted in sustainable living
3 comments on “Do we really need to think that hard to solve this one??? C’mon!
  1. adam says:

    Good article Adam, but do you realize how your solution is quite narrow in the sense that it does nothing to solve the issue for those currently experiencing severe water problems. Whoops! I do recognize this now Adam. Thanks.

  2. jeremy says:

    sAdam, before you start beating yourself up too much, reflect some more: why is it that people in Egypt are in such dire straits? Answer: (i) poor ecological management in that part of the world for milennia (go and read “Collapse” by Jared Diamond), and (ii) climate change brought about by the C02 emissions from Canada and elsewhere. The current conflict in Dafur, for example, is as much to do with GHG-induced drought as religion and politics (the standard explanation). Go and google this topic and see for yourself. In summary, your initial analysis still stands … unless people in the West are made to pay for their ecologically destructive habits, we’ll be seeing a lot more videos like this one.

  3. craig says:

    sAdam is probable more appropriate. Paradigm shift young man. The basic problem with the neo-classic model you cling to as an ardent economist is that the rich will go to the toilet 50 times a day as a status symbol in some countries.
    Seriously though, my opinion is that it would have some impact if you priced the water consumption appropriately, and it would be an impact in the right dirrection. The problem is the rich tend to waste as a status symbol or create something unstatanable like Las Vagas. Vagas is there purely because the money passing though can support it. Relocate it somewhere else in the US, and it would not be so unsustainable.
    Another good example is Good looking hotel way beyong my means, and can be nothing but a drain on resources. It has the worlds largest atrium. It costs between $1,000 and $28000 to stay. Hate to see the environmental footprint of this place on the edge of a desert

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