Climate change “commons” idea

Most people think the way to show the societal cost of carbon pollution is via carbon tax, rather than leaving it an externality.

There is another way I just thought of.

I have never heard anyone discuss it.


A carbon deficit. That is, the government pays a fee for the carbon its society produces. It goes to the national deficit as a huge unpaid bill. Though no one party is hit for their contribution.

It makes the externality an explicit cost but doesn’t face the “don’t blame me” problem of a tax.

And it let’s us use OTHER perhaps less directly linked revenue sources to find the problem.

Like the military budget. We don’t tax the vulnerable.

Or like roads. We don’t tax the truck drivers really. It’s a common good.