March 17, 2008


Am I the only person who finds the following news item totally outrageous?

Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday, Feb. 1, 2008 posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $40.6 billion - as the world's biggest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end. (Donna Mcwilliam - AP)

As good corporate citizens shouldn’t Exxon Mobil give a thought to their responsibility for climate change, especially considering the huge part they play in contributing to the problem? As they themselves point out, they’re drivers too! Surely they could spare, let’s say for the sake of argument, a billion dollars. Imagine for a moment what a billion dollars worth of research could do to further the development of a zero emissions electric or hydrogen fuel cell automobile. I’m just saying …

In keeping with progressive thinking about global warming the province of British Columbia has recently introduced an escalating carbon tax on most fossil fuels. This carbon tax will start at a rate based on $10 per tonne of carbon emissions and rise $5 a year to $30 per tonne by the year 2012.

This to me seems like a sensible solution. Our society is driven by money and it is money that has gotten us into the climatic mess we find ourselves in. Unless we change our fundamental values as a society, money is the only thing that is going to get us out of this mess. So by charging people for the carbon they produce we make them think about environmental responsibility in very real terms. Produce more carbon, pay more carbon tax.

I am thinking that many people will adjust there lifestyle in order to pay less carbon tax. If you are like me and ride a bicycle or walk to get where you are going you pay no tax. If you drive a socially unacceptable vehicle (S.U.V.) then you will be taxed at the rate that you use it. This seems like a fair and sensible way to make people pay for the environmental damage that they are responsible for. The province of British Columbia is to be commended for this forward thinking legislation.

At least in British Columbia, now Exxon Mobil will have to put its money where its mouth is.


MojoMan said...

I don't see much point in blaming oil companies for our consumption of fossil fuels. They simply supply what we demand. I think a tax on fossil fuels is a great way to go, as long as the money is used to fund things like energy saving technologies research and incentives for other environment friendly activities. Only higher prices will reduce demand for oil (especially here in the US). People are all too willing to ignore the reality of what's going on and will not voluntarily cut back on energy use.

April said...

I'm from B.C., and I don't mind a carbon tax, as long as the government takes into consideration the people living in rural areas, who depend on their vehicles to get them places. My husband and I live in the country, and we don't have public transit, and we can only walk and bicycle so far. However, we do drive a fuel efficient car and are very conscious of the environment. A great post!

P.S. I have tagged you to participate in the Six Word Memoir meme. Please see the rules in my 'Welcome Spring' post at