...and here are five more ideas for solving collective action problems (see yesterday's post) that caught my eye.
Anna O. suggested that carbon taxes be introduced, and that revenue used to offset a end to/reduction in income taxes for people making less than $22,500/up to $77,500, respectively. I liked this idea because the majority (of voters) would probably understand their net benefit and vote for it, in the face of lobbying by the minority -- high carbon consumers. The tax is fiscally neutral but environmentally helpful.
Candace A. introduces a different nuance to carbon taxes, suggesting that above-median polluting firms pay a tax and below-median firms receive a rebate. Instead of creating a united opposition to taxes on all carbon, this idea would split the opposition, since low-carbon firms would lobby for it, in opposition to their heavy-pollution cousins.
Julia A. suggests broadening the pool of those eligible to work on renewable energy (wind farming, for example) to include scientists, non-profits, schools and communities. Since they are currently excluded from power generation (my impression is that it's "managed" by utilities and bureaucracies), this additional involvement would increase innovation and public support for these programs.
Ryan L. goes straight for propaganda, suggesting that environmental programs (carbon taxes, wind farms, etc.) be branded, so that people can have stronger positive feelings towards "save the kids" programs. In Brazil, for example, the "bolsa familia" (family grant) is part of its Zero Fome (zero hunger) campaign. It seems that rebranding "taxes" would also be useful.
Stephanie L. promotes environmental justice by "empowering" poor people likely to suffer from local pollution. She suggests that local community organizations be mobilized to educate locals on issues, increasing feedback to bureaucrats and votes to politicians who will be forced to respond to this democratic noise.
Bottom Line: New ideas require new perspectives. What have you learned from "amateurs" lately?