3.03.2008

Level the Playing Field for Cities

Yet another reason why if you're a city lover, you should be for a carbon tax: suburbanites currently don't pay their fair share of the environmental impact of their low-density living. That's according to Edward Glaeser's recent article in the Boston Globe: "A Level Playing Field for Cities."

Apparently suburbanites’ buying 85 percent more gas equates to two more tons of carbon dioxide emissions per household per year. And I love Glaeser’s slight dig on Thoreau, but it’s true – high-density living, not bucolic serenity, is the best formula for environmental stewardship.

It’s cool if you like the burbs; in this country, we’re free to live wherever we can and want to. But a carbon tax would equal out the environmental equation, reducing our current levels of excess pollution and consumption that result from under-pricing carbon. And cities would, in this case, rightly gain from that redistribution.
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