“i” is for island.
iClimateCredits are incentives that reward those who transition from gasoline to better, more healthful alternatives. The reward money comes from those who buy lots of gasoline. So those who thoughtlessly drive gas guzzlers also get an incentive: to make more responsible choices. Everyone on Kauai participates in the transition.
Examples: You might make a better shopping list, combine trips, grab a neighbor for the beach, plan ahead better, shop closer to home, ride your bike or the bus, or use an electric mower. You figure it out.
With 80,000 people thinking, the solutions will come.
For the Keiki
Don’t cry dragon,
unless there’s a real dragon,
not even in Hanelei.
Some claim global warming is a myth, like a dragon, nothing to fear. But we have started to notice the warming, droughts and floods. The smartest people say by the time we realize the enormity, it will be too late.
“Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea,
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.”
Global warming will attack our children most. If it melts the permafrost, releasing it’s methane, scientists say the heating will become humanly unstoppable. …If this happens, then probably trillions of life forms will die, including millions of species, and perhaps even humans will go extinct.
DRAGON! …Dead ahead! So we will transition to healthy fuels.
Finding hope & courage
“Why should I use less gas, when others are doing nothing?”
Most want to avoid global warming, but lack hope or courage. They fear the dragon. They are hoping someone else will fight it. Some have taken courageous steps forward, but because their efforts haven’t been matched by others, they can’t win. It’s seems hopeless. So we do little or nothing. Time is running out. The dragon gets bigger and more dangerous.
How we win – finding hope and courage: To slay the global warming dragon it will take everyone working together; a few well meaning people can’t do it.
So first iClimateCredits proposes everyone, island wide, be included in the transition to healthy transportation. This will give us the hope and courage we need to win. When people feel everyone is going to share the transition fairly, then people joyfully pitch in and do their part.
How to stop global-warming
Dr. James Hansen, Former head of NASA’s Goddard Space Science Lab, introduces the “carbon fee and dividend” idea, which iClimateCredits is based on.
This is his interview with Democracy Now, at the largest gathering of world leaders ever! Held Dec, 2015 in Paris, it was the COP21, or the 21’st Conference of Parties, to address the unfolding global-warming crisis.
How Climate Credits Work
iClimateCredits works similar to the bottle bill.
We all pay an extra deposit at the pump when we buy gas. Gasoline vendors collect the deposit as a gas tax.
But unlike a conventional tax the money collected is put into a trust fund. Then periodically it’s 100% paid back to all Kauai residents in equal sized disbursement checks, or “Climate Credits”.
Your incentive is what you get back in credits less what you pay in deposits. If you buy lots of fuel you will end up paying more deposits, and the extra amount will go to those who buy less fuel as their reward. Here is a popup with 3 examples.
It moves us into a new era.
Mason K. Chock, Kauai County Council member:
“Love this idea. How do we get iclimate credit started here?”
Proof it works
Fortunately we don’t have to guess weather climate incentives work,
we can see below that they do, and by how much.
- Enacted 2008: British Columbia fossil fuel use was lowered 17.4% in only 5 years, with what they called “a carbon tax and accompanying tax shift“, which is essentially the same as iClimateCredits but with a different name. You might enjoy how this was passed.
- Also California Climate Credits cause large electricity producers to use less fossil fuel. Residents get a Climate Credit at the end of each year on their utility bill. The money comes from an extra fee companies pay for burning fossil fuel to generate electricity.
* Less driving means less traffic congestion, and without spending any new road money. Also road wear and tear is reduced saving road maintenance cost.
* The extra deposit tourists pay at the pump goes to Kauai residents to bolster our economy. It helps make visitors more responsible with their driving, and economically encourages hotel shuttle buses. Because Kauai becomes a energy transition leader, it makes Kauai an even more special place to visit. And when visitors return home, they have a new idea for their community thus compounding our efforts.
* Encourages democracy: Probably the easiest way to disperse credit checks to all Kauai residents is to send the checks to all registered voters. Those who are of driving age, but not yet of voting age, can sign up using the existing voter registration form with a single additional check box added to it, which denotes that the signers is only registering for the climate credit, and not to vote. This also encourages people to registered to vote. Then when young drivers turn 18 they will automatically be registered to vote with no further action required on their part.
Human nature is to do “too little, too late”.
In New World New Mind Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich investigate why even well educated humans tend to make a class of mistakes which put today’s priorities ahead of tomorrows, even when we have facts which would suggest otherwise. They suggest it’s the way our brains evolved in a world very different from today. What once worked for our survival isn’t working any more. Short term decisions made sense in a primitive world. But in an advanced culture, one in which short term decisions can destroy the world, short term thinking fails.
Ornstein & Ehrlich say if we are to survive, we need to learn to make decision based on statistics rather than our gut instinct.
Physics doesn’t allow for human mistakes. Nor does it give us a break for our effort. We must recognize what’s at stake, which is all life on earth. We must work very hard to quickly do all we can to limit future temperature increases. By now Earth is +1ºC (1.8ºF) warmer. By the end of this century it is hard to imagine what 4ºC might be like.
Fortunately we can choose healthy energy for our future.
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon1
When evidence of global warming upturns our world view, fear stops us from moving forward. We minimize, avoid, rationalize, make excuses, justify, and sometimes even accept the evidence, but without acting appropriately.
To resolve cognitive dissonance we change our beliefs or actions, or find ways to integrate the opposing beliefs and actions.
Investigate the evidence yourself and make up your own mind. Here are some resources I’ve compiled to help.
I believe your future will depend upon it.
“I used to think that I was cool
Driving around on fossil fuel
Till I found out that what I was doin’
Was driving down the road to ruin.”
— James Taylor
FFAA (pronounced ‘eFA’) is Fossil Fuel Addicts Anonymous
In recovery we have something called 100% honesty. It helps you see half truths like, “We can keep using fossil fuels for awhile longer”, or “I only use a little”, or “I’m already cutting back”, or “But I need to go to the store”. The truth is fossil fuels are killing us. We must do all we can today to get free of them. There is healthy and sustainable energy, but it will take work. No we won’t get free of the junk today, but we must take steps today.
I always thought someone else was the addict, I was above that. I was in control and could stop at any time. Right. Addiction is when:
v What you are using is bad for you,
v To feel “ok” you have been increasing your use with time, and
v You can’t stop your use, no matter how hard you try.
An addiction is a shortcut. In the short term, another tank will make you feel okay, but in the long term it will kill us.
Recovery involves rebuilding your emotional foundation. It involves looking deeply at your underlying values and taking many small steps forward.
Admitting to being a fossil fuel addict is the first step to recovery, and this is often the hardest step. With it comes a sense of great loss, but also a sense of future where there was none before.
Your next step is seeking help. Addiction recovery is not something that can be done alone. Addiction recovery will take time, dedication and work. You must want to get free of the junk, want life, and be willing to do whatever it takes. Expect that it will take some time to get healthy. You can get free of oil, gas and coal. But beware, for if you want your health back because “we” will think more of you, you will fail. You must want your health back for yourself.
I plan on developing a program
to help those who seek this transition to healthy energy.
Parental Rights & Responsibilities
Because population size is a resource multiplier, no discussion of global warming would be complete without considering our personal choices related to population growth1.
“Would I want to bring someone into this world,
who I would dearly love,
knowing what was coming in their life time?”
I think it’s a basic human right for families to decide how many children to have. But with rights come responsibilities. And with the right to conceive, comes the responsibility to learn about how population growth will affect that child’s future for the next 70+ years, and based on this to make intelligent family size decisions, most importantly putting any possible child’s interests first, even if that means not conceiving at all.
I think it’s hard to imagine that even a single child
should now be born into what’s coming.
Adding people to earth at this point is more than irresponsible, it’s quite frankly child abuse, no different really than penning animals without hope for proper food, nor care at they mature. Upon us is a rapidly unfolding, and dauntingly horrific, 6th global mass extinction (ref: Elizabeth Kolbert‘s award winning book) occurring partly due to too many people on earth.
Those born into global warming won’t have any say in the matter once they’re here. From the lack of human corrective actions globally, it’s looking like they will face a 4°C world. Real love is not what the adult gets, it’s what the adult gives, and it’s wanting the very best for every child already born, even if it means limiting growth so those already here have a chance.
With too much human activity has come earth’s warming, crop failure, hunger, food wars, and mass refugees. 1 in roughly 100 people on earth are currently a refugee. Syria is a prime example, and the rest of the world is not far from a similar fate. So at this point, adults need to think long and hard whether to bring additional keiki into this world. But it is your choice.
And I end with this moral question: “What right do humans have to continue to survive as a species, when we have visited so much death on other species on this planet?”
…So I would have loved to have kids of my own. But knowing what I have long known about carbon dioxide buildup and more global warming, I deliberately decided about 20 years ago not to have children in favor of giving the other species a chance of living. Not because I didn’t like children, nor that I wouldn’t have dearly loved to have a son or daughter, but because it wasn’t fair for THEM, knowing what I knew was surely coming in their lifetime: This coming hell on earth.
Instead I adopted this American Indian tradition: There were always some in the tribe who could not have children, for whatever reason. They were given the special responsibility to help provide and protect for all of the tribe’s children. They had time for the bigger challenges that parents were too busy for, like looking for new hunting grounds, or taking care of and teaching all the children.
For the children already here, they need to be taught what’s coming and be given skills like flexibility, adaptability, and conservation to have any hope of surviving the increasing heat and famine.
- A common misconception is that 2 child families will give us population stabilization. Actually because of an effect called demographic momentum even if all families were 2 child families our population would continue to grow for about 70 years. This is due to the larger proportion of people in the childbearing years than in old age. For zero growth one must die for one born. But when there are many more being born than dying the population will grow even if parents are only having on average 2 children per family. This was first explained to me by the late Meredith M. Burke, ph.d. demographer. Only something very near to 1 child families will give us population stabilization. Thus for a population reduction we would need many families to have zero children.
- The IPCC projections for 21st century temperature rise are highly dependent on expected world population growth (see page 10 & 11 of this report and read about the RCP factors). Clearly from their predictions any reductions of human population will greatly help us lower future temperature increases.
It's win, win, win!
Kauai’s iClimateCredits will help reduce global warming, lessen traffic congestion and road wear, bolster our economy, strengthen democracy, and remarkably does these all at the same time, and fairly.
To pay for the administration cost of iCC the money in the trust fund can carefully accrue interest. So no tax money will probably be required to implement iCC.
And here is one we are protecting:
Total cost: $0
One terrible solution
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
There is one option to avert human and global extinction I’ve not been willing to consider, till now:
What if, as a desperate attempt for the human species to survive and not become extinct (as has been predicted by at least one prominent scientist) some humans could wipe out the other 99.9% of humans, and do it soon, like in the next 10 years, via germ warfare or the like?
To be successful it would have to stop the positive feedback loop of the arctic and sea floor methane release, so this solution would have to happen rather quickly.
Because the existing excess atmospheric CO2 will remain in the atmosphere for a very long time (about 1000 years), even with 99% of humans gone temperatures will probably still rise for quite some time, but this might lessen the total species loss considerably and allow a few humans to squeak by the extinction.
Or do I jump ahead too much for you? Do we need to see what another 10 or 20 years brings first? Who knows?
But I hope some capable people are considering this option as one of the many possible solutions, because so far, I haven’t seen any other solutions that will occur fast and forcefully enough to prevent “terracide” (earth-death).
I don’t know what we have become,
but if it has come to this,
then it has come to this.
Over 35 years ago I designed and built the instrument controller so atmospheric physics professor Dr. George Dawson could measure CO2 in Tucson. I keep looking back over my shoulder to remember how far ahead he was.
The petition below sends email to Kauai’s Mayor and County Council to say you want a Global Warming Commission and support iCC. When Kauai County officials see enough support they will most likely implement iCC.
Important: After you click “SIGN NOW” open your email tool and click the link to actually send your petitions to Kauai’s elected government officials. (Your petition won’t be sent until you verify your email address.)
Tell Mayor & County Council you support iClimateCreditsRead or edit the petition
- Help organize: