Faculty Sponsor

Christopher Morgan-Knapp


A carbon tax is needed to address the negative externalities caused by carbon emissions. Increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have a direct and negative impact on net social benefit to current and future generations. Our current human population has a moral obligation to future generations and, therefore, is responsible for excess burning of fossil fuels. This essential carbon tax is needed to help wean humans off their fossil fuel reliance. One should not be concerned with the economic losses this could cause because an economy based off unlimited growth is unsustainable and must be altered. A new, sustainable economic system must be developed in order to ensure continued human prosperity. This sustainable economic system will utilize a carbon tax and also includes features proposed by Jackson (2009) in Prosperity without Growth such as a reduced work week, a transition into a service economy, and increased public investment. This paper will include a defense of the morality of a mandatory carbon tax, a discussion of its potential socio-economic benefits, and the argument that a sustainable economy is possible if swift actions are taken.