It is widely accepted that a carbon tax (with appropriate taxpayer rebates) would be the most effective and just way to reduce carbon emissions and that it is time to address the global (and intergenerational) injustice of climate change. While we seek enactment of such a tax, we can personally choose a Voluntary Carbon Tax now. We can start; we don’t need anyone’s approval.

We live in a carbon culture and all of us are complicit. We don’t have to be pure to undertake this voluntary action. Those who choose to do so pledge either an amount per quarter (or month or year), or a selected percent for one or more personal carbon-use expenditures on:

  • home heating
  • electricity
  • driving
  • other transportation

The amount of one’s pledge is confidential; the choice to participate may or may not be made public. The amount is less important than making and keeping the pledge. In the case of individuals joining as a group for mutual support, the group may choose a steward to collect the individual contributions each month/quarter. The group may then decide together which environmental effort should receive the periods collected funds.

Emily Dickinson wrote, “I live in possibility”. Choosing a Voluntary Carbon Tax is a big step toward doing so. Climate change is complex and overwhelming. While the choice to participate in a voluntary carbon tax can be done individually, doing it as a group of three or more builds common purpose and community and feels much more powerful. The group shares ideas, supports each other and enlarges the impact. Others knowing of the action may also be inspired.

Start a group with those who share your values and beliefs. Creating a group increases our sense of purpose, stewardship and hope; it becomes an invitation for others.

Speaking truth to ourselves and each other: by 2030 our children or grandchildren will live in a world where 50% of humanity is experiencing water scarcity. Before we speak truth to power we must speak truth to ourselves and to each other.


This summary description may be downloaded as a Word file here.