How about an aviation tax?

 A study published last year concluded that half of the CO2 emitted by the global aviation industry is caused by flights taken by just 1% of the population.

In the UK 70% of flights are taken by 15% of the population.

And there are plenty of other statistics where those came from - all pointing to the conclusion that the wealthy few are responsible for the majority of aviation emissions, especially since it seems that private jet travel has quietly jumped in popularity since the decline of commercial international services due to Covid-19.

A few rich people are subjecting all of the rest of the people to the climatic consequences of their jetset lifestyle. Of course whether or not we would happily enjoy that lifestyle if we could is another subject.

What to do about this clearly inequitable situation?

A popular opinion on this is that a flight tax would be a good idea: User pays. At first glance this would appear to be a fair solution. Well, if not a solution - an approach. But where would that money go? Most likely straight into the coffers of the governments collecting it.

I've got a better idea.

Each year every person over 18 could be issued with a number of 'air miles', so that the total air miles issued would equate to the total miles currently being flown. If a person used all of their allocation within the year and wished to travel further, they would have to buy more air miles on the open market. 

So if I had no plans to fly anywhere this year (and the majority of people don't), but I did plan to buy a new fridge, I could sell my allocation on the open market via an online auction system.

Computers do this stuff easily and so management of the scheme, if challenging to start with, would certainly not be difficult. I expect the government would want to clip the ticket along the way but that's to be expected. Of course they would direct the money towards environmental initiatives - wouldn't they?

In this way those who wish to fly a lot could do so - if they could afford it, and those who do not wish to fly could benefit from those who do. This would surely amount to an ongoing, fair and transparent re-distribution of wealth which would benefit all concerned.

The jetsetters would get to keep jetsetting, the stay-at-homers could earn a bit of extra money, the government  would get to collect some extra revenue, and most of that could go towards  environmental concerns. Seems like a win win win win to me.

So that's sorted out aviation. Now what do we do about rice?

Rice? 

Yes - the greenhouse gas emissions from rice growing around the world are equal to those of the global aviation industry.

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