Essay Justice Environment
Would a tax on pollution, or an offset mechanism be a just proposal?
Human activities are major producers of pollution that threatens the environment and the wellbeing of people. Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and methane are some of the most
common pollutants. Pollution threatens the present and future wellbeing of people. There is also consensus among scientists that carbon dioxide emissions due to anthropogenic activities are a
significant cause of global climate change that have been worsening the living standards of many people and will continue worsening them. Given the effects of pollution, would it be just if there
were compensations for pollution, a tax on products and services that produce pollution, or another fiscal mechanism that would require those who pollute to offset their pollution? The purpose of
these fiscal mechanisms would be to discourage pollution of all kinds, and to support non-polluting and renewable services and products.
examine in the light of conceptions of justice due to Nozick or Rawls whether a (a) financial compensation for pollution or a (b) pollution tax or (c) other financial mechanism would be just. Your
goal is to offer a moral argument for or against the tax/financial offset by applying the conception of justice by either Nozick or Rawls to this problem. That is, examine whether it would be just
according to Rawls or Nozick to introduce such a tax or offset mechanism. Examine in detail how would Nozick or Rawls reply to that argument. A clarification. If you choose to apply, say, Nozick’s
argument to the issue of carbon/pollution tax, consider how would Rawls reply to that argument. Conversely, if you apply Rawls’s conception of justice, examine how Nozick would reply. Evaluate both
the argument and the reply.
1. Intro, consisting of maximum 3 brief sentences, which succinctly state your argument. The intro should articulate the thesis of your essay and its supporting reasons. E.g., I argue that …..
Nozick’s conception does not address ….
2. Explain how a certain type pollution endangers the wellbeing of people and how a pollution tax, or offset mechanism might, if possible, help remedy the situation. Document your sources.
3. Explain the view of Rawls or Nozick on justice.
4. Formulate a moral argument for or against requiring pollution offset mechanism, compensation or tax in light of the view on justice by Rawls (or Nozick).
5. What would Nozick (or Rawls) reply? Explain the view on justice that you will be using to formulate the reply.
6. Do you agree with Nozick’s and Rawls’s arguments? Justify.