Many people in Kauai want to protect our island, reduce congestion and help stop global warming, but only if they think everyone is going to join together, so the challenge is shared equally and fairly by all.
iClimateCredit is a new, conservative way, to fix Kauai road issues, and stop global warming at the same time.
It’s better, smarter, and cheaper than the .5 percent GET tax increase currently on the table to fund new road projects.
iClimateCredit fairly rewards good behavior and gets everyone in the game.
People who combine driving trips, reduce congestion and help protect the earth will be rewarded. But if you choose to drive lots of miles, alone, in a gas guzzler, you will pay more.
iClimateCredit is revenue neutral or generates no new money for government. Instead, we all pay an extra deposit at the pump when you buy gas. It then gets 100 percent refunded to the public as a whole, divided equally on a per-capita basis at year’s end to all Kauai residents.
Thus, residents get a yearly climate credit check in the mail. Those who help reduce gridlock with less driving come out ahead. For example, to avoid extra trips, we can all make a better shopping list. Those who drive more pay more. It helps with congestion, and gives us a chance to stop global warming.
When the majority drive a little less, the congestion and road wear will decrease.
iClimateCredit is similar to the bottle bill, in that it incentivizes good behavior. We know the principle works, because it’s already being used everywhere. It’s human nature. Ask yourself, when was the last time you got a check for good behavior, and what effect did that have on you?
The current 0.5 percent GET tax increase proposal sounds like not much, but it’s really 12.5% more tax that we pay now; or equal to 0.5 percent divided by 4 percent.
They hope a few will ride the bus to save the Earth and lessen congestion, but there is no real incentive for people to ride the bus, their bike or even to drive a little less with the GET tax bill. So while this tax might temporarily fix a little of the congestion with some new road projects, sadly before long, roads will surly gridlock again. I think the GET tax increase is really pro-dinosaur-juice, and clearly the old way of thinking, when in-fact we have major global warming dead-ahead and need to re-think the future now.
iClimateCredit gives tourists an incentive to drive less, and because credits are limited to residents, tourist trips make your yearly check bigger.
You could say this is better than the GET tax idea, it’s the modified version, it’s the GETS tax, because we all getS it back.
While I admire the people who have worked hard to put the GET tax idea forward, let’s face it, tax and spend on roads, in a warming world as carbon dioxide builds up, is a dinosaur idea. Most everyone gets it that we need to drive internal combustion engine cars less. We need to encourage alternative energy. We need to use less blacktop made from oil.
Island Climate Credits (not associated with Apple).
Malama i ka ‘Aina: Take care of the land
Howard Johnson is a resident of Kapaa.