Earth Equity News, September 13, 2009

French Carbon Tax Plan Stirs Controversy.


Achieving 'Food Democracy'

September 13, 2009 | Source: Climate Crisis Coalition | by

French Carbon Tax Plan Stirs Controversy
UPI, September 4, 2009.
“Paris is planning to introduce a carbon tax — a controversial move
that could significantly boost energy efficiency behavior in France.
Championed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the carbon tax is part
of Paris’ plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change
and become less dependent on fuel imports. To be placed on transport
and household fuels, the tax is due to come into effect next year, with
its exact scale under intense debate. Prime Minister Francois Fillon
said in an interview with French weekly Figaro that Paris intends to
set the initial price at $20 for a metric ton of carbon dioxide. That
price will then gradually increase until 2030. The French opposition
has blasted the plan, saying big-time energy utilities should be taxed
exclusively. Socialist leader Segolene Royal, who in 2007 ran against
Sarkozy for president, said the tax would be unfair to low-income
citizens dependent on driving their car. A $20 carbon tax would add
$0.18 to the price tag of 1 gallon of unleaded fuel, based on French
government estimates. A poll by census company CSA found 74% of
respondents oppose a carbon tax, with 56% of those very opposed. But
environmental groups have lauded the plan, saying it has the potential
to significantly alter energy efficiency behavior. Paris has promised
that the money collected from companies and private citizens, estimated
to amount to $5.7 billion per year, would be handed back to taxpayers.”


Achieving ‘Food Democracy’

 The Nation, September 8, 2009 issue.
democracy’ has become the rallying cry of an emerging grassroots
movement. It certainly sounds good — but what exactly does it mean?
‘Eating local,’ as more and more people strive to do, is part of it. At
the most basic level, though, food democracy requires
a transformation of the food industry, so that workers and consumers
can exercise control over what they produce and eat. As the Small Planet Institute defines it, ‘Food democracy means the right of all to an essential of
life — safe, nutritious food. It also suggests fair access to land to
grow food and a fair return for those who labor to produce it. Food
democracy concerns itself with the future as well: It implies economic
rules that encourage communities to safeguard the soil, water, and
wildlife on which all our lives and futures depend.’ The vision is
compelling, but how can it be made concrete? What are the obstacles to
democratizing the food system, and how can they be overcome? For this
forum, we asked five leading figures of this country’s food movement to
reflect on how food democracy can be achieved, here and now. Their
responses follow…

Dave Murphy:
An American Right to Food

Alice Waters:
A Healthy Constitution

Dan Barber:
Why Cooking Matters

Grace Lee Boggs:
Detroit’s ‘Green Revolution’

LaDonna Redmond:
Food is Freedom