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Charge the True Cost of Resource Depletion

August 05, 1990

Regarding the July 15 Viewpoints "New Taxes: Who Should Pay?" why the fuss? It's simple. Environmentalists have been talking about it for years. It's called total cost pricing, or clean up after yourself.

Pay through the nose for the use or abuse of non-renewable resources, or for fouling the environment. The greater the use, the greater the tax. And eliminate the tax on every component of every product that does not foul the environment or use up the future's resources. It will be a quick education for all in learning the origin and destination of all the products we use.

The goal today for everyone must be sustainability: to satisfy our needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. For those who measure everything against the bottom line, the answer is still very simple, according to Prof. Paul Dowden of the South Australian Institute of Technology: "No ecology, no economy. No planet, no profit."

LOIS ARKIN

The writer is executive director of the Cooperative Resources & Services Project in Los Angeles.

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