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From Webster, "Pollution is environmental contamination with man-made waste."
From Wikipedia, "Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances, or energy, such as noise, heat, or light energy. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they exceed natural levels."
When pollution is produced in the course of providing a product or service and is not allocated a proper economic cost, the free market is not making the most efficient allocation of resources.
The market is the best mechanism to direct the efforts of our labor to supply people's needs and wants. But the market needs to have proper pricing information in order to work properly. For energy that means putting a price on pollution. Dumping my trash on your property may be the least expensive way for me to rid myself of unwanted items. It is less expensive than paying someone to haul it to the dump. But it has a social cost by being an eye sore and may cause health problems if it is toxic waste. We need to make sure that I pay the full price for my free dumping.
As for the carbon tax, it is an attempt to get the free market to do what it does best - make the decisions about the most economic way to charge polluters for their waste and prevent the destruction of our planet.
And yes, we do need to be honest and tell everyone that we all need to change our lifestyles if we want to save the planet. Cost structures will change. Some choices will cost less than others, that is how the free market works. And yes, we are going to have to make the hard choices and quit subsidizing the choices of the few in order to reduce government spending or everyone will need to pay more taxes.
Let's all start being honest and try to solve our problems rather than use the political system to take undue advantage of our fellow citizens.