Carbon Tax

Green Energy Fiasco in Europe Continues, and Happy Earth Day!

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Carbon Dioxide
Credit: Dreamstime Griffin024

Last week, Europe's carbon trading scheme experienced another of its periodic collapses, with the price of emissions permits falling to around 3 Euros per ton. The Washington Post has a good editorial about the manifold failures of Europe's carbon market, not least of which is that it has had essentially no effect on actually reducing the continent's greenhouse gas emissions. From the Post's "Europe is becoming a green-energy basket case," editorial:

FOR YEARS, European leaders have flaunted their unwavering commitment to fighting climate change — and chastised the United States for lagging behind. But last week brought yet more confirmation that the continent has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.

…European governments have proved themselves to be incompetent central planners, counter-productive and wary of thinking pragmatically.

Germany is irrationally shutting its nuclear power plants — which produce lots of steady, reliable electricity and no carbon dioxide emissions — and promising that renewables will somehow pick up the slack. Perversely, that approach has led power companies to ramp up coal burning, the dirtiest fossil fuel, in a country that has also lavished its public money on the solar industry. Spain, too, has over-invested in expensive renewables. To its credit, France hasn't decided to shutter its nuclear plants, but it is one of many countries that refuse to open up natural gas reserves, a resource that could help wean the continent off coal.

Britain is comparatively better, developing its own carbon-pricing program and permitting gas development. But that hasn't kept Europe's carbon emissions from notching up in the last few years — even as those of the United States have decreased.

The Post concludes that for those concerned by the possibility of future catastrophic man-made global warming should basically endorse a carbon tax that puts…

a price on carbon emissions that is simple, predictable, aggressive and comprehensive, and then getting out of the way.

It is true that fully rebated carbon tax would be much preferable to the Waxman-Markey carbon trading scheme that failed in Congress back in 2009. And getting the government out of the way is critical—especially rolling back interventions like the automobile energy efficiency mandates, state mandates requiring that a percentage of electricity be produced using wind and solar power, bioethanol fuel mandates, building, appliance and building energy efficiency mandates, and so forth.

In any case, Happy Earth Day y'all.

NEXT: Merkel Says Some Eurozone Members Should Be Prepared to Give Away Some Sovereignty

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  1. Mean while, CN continues to cancel good shows and ruin old ones: http://m.ign.com/articles/2013…..-871470828

  2. Last week, Europe’s carbon trading scheme experienced another of its periodic collapses,

    Sounds like they need to switch to Bitcoin.

    1. How many times must the free market fail us before we finally give up on it?

  3. it has had essentially no effect on actually reducing the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions

    But – INTENTIONS, Ronald. The EU’s INTENTIONS are “noble” and “good”, therefore proper.

    The US, by contrast, is a backward, selfish collection of uneducated rubes who care only for themselves and are not intelligent enoughto understand the needs of Mother Gaia. Except for an elite few in DC and on the coasts, but they’re overwhelmed by the masses in Flyover Country?.

    Therefore – the win goes to the EU! Because – INTENTIONS.

  4. Also, I did not realize it was Earth Day. Screw you for reminding me, Mr. Bailey!!!

    *shakes fist*

    1. I understand the subject races of the Terran Empire celebrating this day under compulsion of our space fleet, but why would people here do so?

      1. ‘Welcome to Erf!’

        1. No welcomes. The Empire forbids immigration. That’s why we never see or hear aliens.

          1. Aliens who can grow strawberries are welcome.

          2. More of a Men in Black thing then?

            1. No. We’re in charge. Just who do you think keeps sabotaging the space program and SETI?

  5. People die, every winter (even in the socialist paradise of the EU), because they can’t afford heat.

    So basically a large carbon tax applied across the EU will kill. It will kill people we’ll be able to readily identify.

    And it will have no impact on the outcome, whether AGW is true or not. Because minor marginal changes in EU emissions won’t change the ultimate climate outcome.

    So they will kill people for no better reason than messaging.

    1. So they will kill people for no better reason than messaging.

      You can’t have your zealous religious crusade without a few unwilling martyrs, fluffy.

    2. Killing some people and harming many others in the name of healing the planet. Lowering the standard of living, depriving people of access to relatively cheaper and cleaner energy. Standing in the way of progress as most people would define progress – me having more stuff I want.

      Bug or feature?

    3. You want an omelet, don’t you?

  6. European governments have proved themselves to be incompetent central planners

    Well that’s simple to fix – just import some competent central planners from that alternative universe where central planning works.

    1. North Korea is well known for not joining the capitalist world’s extravagant energy use.

      1. They don’t have a homeless obesity problem either. They are the future. They are saving the planet.

    2. If only the right people were in charge!

      Top. Men.

    3. European governments have proved themselves to be incompetent central planners

      Fixed.

  7. How can you be for reducing carbon emissions and against nuclear power? Oh, that’s right — feelings.

  8. In any case, Happy Earth Day y’all.

    Science, Ron! Happy Communism day? Happy Lenin’s Birthday?

    Since you seem unaware, most people here do not consider the collectivization of the human race as a good thing. Indeed we believe it is evil.

    I consider any who would “celebrate” this occasion as enemies of Human Liberty. Why do you hate Liberty, Ron?

  9. a price on carbon emissions that is simple, predictable, aggressive and comprehensive, and then getting out of the way.

    And sit back and watch the people who collect those taxes put them to use in ways which are explicitly and obviously counterproductive.

    1. Money is fungible.

      1. Money is fungible.

        Correct. But how is this relevant to his point?

        1. I score it as support for the point.

        2. There’s no point in trying to control where the carbon tax is spent. It will be spent wherever the do-gooders want to spend it.

          Like sending foreign aid “for food” to dictators, who then spend their own money on secret police and military instead of food.

  10. I’m celebrating Earth Day by visiting the grocery store and counting how many people pull a handful of reusable bags out of their SUV.

    1. And on the way home I’ll count how many times I’m passed by a hybrid going 75.

      1. I’ll count how many children future carbon footprints they’ve produced.

        I think this is how we win. We convince the progs that the only way to save the planet is to stop reproducing. Put Darwin in the driver’s seat. In several generations we should have significantly raised the nation’s collective IQ.

  11. Was it Bailey who was actually pushing a carbon-trading scheme for the US a few years back?

    It was some reason writer, unless he denies it, Im going to continue thinking it was Ron.

    Stupid fucking idea.

    Coase, not Pigou.

    1. Ron was for a carbon tax, I think. I don’t recall him ever being for a carbon trading scheme.

      1. Still a stupid fucking idea.

  12. I might celebrate Earth Day by driving my gas guzzling four wheel drive pickup truck. I need to take my trash to the dump.

    1. Yeah, I gotta go to town too. I think I’ll cruise around for a while to ensure maximum emissions.

  13. How else would we save mother Earth from the impending boiling oceans and inundated cities?

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