Carbon Tax

Why Trump Should Reject Calls for a Carbon Tax

If we accept the models, entirely eliminating all U.S. carbon emissions would have less than a negligible impact on temperatures by the end of the century.

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PAT BENIC/UPI/Newscom

There's a full-court press underway to convince President Donald Trump that it would be a good idea to impose a carbon tax on the American people. He's hearing about it not only from well-connected businessmen such as Elon Musk but also from establishment Republicans. Let's hope he has the fortitude to resist their exhortations.

Musk's advocacy is easy to understand. In the same way he has benefited from other government policies in the past, he would be a major beneficiary of actions punishing fossil fuel consumption, through his electric car and solar power businesses. A carbon tax would be just another in a long line of government handouts for his companies.

The Republicans pushing a carbon tax, on the other hand, have different motives. They mean well but are misguided.

The primary group behind the effort, the Climate Leadership Council, claims to consist of a "who's who of conservative elder statesmen." It comprises veterans of past Republican administrations, including former Secretary of State James Baker, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and economist Greg Mankiw.

The members of the Climate Leadership Council want to replace many existing environmental regulations with a carbon tax, arguing that it would be more economically advantageous. This is a seductive but ultimately unconvincing argument for several reasons.

First, they are presenting an alternative to regulation where none need exist. The best answer to unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations is to abolish them. Proposing to trade them for a carbon tax might make sense if Democrats were in charge. But under a unified Republican government, that approach is like deliberately taking a knee at the 1-yard line and kicking a field goal instead of just walking into an unprotected end zone. Just take the easy score.

Second, the trade itself is an illusion. History has repeatedly shown that when new taxes are adopted in exchange for reducing the scope of government, we always get the tax increases and rarely see the promised returns. When they do arrive, they are short-lived. Put another way, there's little reason to expect that the next Democratic administration won't reinstate all the regulations supposedly traded for a carbon tax and then keep the tax.

Finally, there's reason enough to be skeptical about the environmental claims. The debate over climate change is obviously complicated and extremely politically charged. Yet even if one agrees that the climate is changing, it's not unreasonable to question whether we should be basing policy on predictive climate models that have overestimated future temperatures for decades and are likely overly sensitive to changes in carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, if we accept the models, even the Environmental Protection Agency's estimates predict that entirely eliminating all U.S. carbon emissions—which would be completely impractical and detrimental to growth—would have less than a negligible impact on temperatures by the end of the century.

This is an important issue, and it is important to do it right rather than act based on knee-jerk reactions as is typically done in Washington. Unintended consequences, such as chasing high-carbon activity into markets with fewer controls, would most likely reduce the impact of a carbon tax even further. The intended consequence of raising the costs of energy on Americans would be bad enough, and it wouldn't be justified by the offered benefits. Let's hope President Trump can see through the arguments of these carbon tax petitioners.

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  1. The best answer to unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations is to abolish them.

    Gaia will DIE without some kind of wealth redistribution.

    1. “If we accept the models…”

      I thought that Trumpster Dumpster has already accepted ALL of the good-looking models as his succession of trophy wives? Are there actually any good-looking, un-used ones left?!!?!?

    2. Gaia = wealth redistribution? A true child of the times.

      1. All libertarian wish others to live in a polluted wasteland of death and giant non-gmo animals who pillage and rape humans daily. You are all horrible.

        1. I think he is on to us.

  2. I give Musk some credit, at least he has some sort of principle, i.e. “I don’t care which party is running things, I will work to mooch as much government candy as I can possibly get! Gimme more!”

    1. I’m sure he’s convinced himself that he’s doing it all for the good of all mankind.

  3. What exactly is Steve Bannon dying from and what is his prognosis?

    1. You can’t fool me, that’s death in a flesh costume.

      1. He looks like Micheal Douglas and Bill Clinton’s evil offspring.

        1. Meat Joe Black.

    2. That’s what Steve Bannon looks like?

      1. Elon Musk has Steve Bannon hanging on the wall in his attic.

  4. Why would treasury secretaries be the one too bring it up and the annoying thing is they never say what the carbon tax will accomplish. It sounds like do somethingism for sake of it

  5. Lets do it cause cool kids or something! Libs who want it which raises prices then whine about tariffs raising price. Feather the nest of them cronies

    Good article

  6. Fuck You, Cut Spending

    1. Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
      Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
      He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
      Totally regardless of whereever He sits
      Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
      He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
      He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
      No matter the words, however absurd!
      He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
      Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
      They say He’ll be impeached by June,
      Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
      So He sits and jiggles His balls,
      Then He Twitters upon the walls
      “Some come here to sit and think,
      Some come here to shit and stink
      But I come here to scratch my balls,
      And read the writings on the walls
      Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
      Giving birth to another Texan!
      He who writes these lines of wit,
      Wraps His Trump in little balls,
      He who reads these lines of wit,
      Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

  7. Calls for carbon tax is government action is misguided

  8. I appreciate that in one short post, Mrs. de Rugy was able to give more reasons against the carbon tax than the Science Correspondent did.

    (If you read any of the other comments besides the ones on your posts, I still love you Ron.)

    1. You could look at British Columbia. The link to a Financial Post editorial shows that their carbon tax, started in 2008, was revenue neutral for the first few years, but is no longer so. Carbon tax revenues continue to rise, but the offsets are now falling.

      http://business.financialpost……-cash-grab

      1. Sorry Designate — I misread your comment. But consider this more evidence. J

    2. Just what I have been thinking. Ron is off base on this.

  9. Let’s hope he has the fortitude to resist their exhortations.

    You’re going to need to use smaller words if you want Trump to listen.

    1. Lying losers think Trump is dumb enough to support a carbon tax that will benefit China and hurt America. Sad!

  10. Furthermore, if we accept the models, even the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimates predict that entirely eliminating all U.S. carbon emissions?which would be completely impractical and detrimental to growth?would have less than a negligible impact on temperatures by the end of the century.

    Emphasis added. Quite a statement, Doc.

    1. Everything I’ve read puts the figure at less than one tenth of one degree (pick your scale). And that’s not even the result of “eliminating all U.S. carbon emissions” – it’s the result of following the climate cult’s own less draconian path, which will nevertheless cost hundreds of billions if not trillions.

      1. Oh, I hear you, R. At least she didn’t say “negative impact”.

  11. An idea so stupid even DeRugy understands how stupid it is.

    1. Self-referencing comment is self-referencing.

      1. That is good job Sparky. It is concise, it makes sense and it even uses a hyphenated word.

        That is a B+ shot for anyone. But for someone of your limited abilities, its an A+ all day and twice on Sunday. That has to be the cleverest thing you have ever written. It is kind of like watching my cat grab the remote and flip on the TV.

        God job.

        1. Butthurt commenter is butthurt.

          1. I am not butt hurt at all. I gave you a compliment. It was a good shot. A pretty remarkable thing to see really.

            Sadly, it seems to have been a one off. But, hey there is hope it could happen again.

            1. John is John.

              1. Yes I am. And sadly, Sparky will never be John. And that is your tragedy.

                1. Self-aggrandizer self-aggrandizes.

                  1. I am not sure saying you can never be me really counts as self aggrandizement, considering what a low bar that sets, but sure.

  12. James Baker bought into some bullshit, therefore Trump should put us on the hook for the Democrats’ wet dream?

    Let’s have a voluntary carbon tax. Everybody pay in as much as they feel like they ought to.

    1. There were some whiny progtards in Massachusetts a few years back who complained they wanted to pay more income taxes, so the state included an optional higher rate on the tax form- I think > 1% of taxpayers chose it. This would be a great idea though, allow those who feel guilty about climate change to pay an optional higher price for gas, plane tickets, food, and electricity and see how many actually do.

      1. Sorry, I meant

        1. less than 1% chose to pay the higher rate

      2. Good idea. Like when they offer to round up your amount at the grocery store for the food bank. “Would you like to round that to the nearest hundred to combat global warming? No? That’s OK. Nobody ever says yes.”

  13. There will never be enough taxes and/or regulations to satisfy the progtards, so why give them even an inch. They are scared of things that will actually work to reduce CO2 (if indeed that is the problem) like nukes, fracking, and geoengineering. If we take their advice and ultimately reduce emissions to practically zero, it will still be 150 years before CO2 is back to near normal and who knows if it would even work. Their answer will always be the same “put us in charge and give us more control”.

    1. “and moar money”

    2. before CO2 is back to near normal

      What is this ‘normal’ level of CO2 you’re speaking of?

      1. insert thumbs up icon here

      2. As far as I can tell, the 280 ppm that it was ostensibly at in 1880. Or less.

        1. CO2 has been all over the map in the last gazillion years. The last time C02 and temps were both at levels equivalent to current levels was about 300 million years ago. That is out of 600 million years of ice core records. The temps seem to be clamped at about 22C with that number being achieved with over 7000ppm and less than 2000ppm. Temps have been this low with around 4000ppm of CO2…the correlation, she is weak.

        2. At about 180 ppm were all dead cus that is the point where plant life pretty much ceases. Over geological time the trend is down so we were at a really low point before industrialization.

          http://www.biocab.org/Geological_Timescale.jpg

          CO2 gets sequestered by being turned into calcium carbonate by shell building sea creatures which then sinks to the bottom of the ocean. One could argue that CO2 was heading in a direction that ,if it wasn’t for humans, would have resulted a in mass extinction dwarfing all other extinctions.

          1. Greg F, First, at about 180 ppm we are all dead? We were around 185 ppm during each of the recent ice ages. Not sure you have any real support for your claim.
            Second – I do agree that a release of CO2 back into the atmosphere is a good thing on a long scale view of life on earth. The issue is the RATE that we have change the CO2 concentrations in the air. We are creating a much bigger change than we would want for our coastal cities and our agriculture. Yes, this will have economic and personal consequences for our kids and their kids.
            Here’s a good video of CO2 history from direct measurements and ice cores:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx7wfKO6nWE

            1. The second derivative of the sea level rise is zero.

            2. Greg F, First, at about 180 ppm we are all dead?

              At at about 180 ppm C3 plants are pretty much done. Since C3 plants are the bottom of the food chain everything higher up is in serious trouble.

              We were around 185 ppm during each of the recent ice ages.

              Wrong. Try ~200 ppm.
              http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/vostok.html

              When the Vostok ice core data were compared with other ice core data (Delmas et al. 1980; Neftel et al. 1982) for the past 30,000 – 40,000 years, good agreement was found between the records: all show low CO2 values [~200 parts per million by volume (ppmv)] during the Last Glacial Maximum and increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the glacial-Holocene transition.

              Your also assuming that CO2 concentrations were evenly distributed. The ice cores come from places that are still frozen. We now know CO2 concentrations are not as “well mixed” as we once thought.

              http://www.livescience.com/ima…..ration.jpg

              We are creating a much bigger change than we would want for our coastal cities and our agriculture.

              If you substitute assumptions for facts.

      3. For the last 800,000 years (before mid 1800s) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has varied between 285 ppm during interglacial warm periods like the last few thousand years when human civilization expanded and 185 ppm during glacial periods like those when ice covered the Great Lakes in the US. So “near normal” is relative, but 400 ppm and raising is well above where the concentration has been for over 800,000 years.

        1. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. Over geological time 400 ppm is low.

          http://www.biocab.org/Geological_TS_SL_and_CO2.jpg

  14. Didn’t Trump win the election, in part, because Obama and HRC were hostile to people in coal country? He passes a carbon tax, he’s not only toast in 4 years, Team Red is toast in 2.

  15. Why Trump Should Reject Calls for a Carbon Tax ?

    Because anthropogenic climate change is just a theory and probably a massive fraud foisted on the sheepish masses by politicians placating to marxists masquerading as environmentalists.

    1. It’s theory only to the extent that everything science says is a theory. Every lab test shows the same fact that when you increase the concentration of certain gases in a mix, they convert some of the energy in certain wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum into the kinetic energy we measure as temperature. In other words, it gets warmer.

      However, that’s really not what the argument is about. It’s the multiplier used to say how much this effect will change other things which also increase the ambient temperature. Catastrophists use a multiplier of 6 or even more. Empiricists are coming up with one that’s not much over 1.

      Then there’s the second argument about whether it’s cheaper and easier to simply ameliorate what changes do occur or to go hog wild on the precautionary principle and destroy the world economy and reducing living standards for everyone.

      1. It’s the multiplier used to say how much this effect will change other things which also increase the ambient temperature. Catastrophists use a multiplier of 6 or even more. Empiricists are coming up with one that’s not much over 1.

        Yep doubling sensitivity is the crux of the biscuit.

      2. Paragraphs 2 and 3 are not new, but I loved your succinct and accurate 1st paragraph.

        ++1

  16. Speaking of idiots not understanding how markets work, Techdirt has this piece applauding municipal broadband service because it brings competition to the market which ISP monopolies just hate. With a pretense that they have no idea how your local monopoly ISP got its monopoly or who it got it from. This guy seriously claims to believe that non-competitive monopolies are created by the free market and private enterprise and those greedy corporations and it’s up to the government to do something about that. AYFKM?

    1. Progressives are constantly touting bold and innovative solutions to “market failures” caused by the previous Progressive interventions into the marketplace

      basically, every ‘problem’ progs identify in economies are largely the product of previous progressive ‘solutions’.

      its an onion of retarded

      1. its an onion of retarded

        Stealing that.

      2. It is an snake made of onions eating it’s own tail.

  17. I’ll believe that government is serious about reducing CO2 emissions when the president no longer flies about in his personal, tricked-out 747 and congressmen pedal their own bikes to work. Also, no a/c for government buildings in DC.

    Until that happens, I’ll continue to think that it’s all bullshit.

  18. Better tell it to the “classical liberals” at the Niskanen Center, whose entire raison d’?tre is to push for a carbon tax…..but, see, theirs would be TOTALLY market-oriented!

    1. Yea they are confused. Using taxes to drive towards other behaviors isnt really market driven

  19. This scheme is so transparent it is comical. These guys are going to tax carbon and collect hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes. But, they are going to turn around and refund most of that money to the “deserving” so that it is not a regressive tax. They will be the caretakers of that money and you can trust them not to steal it or dole it out to favored groups as a way to buy power because they are dedicated public servants and would never do that.

    1. The carbon tax is bogus. But the reality is that the alternative is that the free market relies on PRICING in order to work. That’s the reason Hayek called it the PRICING SYSTEM and opposed it to the VOTING SYSTEM. And par for the fucking course, whenever the plutocrat-branch of libertarians deals with this sort of issue, they assiduously avoid trying to figure out how to price these externalities but jump up and down and pretend that ‘market’ will wave some magic wand and price what isn’t priced. So those who are concerned about ‘green’/environmental stuff have no fucking choice but to dive deep into VOTING system as the way of dealing with what the PRICING system isn’t dealing with and what free market advocates seem determined to avoid even thinking about.

      deRugy is worse than useless. She is a tool

  20. If you raise the price of “carbon” people will buy less of it.

    If you raise the price of labor, people will buy ____ of it.

    1. LIVING WAGE NONSENSICAL MARXISM REBUTTAL!!!!!!1111111111

      1. “teh childrenz!!!”

    2. If you raise the price of “carbon” people will buy less of it.

      Not necessarily. They might buy the same amount and just have less money to spend on other things. If my electric bill triples, i am not going to go off the grid. Sure, I might cut back but if I was poor to begin with, I probably already have cut back as much as I can.

      1. elastic vs. inelastic. Doesn’t change Late P Brook’s point. In fact, labor is arguably more elastic than the price of carbon. If they think raising the price of carbon will lower its usage, it’s even more true of labor.

        1. Yea i agree labor is more elastic

        2. It doesn’t change his point. As a general rule, when you raise the price of something the demand goes down. My point was that is not true in every case. And when it isn’t, things are actually worse, because the reason why the price of something is inelastic is usually because it provides something essential and for which there are no viable alternatives making the rise in price that much more harmful.

          1. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a good or service that is truly inelastic. What kind of food? What kind of clothes? What kind of housing?

            Even life itself is an elastic demand. How much would you pay for another minute or hour or day of life? At some point you say, it’s just not worth any more. Let me die in peace.

            1. One example: see oil/gas – prices much higher 10-15 years ago, but very little drop in mileage, as most weren’t driving thousands of miles a year more than they truly required.

              Many drive to vacations were cancelled, but for many more out was dinner plans and other expenditures so they could compensate for the additional fuel costs.

              During this time frame too, larger vehicle sales were down. Not because truck prices rose, but fear of gas bill. Gas price decline increased truck/SUV sales.

            2. Even life itself is an elastic demand. How much would you pay for another minute or hour or day of life?

              Apparently tens of thousands of dollars… of other people’s money. It’s called “Medicare”, and about half of it is on pointless/harmful end of life interventions.

    3. I think you should clarify as artificial raising by fiat and not market.

      Some things prices raise because they were too low and you dont get less necessarily

      1. It depends on where the price is on the demand curve. If the demand curve is price inelastic for something, raising its price by any means, whether by the market or artificially through government intervention, isn’t likely going to reduce the demand for it significantly.

    4. You don’t buy labor, you maroon. People have an inherent right to work and be paid a living wage for that work. Anyone who starts a business owes it to their community to bring in workers.

      1. Three strikes … you’re out!!

  21. The best answer to unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations is to abolish them.

    You slay me.

    1. “Oh, very well. Abolish and *burn* them.”

  22. “The intended consequence of raising the costs of energy on Americans would be bad enough, and it wouldn’t be justified by the offered benefits.”

    Is this something we’re to take on faith? Does the author have any idea of the value of the offered benefits, other than assuring us that they’re less than the costs? Is it that the models of economists are any more reliable than the models of scientists?

    1. “Economics is the science of explaining why your predictions were wrong.”

    2. What does Mao’s Little Red Book say about it?

    3. I don’t think DeRugy is stepping out on much of a limb by claiming the costs of taxing every viable source of energy in the economy are going to outweigh the marginal benefits to the climate, assuming there are any, of the US reducing its C02 output.

      1. They never touch on how it is a benefit. Reduces co2? Ok. How is that helping and what impact? They cant evem define problem right

        1. That is because it is a religion., The benefits are making the nation less sinful. Putting these people in charge of energy policy is like putting a faith healer in charge of national heath care policy.

      2. But what is the value of these benefits? You claim that they don’t add up to the costs, but how do you arrive at that conclusion? It seems you are asking me to take this on faith.

        1. The costs are easily measurable, the benefits are based on computer models that so far have been consistently overblown. Not non-existent, but still overblown.

          1. So, what is the cost of, say, not emitting a billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and what is the benefit? It seems to me that until you can answer this question, comparing cost and benefit is a meaningless exercise, good for padding out articles at Reason, sure enough, but little else.

    4. What are the benefits? I cant see any or how this impacts something that is so gradual you wouldn’t even notice

      1. The author seems to have looked at some ‘cost benefit analysis’ where the benefits are not defined in any meaningful way. That goes for the value of these benefits, as well.

        1. am soc/mtrue circle jerk warning.

    5. Is this something we’re to take on faith? Does the author have any idea of the value of the offered benefits, other than assuring us that they’re less than the costs?

      Well, the IPCC has something to say about it, and its most dire predictions are not so dire. But they count a (constant) dollar spent a century from now the same way as a dollar spent now. It doesn’t take much sophisticated economic modeling to understand that that means that it is utterly irrational to try to prevent climate change.

  23. History has repeatedly shown that when new taxes are adopted in exchange for reducing the scope of government

    When has that ever happened?

    1. Never. Never once in the history of the world.

  24. Unintended consequences, such as chasing high-carbon activity into markets with fewer controls, would most likely reduce the impact of a carbon tax even further.

    Or, depending on its spread, it could result in companies deliberately ramping up their carbon footprints before whatever arbitrary deadline is chosen, so they can “cut back” afterward and get some “green” payola, courtesy of the American taxpayer.

    See also: Chinese and Indian chem firms and certain chlorofluorocarbons.

    1. Yep. Chinas agreement in paris suggests it is a joke to me

  25. “Economics is the science of explaining why your predictions were wrong.”

    “Assume a can opener.”

    1. Economics is just psychology put to math. Since economists are good at math and dismal at psychology, their predictions rarely pan out.

      1. And insist on making them. If you are always wrong what makes you an expert?

      2. Economists’ predictions rarely pan out because few economists are still in the Adam Smith school of thought, where the empirical observations and mathematical calculations are paramount. Most economists buy into the Keynesian mode of “here’s some bullshit to try that probably should work, maybe.” Frankly it’s not unlike climate change models. Fact is that economics is/can be/should be a pretty hard science. It only isn’t when in the hands of liberals.

        1. At the macro level that is very true. And the thing about empirical observation is that it takes into account the psychology of decisions and the value people place on things where pure math can only guess at those things.

        2. Actually there is no math in Adam Smith’s economics. It’s all observation of what people do in response to what conditions. Good economics is definitely a soft science, because it’s based on human responses, i.e. psychology/sociology/philosophy, none of which are fixed.

          It’s not the “if A then B” response of a physical science, it’s an “if A or B or C and maybe D then we are likely to get more E, F, G, and maybe H.”

          Models are good for analysis of past events or very simplistic systems, but often not for predictions of the future. You can come up with an equation that matches any set of data you’re modelling from if you use enough terms. Doesn’t mean the equation is right. If your prediction doesn’t match reality as it turns out to be, then sorry, your model doesn’t work. Try again.

          If economists could really predict things using math then, we’d know what the stock market is going to do tomorrow or next week or next month. And we can’t. A lot of people have lost a lot of money proving that.

          1. You are becoming my favorite commenter.

          2. If economists could really predict things using math then, we’d know what the stock market is going to do tomorrow or next week or next month. And we can’t. A lot of people have lost a lot of money proving that.

            FWIW – I agree you make good comments, putting you in the favorite list.

            However, there is a difference in economic predictions versus market predictions, just as there’s a difference between predicting whether it will rain tomorrow versus predicting larger trends such as “stronger storm season”.

            Though I’ll say a couple of things – great investors do understand psychology as much as they understand valuations. Economics would be served greatly by learning psychology from those investors, including better models.

            But note that even when the economists get everything right, people can screw it up really badly. See North Korea or Zimbabwe or Venezuela or…. as examples to how human control can prevent people from even being able to feed themselves, whereas an economic analysis would state otherwise.

            So even great economic predictions have time frames and limitations based upon “if these things hold true” or “if the general trend continues”.

            Last example: the general trend and believed to be continued trend prior to the last election was an anti-business, pro-regulation, government interference and control.

            Whether that changes is yet to be seen, but depending upon the economic prediction, the fact it did change might be significant.

  26. A carbon tax is a great idea–IF IF IF we also get rid of all other forms of taxation. Since that isn’t on the table, . . .

    Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that Trump because of swing states that are also coal states–Pennsylvania, Ohio.

    So long as a carbon tax might cost Trump support in those two states, there probably won’t be a carbon tax.

    1. Though why would they switch to democrats

      1. They’re swig states!

        These are people Trump stole from the Democrats.

        What was the figure, some 43% of union households broke for Trump?

        He needs them to do that again.

        If he’s no different from the Democrats on things like carbon taxes, then they may revert to form–or just stay home on election day.

        1. They’re swig states!

          Are you saying they’re drunks who don’t know who they’re voting for?

          1. Based on my experience in the hinterlands(I’m in Pittsburgh) that just might be the case. Well the case for those that aren’t on smack.

            I guess I just have to face the fact that I live in a swig/smack state. I hereby propose the contraction swack state for PA, WV, OH and MI.

  27. I got mine and I’ll probably be dead before anything really terrible happens, so I don’t give a fuck about climate change, even if it is real. Just keep my taxes low and keep your hands off my guns. That’s all I ask and I don’t actually ask for it, I demand it.

    1. I got mine and I’ll probably be dead before anything really terrible happens, so I don’t give a fuck about climate change,

      Don’t bet on it: if people managed to get mandatory global carbon emission reductions in place, you would soon be poor and starving, and the rioters might well kill you.

  28. But…but…the dangers of second-hand carbon are documented!

  29. Our current fossil fuel usage requires that people who are not consumers or producers of fossil fuels to accept the trash created by others without compensation. What we need is a system that compensates those people. As I see it we have a few options:

    1. Continue using the antiquated EPA system that attempts, and fails, to proactively stop this harm. I trust I don’t need to expand on the problems this system causes.

    2. Let the courts handle this. Lawyers are going to add a huge cost to the system. Furthermore those that have more financial resources will be better argue their case. We won’t get the desired end result, unless you happen to be one of those lawyers that gets rich off of the system.

    3. Set and periodically adjust a cost for the pollution and distribute it to all those affected. This gives business a good idea of their costs and leaves the decision to pollute up to whether or not a profit can be made.

    4. Something else. If you know of another system that will better compensate those harmed please speak up.

    1. How do you calculate those costs? How do you take into consideration the benefits (and there are some)? What are the cost differences between prevention and amelioration? If you’ve blown your predictions (and they aren’t even predictions, just computer models that, so far, have not shown much in the way of accuracy) then you’re harming a lot of people for no good reason at all.

      1. I am looking at it from a slightly different perspective.

        Let’s say, for example, the local restaurant decides to use my property as a dump instead of paying to have their waste hauled to a landfill. I have no problem with this as long as they pay me what I ask to dump their waste. As it is my property it is up to me to determine what amount I feel is worth accepting to deal with the trash. If the restaurant dumps without my permission then it is within my right to claim the damages I see fit. The restaurant simply should not have dumped the waste in the first place.

        I feel a similar way about carbon dioxide. I have no problem if Big Dirty Coal Company? wants to dump their CO2 into my air, as long as they pay me what I want. In my case that amount would be $0 as I enjoy having things like heat in the winter and there are no other good options at this time. Tree Hugging Hippie gets the same right. Most likely their price will be very high though. The problem is that, as a gas, CO2 disperses very quickly. Since there is no way to contain the trash we have to come up with a compromise.

        1. Reply to myself due to character limits:

          IMHO the best compromise is to simply ask everyone how much they want to accept the CO2 trash. Infinity is not an option for obvious reasons. Once we come up with an average we collect that amount from sources above a certain size and redistribute it equally. This can be done through the government or a private group that wants to ensure more draconian government laws aren’t put into place. Repeat the process for every waste product, set up an adjustment process to account for things like inflation, eliminate most EPA functions and job done.

          My biggest fear if we don’t reach a compromise is that something will be done, because think of the children, that leaves those of us living in temperate zones without heating options. Thanks to the lack of heat in the winter I, and millions of others, will have to move south without anyone left to buy our houses. I really don’t want to have to move to CA(for one set of reasons) or FL(for a different set of reasons) if I don’t have to.

        2. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is plant food. Typical indoor levels are 600 ppm to 1000 ppm. Your analogy with restaurant garbage is garbage.

          1. To you and I it isn’t a pollutant. To Tree Hugging Hippie it is. As long as THH considers it someone else’s trash then excess CO2 on his property without permission is illegal dumping. Never forget the old adage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

            1. Bullshit. I consider your comment to be pollution. Pay me. See how that doesn’t work? You need to empirically demonstrate that something is a pollutant and has caused net harm. To date, the added CO2 has been a net benefit. There is no trend in the Palmer Drought Index, nor any trend in flooding. Property damage due to major storms has trended down when corrected for the sheer value of exposed property. And the planet is more productive, i.e. greener than it was 30 years ago. If you want to go all Coasian (as Mankiw gets big chubbies over), then you damn well better be able to show convincing evidence that there has actually been some harm.

              1. You actively imported my comment onto you computer. You could have chosen not to reload the page to see it. While I don’t like your response I chose to see it. Find a better analogy.

                Furthermore it doesn’t matter if there is actually harm or not. What matters is that you are dumping an unwanted substance onto someone else.

                As I thought I had made clear I enjoy the benefits of having fossil fuels. Therefore I am willing to accept the waste they produce without any return. That doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way. Since there is no way that I can control the exhaust from my furnace I am willing to compromise so I can keep using it. Why do you want to risk that the half of the nation that thinks CO2 is the worst thing ever takes draconian action?

                1. Furthermore it doesn’t matter if there is actually harm or not.

                  Why yes … yes it does matter.

                  1. The harm is that you are leaving a substance they do not want on their property. I believe that water isn’t a harmful substance. Does that give me the right to dump excess water on your property without permission?

                    1. Your thetans are contaminating my endogenous zone. Pay me. If no one had told them CO2 levels had gone up in the atmosphere they would not even perceive it. CO2 is not toxic for another order of magnitude-ish over where it is now. Halving CO2 from where it is now would be far more devastating than doubling it.

                      Again, it you want to play Coase, then you have to demonstrate harm.

                    2. What don’t you understand about harm not being important. You’ve made an unwanted change to someone else’s property which is harm in and of itself.

                      It is kinda funny though. I come here for libertarian viewpoints and the responses I get are from people that want to dictate to others how they should live.

                    3. It is kinda funny though. I come here for libertarian viewpoints and the responses I get are from people that want to dictate to others how they should live.

                      Says the guy that wants to dictate a financial penalty for a substance that has no harmful effects and is beneficial to plant life. Projection all the way down.

                    4. Your opinion is that it has no harmful effects. My opinion is that it is impossible to tell if there actually will be a harm or a benefit but it appears to be helpful. THH’s opinion is that there is harm.

                      The biggest problem is that over the last couple decades the overall opinion has been shifting towards THH. Since we are close enough to the point that THH is going to win it is better to make a deal now that to have something much worse imposed on us.

                    5. Based on…? Right, you have no evidence that “overall opinion” has shifted. Global warming ranks at the bottom of concerns of Americans. That was true 30 years ago and is true today. Last I checked King Canute’s successor just lost an election last November and his party couldn’t even net 4 Senate sets with twice as many GOP Senators up for election as Dem’s. Yeah, that’s shifting alright.

                    6. AGW is low on the priority list but there is still support for doing something, because think of the children. In western PA recent winters have been fairly mild and summers hotter. It isn’t hard to convince someone that the weather(not climate) has been getting warmer. All it takes is a candidate for D’s that actually understands “It’s the economy, stupid.” again. The last election wasn’t as much about a good choice on the right as it was the terrible choice on the left. The anyone but attitude has been unchanged since, at least, the 2008 primaries. People really do care about a ‘clean’ environment though. They care about their jobs more but that has always been true. Should the Dems find a candidate with the right economic message 2020 could very well see a major reversal at both the federal and state level.

                      Please note I am neither team red or blue. The R’s where I grew up in VA were so bad I’ve the party overall has never earned my respect. The D’s here in PA are bad but the R’s manage to top them. I typically end up voting 3rd party as the stink is just that bad. I only wish that 3rd parties actually had a chance.

                2. No I didn’t. I opened the web page which you posted on. Were you invited to do so by anyone? You are radiating photons into the atmosphere. Some of them are making their way onto my property. Pay me. You painted your house red and I hate red. I see it every time I stand on my property. Pay me.

                  I don’t need a better analogy. You need a legitimate argument. If a substance does not endanger or meaningfully impact me in any observable way, it doesn’t turn into a pollutant just because I don’t like its humors.

                  1. This site allows anyone to register and post comments. This isn’t a safe space for special snowflakes.

                    For purposes of this argument I’ll assume my house is red and yours is blue. How much do you want for the red photons?

                    When I get the bill I’ll send a counter bill for the blue photons. Guess what, my counter bill will be double yours. Then you’ll send me another bill for double my bill. In the end we get nothing productive done.

                    The option I am proposing is we just agree to send a bill for the same amount and move on to productive work. Ideally it would be unnecessary and it is somewhat of a waste as the bills cost us overhead to prepare. The problem is that your blue is really offensive and we have to settle this or we will fight about it forever.

                    1. No, your red is really offensive. I don’t understand why you’re being so obtuse about this. It’s obvious that red is more offensive than blue.

                    2. No, your blue is far more offensive. It’s obvious you should have to pay me double what I pay for your red.

                      {aside: This would be even more entertaining if I’d grabbed a six pack. Unfortunately PA alcohol laws make that virtually impossible at this time of night.}

                    3. You really don’t understand what a fool you’re coming across as, do you? You are literally demonstrating my point with every “rebuttal.”

                    4. To me you are the one coming across as the fool. I am the one willing to come up with a compromise that has the least cost to both of us. I doubt I will ever change your mind about how much better red is. Since that won’t happen the logical option is to reduce the opportunity costs of the time we are wasting allowing us to pursue profitable activities.

                      At the same time I don’t mind continuing that much. Given the number of houses that have been repainted soon red houses will control the government. When that happens us red house owners will show you. Not only will we take your money but we will take your house and paint it red. I really have no need for your house but at this point I am going to take it just out of spite.

                    5. No you aren’t. You are attempting to impose your will on others. That isn’t a compromise any more than paying Guido and Lenny $100/wk for “insurance” is.

                    6. It’s too late. We’ve had mandatory house colors of blue and red for 5+ decades now and you can’t even chose the shade. Not only that but we’re paying $1000/wk for the privilege. Personally I want my house to be green. Cutting the cost to only $100/wk would also be an improvement.

            2. As long as THH considers it someone else’s trash witchcraft then excess CO2 spells on his property without permission is illegal dumping witchcraft.

              Not so convincing when one myth is substituted for another myth.

              1. Actually that is very convincing. If the Sisterhood of Luna is casting a spell on my property I’m calling the cops.

                1. Time to go find your “safe space” with teddy bears and Play-Doh.

                  1. I think you are the one that needs the safe space. You seem to be unable to handle anyone that disagrees with you.

                    1. You seem to be unable to handle anyone that disagrees with you.

                      LOL … you’re projecting.

                    2. No, just reading your own words.

                      I am here for open debate about a, mostly stupid, issue that is dividing our nation.

                2. Just to clarify I am calling the cops because if I just grab my gun the witches will call the cops on me. Given our local law enforcement I’d rather not have to deal with spending a night, or more, in jail and dealing with a court date. Ideally I’d just be able to defend my own property. Since that currently isn’t an option I merely pick the option that causes me the least harm.

          2. +1.5 to 4.5C with high confidence.

            1. +1.5 to 4.5C with high confidence.

              Based on computer models that have failed.

              1. Look, just because our confidence intervals have gone up is no reason that we can’t be more confident. Right?

            2. Good.

              That means warmer winters and a longer growing season. My garden will be more productive.

    2. Who doesnt use fossil fuels directly or indirectly?

      1. Locally the Amish use extremely limited amounts of fossil fuels.

        If we really want to be picky everyone emits CO2 just breathing. My view is that we have to pick some non-zero point as a minimum. It simply isn’t worth the time and effort to track everything.

    3. As far as no3 how does one not pollute at all? How do you determine this cost of pollution?

      Everyone uses fossil fuels

      1. Nitrate would have its own cost for disposal. Please see my response to Diane.

        I am curious where you live that everyone is dependent of fossil fuels? That isn’t the case for everyone in the US. Most people yes, but not everyone.

        1. Virtually everyone. Do you receive any manufactured goods at all? Food? Medicine? Do you live completely off the grid (no, net metering is not off the grid).

          1. Have I not made it clear I am not part of that group. I do like to visit Amish farms as they have the best quality food supplies though. There is very little that comes from fossil fuels on those farms. Why can’t you just accept others should have the same rights as you do?

            1. There is very little that comes from fossil fuels on those farms.

              Little != none. They still use them. Do they mine all their own raw materials and smelt them themselves? No? Fossil fuels.

              And just what right are you claiming? The right to impose their religion on me? That’s not a right.

              1. Little to the point that if it wasn’t so cheaply available it could easily be replaced without using fossil fuels.

                I don’t see how religion enters this discussion. That point makes no sense at all.

                1. And why don’t Amish use (or use in limited amounts) modern technology. Why do you think they should be “protected” from the demon gas? It’s coming to me… R-Re-Relig… Damn, so close. Can you help me out here?

                  1. Why to move the goalposts. The Amish are merely an example of a group of people that use hardly any fossil fuel. What matters in how much they use, not why. Honestly all I care about is that they continue to provide high quality food that modern agriculture can not match. Their religious beliefs can be whatever they want, unless of course they say I have to believe the exact same thing.

                    That is the only time religion matters.

                    1. What matters in how much they use, not why.

                      Why? Why does it matter to me how much food you consume as long as you obtained it without harming anyone else in the process? Why does it matter how much gas I burn as long as I injured no one in the process? And no, you not liking it isn’t an injury. I don’t like you contaminating an already deficient species. That doesn’t mean I get to injure you.

                      Honestly all I care about is that they continue to provide high quality food that modern agriculture can not match.

                      Ohh, it must be all those naturally organic flavoricals that only come from clean living and hand-washed underwear. Seriously, this one statement alone shows just how ignorant you are.

                      Their religious beliefs can be whatever they want, unless of course they say I have to believe the exact same thing.

                      Oh, so close and yet he still can’t quite grasp it.

                    2. Why does it matter to me how much food you consume as long as you obtained it without harming anyone else in the process?

                      You are almost there. Just recognize that forcing someone else to accept your trash is harming them.

                      Ohh, it must be all those naturally organic flavoricals that only come from clean living and hand-washed underwear. Seriously, this one statement alone shows just how ignorant you are.

                      This is a problem that so many communists make. You simply can not dictate the products I actually want to buy simply because you think it is the best way to do things. I buy Amish butter, and chose to pay more for it, because that is the butter I like. I chose to buy Amish meat because I know they haven’t added dye. This really isn’t much of a choice though. While in school I had excessive exposure to methyl sulfates. Now I am hypersensitive to foods that contain these chemicals. No, I will not have some of your birthday cake(common food colors are bad for me). No, I will not have the brussels sprouts or asparagus(methyl mercaptains are also bad). If you had the same problem you’d avoid them too. We all have our slight variations. Deal with it and let markets provide but don’t push your spillover costs on others.

                      Finally why are you forcing religion where it has no place?

                2. And again, where do the Amish get their iron and steel and copper? Do they mine, transport, and smelt it all with sweat and good intentions? Yeah, didn’t think so.

                  1. Do you support British vegans in their demand that ?5 notes should contain zero tallow, even though the entire supply uses only half a cow?

                    We are talking about an insignificant amount.

                    1. I’m not the idiot advocating for imposition of his religion on others, so no I don’t support British Vegans. You dismiss the fossil fuel use of Amish as insignificant and yet you want to protect them and impose harm on me for something that they believe (*I don’t even know that to be the case, but let’s assume that they do) to be bad(tm) but which has no detrimental effect on their lives. yeah, that’s consistent and very libertarian.

                    2. Honestly the Amish I know don’t have much of an opinion on AGW. Once again. They are merely an example of a group that has a carbon footprint from fossil fuels that is virtually zero.

              2. Around my parts of the woods the Amish have quite a few saw mills, all run on diesel engines. The local Walmart has hitching posts for the Amish. I see them waiting on the side of the road for buses all the time and getting rides from generous souls. Lets not forget they use the roads for their buggy’s. I see them in stores buying stuff made with fossil fuels. In doctors offices that are not heated with wood stoves and lit by candles. The Amish use a lot more energy indirectly than most people would realize.

                1. I’m calling Tulpa. If I didn’t have to wait 15min for every Soviet turn before I crush their pathetic empire in 1943, I would have called it earlier.

                  1. I’m rather new around here. I keep seeing the Tulpa reference but I don’t understand it.

                2. That sounds more like the Mennonites in VA. They had the most modern dairy farms. Their market had all the modern conveniences. State mandated medical procedures were as advanced as possible. If the state didn’t mandate though traditional remedies were always used first. It is a weird dichotomy.

                  I can’t say much about the roads as the state put them in place. To comment one would have to know what would happen if the state didn’t take it upon itself to build roads. I know their private paths aren’t paved though.

                  The Amish I visit are very much traditionalists. When the state doesn’t mandate using modern technology it is almost never used. I do recall seeing scrap metal at the blacksmith. Next time I take the trip I’ll have to ask where it comes from. If they just collect whatever is discarded it is about as close to mining the ore as one can expect. After all the state puts a lot of hoops in the way of opening a mine.

    4. Our current fossil fuel usage requires that people who are not consumers or producers of fossil fuels to accept the trash created by others without compensation. What we need is a system that compensates those people.

      You’re conflating pollution and CO2 emissions. The system of regulating power plant emissions (particulates, sulfur, nitrogen, organics, heavy metals) from a few decades ago (i.e., smaller than we have today) was excellent at cleaning up the air; that’s what we should return to.

      As for CO2, nothing needs to be done, and nothing can be done. Even if CO2 has a significant global effect, there are both costs and benefits, and there is no jurisdiction that can regulate it or balance those out.

  30. Yeah you’re right, no regulations should exist. We should just let the Koch bros (do they fund this website?) turn the entire country into an industrial wasteland. Who needs clean air and water anyway? Maybe we can have earthquakes everyday in every state and not just in Oklahoma. I agree with a lot of the Libertarian platform, but you people need to take your collective head out of your ass on environmental issues.

    1. Our fossil fuel usage is going up but our air and water are cleaner than ever. How is this possible? Energy is literally the calories for the machines that power our lives. The more energy we can produce quickly and cheaply, the more wealth we can create and more technology we can create to better the environment. Fracking caused earthquakes are not proven, nor is the catastrophic warming. Even if they were proven, a carbon tax will do significantly zero to solve these problems. Get your head out of your ass and come to us with real solutions like nuclear power and we will know you are serious about reducing carbon emissions.

      1. “our air and water are cleaner than ever. How is this possible? ”

        We have off-shoring to thank for that. Because their air and water are dirtier. Beijing for example.

        “real solutions like nuclear power ”

        It’s China, Iran and North Korea who are actively pursuing nuclear power. Their biggest cheerleaders are America’s libertarians.

    2. Ah the no environmental regulation strawman and a koch brothers reference and hyperbole

      Nice. Just want to be sure that is sarc right?

    3. We should just let the Koch bros (do they fund this website?) turn the entire country into an industrial wasteland.

      It has been my personal experience that capitalists protect the environment much better than socialists and progressives; if you don’t believe me, go to the areas behind the former Iron Curtain; they still haven’t finished the cleanup yet.

      I agree with a lot of the Libertarian platform, but you people need to take your collective head out of your ass on environmental issues.

      You’re the typical watermelon.

  31. I liked this analysis. If the author reads this, I would like to see a reference to the EPA figures that she cites. At the very least, the people who want to enact this policy should do a good cost benefit analysis.

  32. Great points. Why don’t Veronique and Ronald Bailey debate the value of the carbon tax and any other possible alternatives?

  33. CO2 refracts Infrared. The less CO2 = more Infrared reaches the surface. Witch in turn makes solar panels more efficient or productive. Until the panels are overcome by excessive heat(Infrared). Also, the energy absorbed by the panels will not be naturally released into the air. Which would cause wind power deficiency because warm air and cold air are required to create wind.

  34. The entire CAGW hypotheses is apocryphal and unproven. It is the worst sort of scientism. Political leaders who impose or allow taxes or regulations on fossil fuels will be seen as fools.

    Climate change is a false premise for regulating or taxing carbon dioxide emissions. Nature converts CO2 to calcite (limestone). Climate change may or may not be occurring, but is is surely NOT caused by human fossil fuels use. Changes in temperature cause changes in ambient CO2, with an estimated 800 year time lag.

    Fossil fuels emit only 3% of total CO2 emissions. 95% comes from rotting vegetation. All the ambient CO2 in the atmosphere is promptly converted in the oceans to calcite (limestone) and other carbonates, mostly through biological paths. CO2 + CaO => CaCO3 (exothermic). The conversion rate increases with increasing CO2 partial pressure. A dynamic equilibrium-seeking mechanism.

    99.84% of all carbon on earth is already sequestered as sediments in the lithosphere. The lithosphere is a massive hungry carbon sink that converts ambient CO2 to carbonate almost as soon as it is emitted. All living or dead organic matter (plants, animals, microbes etc. amount to only 0.00033% of the total carbon mass on earth. Ambient CO2 is only 0.00255%.

    Full implementation of the Paris Treaty is now estimated to cost $50 trillion to $100 trillion by 2030–$6,667-$13,333 per human being. Nearly two-thirds of humanity’s cumulative savings over history. And will not affect climate at all.

  35. Actually it would be very easy to make sure that new regulations were not introduced. Remove the authority for the EPA to do it.

    Also, it’s easy to mandate by law that the carbon tax needs to be made revenue neutral.

    A net zero carbon tax in trade for removing all that regulation remains a great idea.

  36. Wow, disappointed by Reason comments. I figured Reason readers would insist on referring to peer reviewed science instead of just resorting to opinion as pretend science. The science behind climate change is very well understood. You can disagree with the models – that is fine. But if you want to disagree with them, then you need to accept the changes are just as likely to be much worse than the projections as to be less disruptive than the projections. What happened to “reason”?

    1. This is about policy that has nothing do with science. It isnt about climate change. It is about tradeoff of carbon tax vs epa.

      What the heck are you talking about

      1. This is about policy that has nothing do with science. It isnt about climate change. It is about tradeoff of carbon tax vs epa.

        There is no “tradeoff”; they are about two different things.

    2. You also didnt provide any science in your post

    3. I could but honestly I don’t care if winters are milder and the growing season is longer in western PA. If rainfall changes we can employ former coal miners building dams, a job they can understand. CO2 simply isn’t a major concern for me.

      What I really want to avoid is regulations that cut off the fossil fuels we need to heat our homes on cold, calm winter nights. While I can easily survive paying some extra taxes, especially if I get the money back and the EPA limits are replaced with market based waste disposal structures, a regulation saying we can’t use natural gas for heating(at this point coal would already be illegal) would make my home completely worthless. Being forced to move to CA or TX with little capital is not something I want to have to consider. Especially since I would be one of millions stuck making that move.

      No, flooding most of PA and all of WV to power our cities is not an option I am willing to consider. As I actually do care about the environment that would be a stupid plan. On the bright side out of work coal miners would have a job until their homes are flooded.

      I’d be willing to consider nuclear but the greens won’t allow that perfectly cromulent solution.

    4. You mean like this science?

  37. Climate change might be a leftist hoax designed to force us to trade our suburbs and Suburbans for a transit pass and 500 sq ft of living space in a Democratic Peoples Urban Housing Complex.
    But what if climate change is for real? Barring a brilliant scheme to assign property rights to the atmosphere, some government intervention would be necessary. A carbon tax (offset by other tax cuts) seems preferable to the current tangled web of subsidies and regulations that attempt to micromanage the way we produce and consume energy.

    1. But what if climate change is for real?

      Climate change is for real: it’s getting warmer. People are probably contributing to it.

      some government intervention would be necessary

      No, for several reasons. First, no matter what, science is clear that climate change is not a catastrophe. At worst, it’s a slight inconvenience and cost starting maybe a century from now. But it’s even more likely that it’s a benefit: warmer temperatures are generally preferable to colder ones.

      Second, even if it is a cost, the cost of climate change a century needs to be properly discounted in order to justify current remediation efforts; a dollar spent on reducing climate change today needs to save $100-$1000 in the next century in order to be worth it.

      Third, even if it survived a cost/benefit analysis, the simple fact is that climate change prevention is not politically feasible; democracies are not going to sacrifice growth and wealth now for future generations, and nations across the globe aren’t going to cooperate.

      A carbon tax (offset by other tax cuts) seems preferable to the current tangled web of subsidies and regulations that attempt to micromanage the way we produce and consume energy.

      That’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes, Musk is a lousy crony capitalist, but the magnitude of the parasitism of his ilk is tiny compared to what a carbon tax would cost society and humanity.

  38. A carbon tax would be the end of this nation. Nobody can afford the Obama Care “tax” now. So how is anyone going to afford another burdensome tax like that? It’s a breath tax. We exhale carbon dioxide. The money would not be used to accomplish anything. All the government wants is your money. We need LESS tax to rev up the economy. Less is more. People will buy more if it costs less. The tax on every dollar spent is the same for rich and poor. If Uncle Sam cared a damn thing about the poor, they would eliminate the high “sin tax” on cigarettes. The people who can’t afford it will smoke because they are depressed. The government knows they won’t stop smoking and rips them a new one with ridiculously high taxes. They don’t care.

  39. The left-nut liberal mindset still thinks it can fool everyone. What Trump has done more than anything is pulled the cover back and exposed them for what they are. Everything they say and do allows people to see what they didn’t see before. The “trust” is gone. There’s been a paradigm shift to the right, and it’s huge. The smart ones will never change their minds now, and the low information crowd will wise up with a little help. It may take some time but we cannot sit back and allow morons to control our destiny. Long live Adams and Jefferson!

  40. The primary group behind the effort, the Climate Leadership Council, claims to consist of a “who’s who of conservative elder statesmen.” It comprises veterans of past Republican administrations, including former Secretary of State James Baker, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and economist Greg Mankiw.

    Irrelevant, statist has-beens with delusions of grandeur.

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  42. Second, the trade itself is an illusion. History has repeatedly shown that when new taxes are adopted in exchange for reducing the scope of government, we always get the tax increases and rarely see the promised returns. When they do arrive, they are short-lived. Put another way, there’s
    ???? ?????? ???? ??? ????? ????little reason to expect that the next Democratic administration won’t reinstate all the regulations supposedly traded for a carbon tax and then keep the tax.

  43. First, they are presenting an alternative to regulation where none need exist. The best answer to unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations is to abolish them. Proposing to trade them for a carbon tax might make sense if Democrats were in charge. But under a unified Republican ???? ????????? ?? ????? ???? government, that approach is like deliberately taking a knee at the 1-yard line and kicking a field goal instead of just walking into an unprotected end zone. Just take the easy score.

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  46. “we always get the tax increases and rarely see the promised returns”

    – The carbon tax proposal is revenue-neutral.

    “knee-jerk reactions”

    – This issue is 40 years old at least.

    “chasing high-carbon activity into markets with fewer controls”

    – The proposal contains a border adjustment.

    “raising the costs of energy on Americans would be bad enough”

    – Again, the proposal is revenue neutral. The only Americans who would pay a net increase for energy would be those who consume a disproportionate amount of carbon-intensive energy. They would be effectively renting their share of carbon pollution from under-consumers. This is a very conservative approach to the problem of climate change.

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