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Gary Johnson on Climate Change and a Carbon Tax

Is a carbon tax a 'very libertarian proposal' for handling man-made global warming?

GaryJohnsonJimThompsonZUMAPressNewscomJim Thompson/ZUMA Press/NewscomFirst, my claim is anything that you may think of as an environmental problem is the result of a defect in property rights. Basically, environmental problems occur in open-access commons where the incentive is to plunder a resource before anyone else can beat you to it. This includes unowned fisheries, wild game, rivers, estauries, forests, and the atmosphere. There are two ways to handle problems of overuse and abuse in open access commons: Recognize or assign property rights to the resource or regulate the resource. Some resources are more easily enclosed than others, e.g., fisheries, rivers, and forests.

It is arguably much more difficult to assign property rights to the global atmosphere. As a consequence, the nations of the world agreed in 1987 to regulate and ban the substances that where eroding the stratospheric ozone layer that protects the earth's surface from dangerous UV sunlight.

So what about climate change? It is a fact that all temperature data sets agree that the globe was been warming in recent decades ranging from a low rate of 0.12 to a higher rate of 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade. In addition, all data sets agree that this past July was the hottest month ever recorded. For a review of the debate over man-made climate change, see my article, "What Evidence Would Persuade You that Man-Made Climate Change Is Real?", as well as refutations of my arguments.

In any case, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson agrees with me that man-made climate change is happening. Furthermore, Johnson in a CNBC interview also suggested that a carbon tax might be a "very libertarian proposal" to address the open access commons problem of climate change. Johnson is tentative, saying that he is "open" to considering a carbon tax. He specifically notes that a carbon tax would be a simple comprehensive way to replace all sorts of clunky expensive top-down centralized regulations and subsidies that aim to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Johnson's thinking that a carbon tax might be a useful way to handle the open access problem of climate change is in line with that of some groups who are part of the larger free market intellectual movement.

I discuss the pros and cons of a carbon tax in my article, "Can a Carbon Tax Solve Man-Made Global Warming?" Over at Scientific American I explore how speeding up economic growth can solve climate change. I argue:

[F]aster economic growth provides the wherewithal to spur innovation and create cheaper and more efficient technologies. Swanson's Law is an example of increasing economies of scale: Every time global solar panel production capacity doubles, the price drops 20 percent. At the current rate of growth, electricity from solar panels will be cheaper than that produced by burning natural gas in less than a decade. Similarly, climate scientist James Hansen and his colleagues have urgently argued that there is "no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power." A recent study published in PLoS ONE by Swedish and Australian researchers estimates that replacing all fossil fuel energy generation with nuclear power could be done in 25 to 34 years. Economic growth supplies the capital needed to fund the global no-carbon energy transformation, not mandates to deploy current, expensive, clunky versions of renewable energy and nuclear technologies.

A Johnson/Weld administration is far more likely than either a Trump or Clinton adminstration to adopt just the sort of free market policies that would speed up economic growth and technological progress. As a second-best proposal for handling the open access commons problem of climate change, a revenue neutral carbon tax makes considerably more sense than the current mess of federal and state regulations and subsidies and taxes.

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  • R C Dean||

    Gosh, is a massive new tax "a very libertarian proposal" for an imaginary problem?

    That's a tough one.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I would not describe it as "libertarian", but I would describe it as motivated by a libertarian (or maybe just "correct") understanding of incentives and prices.

  • GILMORE™||

    (or maybe just "correct")

    better. Its not *libertarian* in any way at all. But from an economic point of view, its "better" than the other apex-retarded money-wastes.

    It doesn't make it less of a boondoggle. Its just a boondoggle with "better structure"

  • Tornado16nb||

    the issues it being better won't get rid of the bad.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    "Goobers, liars, Ron Paul, Jesus freaks. I always preface with the big four.

    "And then I will change the subject & regurgitate my fantastic resume, emphasizing my favorite subject - me & my brilliance.

    "You goobers fail to acknowledge or appreciate me & all of the campaigns I've managed. You goobers probably weren't even born - but a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was brilliant."

    Michael Hiln

  • notJoe||

    You really need to show Michael more respect. Never forget: he was elected dumbfuck.

  • notJoe||

  • UCrawford||

    Nobody cares about your resume, Hihn...you didn't win, you accomplished nothing, and now you're just a sad old crank with a keyboard, desperately trolling for attention while adding nothing to the conversation.

    Tell it to the pigeons as you pelt them with bread.

  • Crazyotto||

    Mr. Hihn as a member of the Niskanen (Statist) Libertarian wing I understand now why you salivate at the thought of a big government solution to poverty and climate change. I am confused as to why you bother to call yourselves Libertarians in the classical sense because there doesn't seem to be anything in your policies that hints at anything but statism. I now understand why Gary Johnson is clearly off the Libertarian rails and why he picked Weld. He has been co-pted by your cult. The Niskanen Center appeals to Washington insiders and is the antithesis of real Libertarianism. You and your group have clearly sold out the principles of the Individual freedoms, personal responsibility and free markets. Good luck with your version of government servitude. Carbon Tax... good lord!

  • Crazyotto||

    So your response is more government. I would argue that your ideas are more appealing to the big government folks in one of the other parties. You seem to like the idea of more taxes administered by an army of bureaucrats. Since when do you get more liberty with bigger government?

  • Crazyotto||

    Face it pal Gary has ruined the party. First with his horrific pick of Weld and now crap like this. What an idiot.

  • GILMORE™||

    I have been assured that the only weakness in GayJays ideological-libertarianism is his squishiness on a (*a small subset of!) 'Free Association'.

    Clearly, using the power of govt to try and engineer "Climate Solutions" is entirely consistent with libertarian ideas of limited government. If the Federal Govt can't change the planet's temperature, well.... what good is it?

    Also - its also entirely consistent to support the idea of "Self-Ownership" and still think of prostitutes as 'victims'.

  • ||

    It's possible he'll be too busy participating in an open debate about gun rights to enact a carbon tax.

  • GILMORE™||

  • ||

    "I'm not saying I would be value added" - Gary Johnson

    I'm still (not so) baffled how that phrase came out of his mouth.

  • Crazyotto||

    He is an idiot. I had great hopes for him in the last election cycle. I think there has been far too much cannabis consumption on his campaign bus. His pick of Weld was horrific. Now this come on he is losing it.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Clearly, using the power of govt to try and engineer "Climate Solutions" is entirely consistent with libertarian ideas of limited government.

    Definitely not "libertarian" but I suppose a Carbon Tax that impacts everyone* equally and replaces a shitload of expensive regulations would be at least a little more even handed and would (in theory) put the boot on everyone's necks evenly. Like I said, not libertarian by any stretch, but less opportunity for corruption and cronyism than regulations that favor existing companies or Cap and Trade schemes that enrich politically connected cronies.

    Like Johnson himself, perhaps a less shitty option out of all the other shitty options (assuming that doing nothing is off the table).

    *By "everyone" I mean energy producers, not every individual person, I assume a carbon tax wouldn't apply to individuals, unless they literally want to tax us for breathing... probably shouldn't give them ideas.

  • GILMORE™||

    I assume a carbon tax wouldn't apply to individuals

    Surely taxes applied to utilities will never be passed onto consumers.
    right.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    No fucking shit. I assumed that didn't need to be stated outright, here of all places. Obviously I was mistaken.

  • PurityDiluting||

    fuck hiding behind climate change blah blah blah for doing or not doing something.
    Who gives a shit about polar bears?
    pollution is still bad in its own right, ummk, so tax the polluters who are shitting all over the public commons based on the quantity of shit they emit.

  • See Double You||

    Depends on how you define "pollution," doesn't it?

  • Crazyotto||

    No it doesn't . It is another Tax levied by an intrusive and abusive government. Who will decide how and who to tax. We will need more IRS agents, EPA bureaucrats and carbon police. If you think this is a good thing then you are clearly not a Libertarian but rather another silly leftist like Bill Weld.

  • Crazyotto||

    And what will stop them from passing the costs on to the consumers? So we are really looking at higher costs for something as idiotic as the concept of the government stopping climate change.
    I understand that there is some correlation with leftist academic backgrounds, associations with leftist publications and moronic solutions and this is proof positive. The entire Niskanen Center is ripe with leftist twits dying to kill the Libertarian movement. Hats off to you as Cicero put it so well "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within."

  • Ron||

    Yea like the deregulation of California's utilities by Gray Davis and the idiot voters that almost bankrupted every utility except for the government run ones. they somehow made a profit?

  • toolkien||

    So the carbon tax is on those energy producing robots I've heard so much about?

    Every tax is borne by individuals at some point. It's how much you care about yourself and how little you care about the person on the other side of the wall that matters.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    See above: No fucking shit. I shouldn't have to state that explicitly, especially here where most everyone is at least moderately economically literate.

  • robc||

    here where most everyone is at least moderately economically literate.

    [citation needed]

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Compared to Slate or Huff Post.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Also - its also entirely consistent to support the idea of "Self-Ownership" and still think of prostitutes as 'victims'.

    Headline from the article you linked to: "Gary Johnson Clarifies: Sex Workers Are 'Victims' of Prohibition" [emphasis added]

    So... prostitutes are NOT victims of the State's enforcement of prohibition?

  • GILMORE™||

    The headline you cite was ENB's attempt at spinning the 'best possible interpretation'

    Read the actual piece, please, before pretending a 'gotcha'

    Also = Here was the actual exchange . Not only is Gary saying, 'no, its not a victimless crime - there are 'lots of victims"'.... Weld doubles down and suggests that its a crime which "the public" ends up "the loser" on.

    I have no idea WTF that means but it seems to suggests he thinks prostitution is a 'social ill' which govt can play doctor for.

    The best you can do is lipstick up that pig.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    FTA:

    I reached out to the Johnson campaign for clarification, and received an answer from its communication director, Joe Hunter, Thursday afternoon. All he would say about what Johnson meant last night was this: "In an illegal environment, prostitutes are at risk."

    It would be nice if he or his lackey would just come out and say it outright: "Under prohibition, prostitutes are victims of the state, duh!", but oh well.

    As for Weld I really don't give two shits what that statist says about anything anymore. I've given up on him ever expressing an actual libertarian idea.

  • GILMORE™||

    Lipstick.

  • Crazyotto||

    Thank you ..Why did GJ ever picked that idiot I have no idea unless he is going after the Green Party vote. SO we have a very important election cycle and our choices are a duplicitous lying megalomaniac (former failed SOS, lackluster Senator, conniving First Lady) or a lying orange faced pseudo billionaire megalomaniac or an apparently at one time an acceptable Libertarian candidate who picks a leftist VP and believe that Climate change is something you should address with another tax. We have lost the battle to save the Republic.

  • Crazyotto||

    Thank you ..Why did GJ ever picked that idiot I have no idea unless he is going after the Green Party vote. SO we have a very important election cycle and our choices are a duplicitous lying megalomaniac (former failed SOS, lackluster Senator, conniving First Lady) or a lying orange faced pseudo billionaire megalomaniac or an apparently at one time an acceptable Libertarian candidate who picks a leftist VP and believe that Climate change is something you should address with another tax. We have lost the battle to save the Republic.

  • Crazyotto||

    Clearly, using the power of govt to try and engineer "Climate Solutions" is entirely consistent with libertarian ideas of limited government. If the Federal Govt can't change the planet's temperature, well.... what good is it?

    Humor?

  • SIV||

    GayJay has proposed two massive new taxes, carbon and consumption. His plan is based on the sound economic principle that you get less of what you tax more of.

  • some guy||

    Stop being disingenuous SIV. You know Johnson only supports the consumption tax contingent on elimination of income and payroll taxes.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I like the idea of taxing consumption instead of investment/income, but isn't consumption the other side of the production coin?

  • Ron||

    if we had a consumption tax only it would make illegals tax payers as well even when paid under the table

  • SugarFree||

    Stop being disingenuous SIV.

    It's all he has. You might as well demand that Hugh stop punching old women.

  • Florida Hipster||

  • Swiss Servator||

    He is still doing that?! I thought he had switched to jamming broomsticks in the spokes of wheelchairs?

  • SugarFree||

    Hugh is what Hugh is.

  • some guy||

    I know. I've been here more than long enough to realize that, but sometimes I just can't take it anymore. I forget. Is no-troll day on tuesday or thursday?

  • Spinach Chin||

    ...but taxes are never really eliminated, are they?

    I always chuckle at the thought of "eliminating" the income tax in place of some flat tax or consumption tax. This promise is only as good as the next President's or Congress' willingness to be bound by the ideology of their predecessors.

    The next President and Congress will just re-add the income tax, because there's nothing to stop them from doing so, and we've set a precedent by allowing our representatives in govt to act as though they are unbound by any laws or oversight.

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    "Gosh, is a massive new tax "a very libertarian proposal" for an imaginary problem?

    That's a tough one."

    Yeah that's the first thought that came into my mind as well RC Dean. =D

  • Ladylost||

    This was it for me too. The squishiness on guns was really hard to swallow esp considering their "co presidency" and weld is even worse...then the Supreme Court crap justices and examples of ppl to work with in the senate (wtf!), but this was too far. I lament the fact that "all of the above" is not an option because surely it could win now.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Is a carbon tax a 'very libertarian proposal' for handling man-made global warming?

    No, but I doubt he'd be able to get a carbon through a R controlled Congress, and a D controlled Congress wouldn't pass it either because they want Cap and Trade. There's not enough opportunity for graft, corruption, and cronyism in a carbon tax for the D's to pass it. /somewhat sarc

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's all moot anyway since he isn't going to win.

    My God, replying to my own post, I hope I'm not turning into Eddie.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Wait until you get to at least three or four replies, before fearing that.

  • John Titor||

    Not enough troll links to random Lincoln stories.

  • John Titor||

    ...Or insults about fucking another person's mom, despite that being doubleplus ungood for Papists.

    (Eddie doesn't seem to take that 'in my thoughts and in my words' part of the Confiteor seriously)

    ...Oh god now I'm doing it too.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Cripes, I thought we were all Tulpa...maybe we are all Eddie?!!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm not sure which is worse.

  • SugarFree||

    When you are a Warrior For God you can't expect there to be no casualties.

  • Florida Hipster||

    If we are going pie in the sky, I vote deregulation of nuclear and deregulation of the economy to solve climate change. That way if the science says global warming was a statical fluke, we still have a booming economy and cheap energy.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Good point on nuclear deregulation. That should be a required component of any climate change legislation.

  • ||

    And a crown jewel of a libertarian energy policy.

  • IndyEleven||

    What's a good primer on nuclear deregulation? I know it's crazy expensive to build plants and there's a lot of hysteria over radiation of course, but I'm not familiar with the actual ins and outs of what could be deregulated that would help.

    Most cheap energy discussion about nukular I see these days is around thorium salts, and other technologies rather than regs on existing. Just curious.

  • Florida Hipster||

    You should ask Smilin' Joe fission. He works in nuclear and could probably point you in the right direction.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Unfortunately I haven't seen him around in a long time.

  • Florida Hipster||

    He pops up in the PM lynx sometimes, but yeah..

  • ||

    Not sure how up to date you are, but Ron did a piece a while back.

    There are better experts than I around but the main thing is that regulation has effectively strangled *existing* nuclear energy. The time horizon for getting a plant approved by the NRC, today, makes building new plants based on old/current technology pointless let alone new plants with new technology.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Thorium is the fuel (ultimately) dissolved in the salt. And the game changer is molten salt reactors. We don't need Thorium for hundreds to thousands of years and it's harder to do than just a U or Pu burning MSR.

    Cheaper could also mean Small Modular Reactors (SMR). That is moving forward, but it's not clear to me how much cheaper they can really be because they are still pressurized reactors and still require heave containment because of that.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    If we are going pie in the sky, I vote deregulation of nuclear and deregulation of the economy to solve climate change.

    That too, along with de-regulating coal and natural gas and instead taxing the carbon output. The tax can then be repealed later when/ if it's ever proven that Global Warming is hokum. Of course, that'll never happen, because "consensus!"

  • Ron Bailey||

    FH: See my article on The New Nuclear Energy Revolution - lots of info on regulatory costs.

  • some guy||

    At least you don't switch handles before replying to yourself like some people.

  • Florida Hipster||

    I'm just raising some questions!
    /Rollo

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Since we're all either Tulpa or Mary Stack, that means we're all guilty of switching handles without even realizing it.

  • Brochettaward||

    [M]y claim is anything that you may think of as an environmental problem is the result of a defect in property rights.

    I have yet to meet anyone who claims to care for the environment in person with any sort of response to this more than an eye roll.

    It is arguably much more difficult to assign property rights to the global atmosphere.

    This seems to be besides the point to me. If someone could prove harm done to their health or property as a result of damage done to the atmosphere, they would have a point. But there is absolutely no legitimate way to allocate liability here and really there aren't many individuals in the West who could actually try to argue they aren't culpable.

    How about this - when the alarmists can reliably and persuasively calculate damage caused by environmental harm, then there will be something that approaches a legitimate argument for carbon taxes. Right now, I haven't seen anything demonstrating that's the case.

  • Ron Bailey||

    B: In my article on carbon taxes, I provide a link to Jonathan Adler's article discussing how tort liability can inform the debate over who should pay for any damages caused by climate change.

    Of course, to the extent that you do not think that the scientific evidence shows that man-made climate change is a problem, the issue is moot in any case.

  • Florida Hipster||

    The problem is that everyone harmed by fossil fuels is also helped by fossil fuels. If if you aren't on the grids you benefit by good produced by cheap energy. I prefer the growth model. But let's be honest with ourselves, we ain't getting a "neutral tax" or "deregulation".

  • timbo||

    Ron,
    It is an entirely fair point to make that something as politically charged as climate change warrants considerable scrutiny of any "data sets." How is anyone to believe anything they read?
    Further, no disastrous predictions have come true and even such heavily statist, biased organizations like the UN IPCC had to retract some of their predictions and admit that cooling trends were not as severe.

    It is fair to argue that the whole issue of ACC should be tabled and ignored for pursuit of more beneficial policies and lesser expenditures at least until many more years have elapsed.

    Please cite some examples of dire predictions having come true.

  • Ron Bailey||

    t: Good question. Two things to consider. First, even the IPCC's Extreme Events Adaptation report notes:

    Projected changes in climate extremes under dierent emissions sce- narios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame.

    As I explain in The End of Doom: "That means that weather extremes for the next several decades will likely be within the bounds of natural variation, making it almost impossible to discern any effect of man-made climate change on them."

    Second, is the vexed issue of climate sensitivity - how much warming will occur for a doubling of CO2. A GRL study in 2014 calculated it would take another twenty years of temperature observations for us to be confident that climate sensitivity is on the low end (around 1.5 degrees C) and more than fifty years of data to confirm the high end (6 degrees C) of the projections.

    Waiting to find out that it's at the high end would be pretty costly in the future.

    Really folks, reading my chapter on climate change in The End of Doom would help y'all understand better where I'm coming from.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So we need to apply the Precautionary Principle then?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I'm OK with a carbon tax.

  • Horatio||

    I'm not. We have a stalemate it seems. Thumb war?

  • Florida Hipster||

    Rock Paper Scissors. Good ol Rock. Nothing beats that.

  • jonnysage||

    Frivolous lawsuit paper beats rock.

  • ||

    Poor predictable Bart; always picks rock.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Is that anything like democracy?

  • The Other Kevin||

    But what about the cronies? WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CRONIES?

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Is a carbon tax taking property from people on the threat of bodily harm a 'very libertarian proposal' for handling man-made global warming?


    Uh...

    No!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    He specifically notes that a carbon tax would be a simple comprehensive way to replace all sorts of clunky expensive top-down centralized regulations and subsidies that aim to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

    That's assuming that Congress actually repeals the "clunky expensive top-down centralized regulations and subsidies" when implementing the carbon tax, which I wouldn't hold my breath. It's not much different than saying the "Fair Tax" would be contingent on repealing the 16th amendment, or how some people would like to replace the 80 some-odd welfare programs with a negative income tax or guaranteed wage, it'll never happen because Congress will never actually get rid of the old programs first, and you'll end up with the both.

    But hey, let's tilt at one more windmill, why not?

  • Ron Bailey||

    CA: You're comfortable with more Clean Power Plans, California-style transport fuel mandates, biofuels and renewable power subsidies, etc. You may not win, but you can defeat a bad idea only if you offer a better idea.

  • Tornado16nb||

    Or you just grow the leviathan even further which is the most likely scenario

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Just give them everything they want and end it all sooner.

    The End is Nearer and It's Going to be Spectacular

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Or you just grow the leviathan even further which is the most likely scenario

    Which is what I was really saying: that we'll end up with all the old, expensive regulations AND a new carbon tax on top of it because I doubt Congress would ever pass a bill repealing those regulations.

    Hopefully if they pass a carbon tax without also de-regulating the energy industry a hypothetical president Johnson would veto it, but I doubt even the carbon tax itself could get through Congress either.

  • Swiss Servator||

  • Cynical Asshole||

    You're comfortable with more Clean Power Plans, California-style transport fuel mandates, biofuels and renewable power subsidies, etc.

    Huh? When did I ever say that?

  • Ron Bailey||

    CA: I know that you're not comfortable with those policies but they are what you're certainly going to get in lieu of the second-best policy of a carbon tax. If the bastards are going to do something (and they are going to), then try to get them to do something that is less harmful.

  • Ron||

    maybe we should take the more positive course of do no harm. If a person has an itch do we break his arms to prevent him from scratching. the best course would be to stop bad actions by the government that only do more harm. one step closer to the cliff is not always the best choice.

  • Ron Bailey||

    OM: Imposing unwanted climate change on folks is NOT taking property? Only because property rights are hard to assign and enforce. See my Coasean analysis in my carbon tax article to which I linked.

  • Tornado16nb||

    How would this address climate change? How would you discern it worked or not or was effective?

    The United States could shut down completely and not sure it would make much of a difference

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Ron Bailey,

    OM: Imposing unwanted climate change on folks is NOT taking property?


    No. Taking into account that climate is a general condition which affects every living thing and not an an action against a specific individual (unlike taxation), your question and the implication are utterly absurd. I can't conceive how you could seriously ask that.

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Ron Bailey,

    See my Coasean analysis in my carbon tax article to which I linked


    You seem to have me confused with someone who subscribes to utilitarian ethics.

    I don't. A Cosean analysis does not provide validity to the taking of property, Ron. It can only suggest the point where people will feel indifferent to the loss of property, that's all. How is that supposed to be consistent with the NAP or morallity-based ethics is beyond me.

  • ||

    Irony; Ron Bailey decrying both fanatical belief in God and the Precautionary Principle, then espousing his brand of radical conservatism by invoking a Universal Precautionary Principle literally derived from the sky.

  • Ron Bailey||

    m.d: Huh? Of possible interest is this Regulation magazine article by Robert Litterman, "What Is the Right Price for Carbon Emissions?"

    From the article:

    Climate change is a risk management issue. If we knew for sure
    that the worst outcomes from climate change could be addressed
    successfully in the future, then the appropriate price for emis-
    sions would actually be less than the average damages discounted
    by the risk-free interest rate because climate change damages
    would be a hedge. If one believes that scientifically plausible sce-
    narios exist in which the worst outcomes from climate change
    are catastrophic for future consumption, then the appropriate
    price for emissions would be higher now than the estimate of
    average damages discounted by the risk-free interest rate.

    The fundamental problem, of course, with the insights pro-
    vided by the economics of risk management is that the answer
    depends at its core on something unknowable. How significant
    is the risk of an unimaginable and unmanageable catastrophe?
    ...It would be best to get started immediately by pricing carbon emissions no
    lower, and perhaps well above, a reasonable estimate of the present
    value of expected future damages, and allow the price to respond
    appropriately to new information as it becomes known.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And who gets paid for the increasing planetary productivity over the last 30 years? Tell me the exact damage caused by longer growing seasons. Tell me the exact damage caused by a warmer climate given that our starting point right now has more deaths due to winter/cold than summer/heat. Tell me what is the absolutely perfect planetary temperature. Tell me who pays for the reduction in severe storms due to reduced thermal gradients (contrary to what the IPCC SPM would like to claim).

    Way too much Pangloss in this analysis.

  • Ron Bailey||

    N: To the extent that positive externalities are not owned, we all get to benefit.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    In a true Coasian analysis you don't get to neglect the positive externalities. If I save you $100 due to reduced winter deaths and cost you $50 due to having to move your house 50m inland you don't get to just hit me up for the $50.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    ". . . we all get to benefit . . . " Or, maybe it's just just an expensive, authoritarian clusterfuck?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Ron's reply to you (if there is one) will be a rating's bonanza . . . .

  • Tornado16nb||

    And the climate will always change...so how does one prevent unwanted climate change?

  • Tornado16nb||

    And the climate will always change...so how does one prevent unwanted climate change?

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Mind Hindered,

    "If a climate event damages the property of a million people, we can ignore that because the damage is not to a specific individual.


    As far as ASSIGNING BLAME goes, yes. I would not assign blame for a flood to someone who prays for rain because no one can control rain fall.

  • Caput Lupinum||

    Imposing unwanted climate change on folks is NOT taking property?

    Perhaps, to some people. Rising seas will cause some people to lose property, or spend resources constructing sea walls, while the longer growing seasons in northern regions will be a general boon, both to the farmers living there and to people across the country/world by lowering food prices. It would also help the environment by making water intensive farming viable further north to less stressed aquifers. Like any other global shift, some will win and some will lose. Why are some entitled to the status quo while others denied their preferred state? If this was about a shift in the economy or culture, we would generally allow the shift to happen, why is the environment different? I understand the general impulse, but it is a honest question; if we can't say what the best state for any other large, complex, distributed system, why do we think that we can when it comes to the global climate? And what do we do when the climate inevitably changes on its own due to natural forces? Is stasis our goal, and if so, why?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Why are some entitled to the status quo while others denied their preferred state?

    It's a good question. Personally speaking, I'm less concerned** about change and more concerned with really bad, extreme change. I don't think that is likely, though.

    ** I like snow, so I have an aesthetic preference for my current climate, but that's inconsequential to these types of questions.

  • Caput Lupinum||

    I also prefer snowy climates, just like I prefer viable IT work being available in my area. But if free trade or more open immigration policies cause my job to go to another area, I won't demand the state step in and stop it, I'll move or retrain to a different skill set, etc. Most other libertarians would deny the claim that losing my preferred economic state is a taking of my property, and I would agree despite the much larger impact it would have on me. The two situations aren't completely analogous, I'm just curious as to why I should argue for state intervention in the case of climate, but not the economy?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Good question - hey Ron? Answer this question?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Yeah, thank you. This to me is the overriding issue. By what logic am I supposed to agree that the climate of 150 years ago is ideal? You're talking about a fraction of a millisecond in the history of the planet. Climate has always created winners and losers. Isn't that why a house in Hawaii costs a little more than one in North Dakota? For fuck sake, there are entire civilizations at the bottom of the ocean due to climate change and they were there long before anybody knew you could burn dead dinosaurs. If humans are releasing trapped carbon into the atmosphere from whence it came, what makes these clowns so sure we're not going to benefit greatly from it?
    But Gary and Ron want to tax my grandchildren so some asshole* doesn't lose is Miami vacation condo. Here's an idea, fire up the Family Thruster and move to Missouri.

    * Undoubtedly many, if not most, readers of Reason Magazine own vacation condos in Miami. You of course are excluded from the "asshole" reference above. I was referring to those other people. Yeah. You know who I'm talking about.

  • ||

    Imposing unwanted climate change on folks is NOT taking property?

    Scientifically speaking, how does/would one lay claim to an ordered homogeneous lack of entropy considering the universe is against you/it?

  • John Titor||

    You're assuming what you define as a 'normal' temperature is a 'neutral' position that confers the maximum 'property', which is inherently faulty and assumes everything is a zero-sum game. I'm sure medieval peasants enjoyed the longer growing season that was taken away from them by the Little Ice Age, but others benefited from the change. I might as well argue that you're taking property away from people who own land in the Canadian Arctic by opposing climate change because you seek to devalue their land and make it more difficult to extract their mineral wealth.

    "Imposing unwanted space debris on folks is NOT taking property? Only because space property rights are hard to assign and enforce."

    Therefore we need a tax on anyone who utilizes satellite technology. Funny how this argument is ridiculous if you actually apply it consistently.

  • kinnath||

    Explain to me how you prove in a court of law that any given person is responsible for the damage caused to some other given person as a result of a minor increase in global average temperature. Then we can talk about whether or not there has been a taking of property.

    So yes. It is a bad idea to dump hundreds of millions on tons of green house gases into the atmosphere.

    But there is no fucking proof that the industrial revolution is solely responsible for the reversal of the trend of the planet cooling from the medieval warm period to the bottom of the little ice age. The ice core data show clear proof that nature is quite capable all on its own of producing the magnitude of change in temperature and rate of change in temperature that we are seeing now. And yes, that is not a conclusive defense that mankind is having no effect on average global temperature. But is is evidence that all the scaremongering that is going on in liberal circles is unjustifiable.

    There is no compelling that case that we absolutely have to do something right fucking now or all the fucking polar bears are going to die on our watch. We have at least a couple of decades to figure things out.

    Ron, you are becoming part of the problem.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    In the long run, we'll all be dead

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    What about "wanted" climate change? Because I sure as hell like it better now than 250 years ago before all you climate "experts" learned to Google.

    And question - do you work for the Johnson campaign? Because you've worked yourself up into a contradiction pretzel here. You forget - we've read your prior work. You spend an inordinate amount of your current columns defending Johnson.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How is imposing an arbitrary cost on energy commodities that only has an aspirational connection to the supposed "taking" a solution to the alleged problem and not a source even greater problems? What is certain is that artificially inflating the cost of energy will serve to lower living standards for everybody.

  • Tornado16nb||

    It's wrong to assume a carbon tax would actually reduce emissions by a significant amount. Even if it did, that doesn't mean it will affect the climate in anyway.

    I also have a hard time seeing the government giving up other regulations and subsidies.

    And it is odd to assume it will be revenue neutral

  • jonnysage||

    Seems like it would just cause inflation. Company passes the cost down to consumers. Consumers pass it on to employers. Employers pass it on to consumers.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Ah, you've discovered the fly in their ointment . . . Or, there's the rub, in Gary's Johnson

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    It is arguably much more difficult to assign property rights to the global atmosphere.


    That's probably because since property rights is the solution to scarcity issues and air is NOT scarce, then assigning property rights to atmospheric air is an exercise in futility.

    But it does make for an excellent justification to impose Marxianism that the Marxians have not overlooked.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Why always add the "-ian-"? Why not just Marxism and/or Marxists?

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Sound like Martian, which implies Marxists are way out there, in orbit around planet Marx. Or goofy, to be more succinct.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    I think the take is that while air isn't scarce per se each individual can only access the air in their immediate vicinity--giving you a handle on air as property--and if that air is polluted then it becomes less desirable than unpolluted or less polluted air, which in turn allows you to talk about different areas of air being more or less valuable as a result of damage caused by pollution. Or something like that.

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper,

    I think the take is that while air isn't scarce per se each individual can only access the air in their immediate vicinity


    The reason why has to do only with the capacity of your lungs and not because atmospheric air is scarce. There's a better case for scarcity when the available air is contained like in a submarine, but even then property rights are impossible to implement since the air itself is non-rivalrous, i.e. people breathe the same air.

    if that air is polluted then it becomes less desirable than unpolluted or less polluted air,


    Depends on what you're talking about. If you have a private property owner who likes to cook his brisket with cow chips and people around him don't like the smoke and smell, then the case is clear that property rights come to play. Instead when people in a city add to the overall pollution level, then this is where people's opportunity costs come into play, since it is obvious that people accept pollution as just one cost of living in a city but outweighed by the great benefits in terms of the number of trades they can achieve (e.g. income, services, goods, etc.) compared to living in the fields.

  • Tony||

    Oh so you're a mind reader. And everyone chooses to not fix pollution.

    Does it not bother you that you have to pretend that externalities such as climate change don't exist in order to maintain your tidy little worldview?

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Tony

    Oh so you're a mind reader. And everyone chooses to not fix pollution


    No, Tony. I apply economic logic to the preferences they display though their choices. People live in the city which means they prefer the city to the fields. They drive around in cars which means they are not concerned with the pollution they produce individually.

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Tony,

    Climate Change is not an externality. Climate changes all the time. It is impossible to assign a particular "rate" to human action because climate is a multivariable system. You keep using that word but I don't think it means what you think it means.

    In other words, you're an ignoramus using big words.

  • Ron Bailey||

    OM: Actually people do NOT accept pollution as a cost of living in cities. Instead, they backed regulations to handle the commons problem of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates etc. There is a long history of cities outlawing coal, then high sulfur oil, then oil, and so forth to improve air quality. Over the course of my lifetime, air quality in U.S. cities has dramatically improved as a result of technological progress and
    regulations.

    Before the Obama administration killed it, the sulfur dioxide market in which emissions permits (property rights) were assigned had helped to significantly reduce (down 50 percent) that form of pollution from power plants.

  • OldMexican sine qua non||

    Re: Ron Bailey,

    Actually people do NOT accept pollution as a cost of living in cities.


    Of course they do. They still live in the city. That's indicative of their choice.

    Instead, they backed regulations to handle the commons problem of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulates etc.


    Who are "they"? Because if you're talking about politicians, then what the citizens back up are regulations imposed on a few individuals whose pollution is very obvious and visible. Citizens will always back up legislation that is advertized as sticking it to someone else.

  • jonnysage||

    Next up: Is War With China a 'very libertarian proposal' for dealing with their refusal to pay a carbon tax?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    And Ron Bailey will bring back the draft to fight against the Climate Tax Evaders. Just for the back-talk from you bitches

  • ant1sthenes||

    First, my claim is anything that you may think of as an environmental problem is the result of a defect in property rights

    Well, that would be stupid. Firstly, not all environmental problems are man-made. Secondly, regardless of the incentives, people will eventually fuck up and do stupid shit, and the impact can be huge depending on the nature of the fuckup. Arranging payouts for the damages is not the same thing as resolving the problem, and human beings and even organizations have the capacity to inflict damages well in excess of what they could repay anyway.

    It would be one thing to say there is a tendency for environmental problems to be rooted in lack of property rights (while observing that such a lack may be a failure of feasibility rather than politics). But "any environmental problem results from a defect in property rights"? Come on.

  • John Titor||

    It's trying to apply the tragedy of the commons to every single possible environmental outcome. If only the British colonial authority had correctly defined property rights on Krakatoa there would have been no environmental effects!

  • Ron Bailey||

    a & JT: OK, OK - "Man-made environmental problems" then. You are, of course, right that nature does create problems for humanity, but even they can be ameliorated by the proper market institutions and property rights, e.g., market based flood and crop insurance. Krakatoa, not so much.

  • Robbie Clark||

    Reason will say anything to support Gary Johnson's stupid fucking positions.

  • SIV||

    No shit

  • ant1sthenes||

    In fairness, if they're going to be idiot partisans, I'd rather they be Ready for Johnson than Ready for Hillary or Making America Suck Less, Like Before.

    As much as I think the invective hurled his way by the commentariat is warranted, is he any less of a libertarian than fucking Bob Barr? The only difference is that we have the false belief it sort of matters this time.

  • Robbie Clark||

    I'm still rooting for a Gary or Jill miracle in this election, but damn, Gary is terrible.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Reason is bad, Michael Hiln is worse .

    Just give it 5 minutes. He'll be here . . . defending Ron and calling the rest of us LIARS! GOOBERS! And reminding us all the libertarian wins under his campaign belt 40 years ago

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I'm convinced Ron and Nick work for the Johnson campaign. And we all thought the "journalists" at Breitbart were the only ones guilty of promoting propaganda at the expense of their integrity. (sigh)

  • ||

    Ron, you valiantly write about climate change educating natural skeptics and everyone in between alike on the suspect (thanks to manipulation) data that has come to characterize climate change. Yet you assert a 'revenue neutral carbon tax' is sensible?

    Forgive me, aside from the fact taxes in any form no matter how labelled are inefficient, but since I'm just a gimp with a limp mind, this strikes me as the opposite of sensible.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    "Revenue neutral" - just like Massachusetts tax on Uber and subsidy to taxis?

  • Ron Bailey||

    BSW: No, not like that. More like the tax and dividend approach.

  • ||

    Ostensibly, isn't the point of a carbon tax about *fighting* climate change? An event that has not even been conclusively determined was caused by man? If man's impact on climate change negligible (or at least not as big as environmentalists claim) why bother instituting 'lump-sum rebates' and other tax schemes? What happens if climate change changes again and heads for the cooling period?

    Unless you're telling me 'no, no we need to be weened off oil and gas' this is still a great idea because habits need to change!

    Which I'm not convinced of. In any event, my province has put in a carbon tax and the Federal Liberals are talking about it too and I haven't heard they'll cut a 'green check' and I certainly don't expect Liberal party of Canada to come up with anything enlightened on the matter.

    Where will all this money go? I doubt Mother Nature has a bank account.

    Still skeptical.

    /raises Bugs Bunny eyebrow.

  • DesigNate||

    If you can prove you are CO2 neutral, or even better a net consumer of CO2, will you get a rebate on your carbon tax?

  • ATXChappy||

    I had to do the same when I voted for Barr and Johnson the first time. Let's face it, unless you run for office yourself, You aren't going to find a candidate that shares your values 100%. Hell, I don't think I'd agree with myself 100% of the time.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I've voting for Calvin Coolidge. He's dead & won't fucking tax you.

    The lesser of all these evils is to opt out & vote for the dead guy

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    You wanna be fucked by Fat Grammy, Cheeto Jesus or the Gun Grabbing Choomer? Picking the dead guy gives you street cred.

  • FloridaProf||

    The contortions one has to go through -- such as believing in AGW -- to assert that Johnson's ridiculous proposals are truly libertarian . . .

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Technically it's CAGW. However, Bailey thinks that a local maximum means doom AND assigns causality.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    He is NOT a libertarian! He is socially tolerant and fiscally conservative!

  • PurityDiluting||

    I love the lottery. It's a tax I can completely avoid. Which is why I also like user fees.
    Slapping a fee on polluters gives them an economic incentive to reduce the quantity of pollution they are producing.
    I'm good with that.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Slapping a fee on polluters gives them an economic incentive to reduce the quantity of pollution they are producing. increase the quantity of campaign donations they are producing to secure exemptions to the rules for little people.

    FTFY

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    You'd need to trust government beforehand - that they'd get this tax and use it on "climate".

    But honestly, Ron - it sounds like a way to punish carbon users, while providing a revenue stream for government.

    So - count me out.

  • ||

    I keep hearing talk of a carbon tax as a disincentive to burning fossil fuels but I never hear any details about where the money goes.

    Let me guess...

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    To Ron Bailey's bank account as a "consulting fee" to the Johnson/Weld campaign.

  • Ron Bailey||

    W4J: No checks from Johnson/Weld. Actually, I have contributed about $400 to their campaign so far.

  • Florida Hipster||

    It's suppose to replace income taxes dollar for dollar. I get the idea, but it has as much chance as ending the WOD.

  • PurityDiluting||

    Take a look at I-732 (ballot initiative in WA state)

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, since it is a fee paid for the use of property, and the atmosphere is equally the property of all men, then obviously it should go to the Technocracy, because it is Humanity's agent in the earthly realm. I mean, I guess you could remit a portion to every individual on earth, but that would be infeasible. Beside, what can a bunch of third worlders do with that money anyway? Better it's spent on flying tens of thousands of millionaire bureaucrats around the world to lavish parties where they can discuss how to end poverty and save the environment.

  • Ron Bailey||

    BSW & S: As I mention above, consider the tax and dividend approach.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Climate change solutions sound as hokey as the war on poverty.

    Another problem best fixed by those mythical government angels

  • ATXChappy||

    "It is a fact that all temperature data sets agree that the globe was been warming in recent decades..."

    The data suggests that the current warming trend started 10,000 years ago. Now, I'm not saying that man isn't contributing to that. But, it seems to me that global warming is a crisis that politicians aren't about to let 'go to waste'. About the only way I would support a carbon based tax, is if all proceeds went to directly hydrogen energy research.

  • toolkien||

    In on the ground floor of Hydrenergy Inc. I take it?

  • toolkien||

    Oops, there's really a thing called Hydrenergy, which isn't applicable. Joke probably wasn't funny anyway.

  • ATXChappy||

    Not at all. But, think I get the point. How's this then, Put all the money collected into an 'Xprize' type payout. Then, give it to the first person / organization that proves they have a completely carbon neutral energy solution.

  • ||

    The data suggests that the current warming trend started 10,000 years ago.

    ^ This.

    Possibly anthropogenic, but if so, then it's from the Agricultural Revolution, not the Industrial Revolution (and perhaps started with the paleolithic deforestation of Australia) - and it may well be the only thing saving us from the next glaciation, which is several thousand years overdue.

  • toolkien||

    By all means, let's replace King Louis with Robespierre. At least we're doing SOMETHING! If we get Napoleon down the line, oh well.

  • Almanian's NOTHING TO SEE HERE||

    I can see I need to remind this rabble that there is ANOTHER choice:

    Almanian for President - 2016
    I Probably Won't Make It Any Worse

    And I definitely do not support raising ANY taxes. No, fuck you, cut spending.

  • SugarFree||

    And I still get to be your press secretary, right?

    "Cokie, you retarded whore, shut your retarded whore mouth."

  • Almanian for President - 2016||

    And Agile Cyborg is still Poet Laureate, yes.

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    ALAMAIN !!! ALAMAIN !!! ALAMAIN!!!

  • Tommy_Grand||

    I love predicting the future!

    Who proved +.13 C per decade has costs that outweigh its benefits? Bet that's a cool proof.

    Let's see.... plus .6 C by 2060. My quick and dirty, back-of-the-napkin math says more benefits to cost by that point, but i value forest & marine species growth more than some do. Net farmland increase for Asia will be nice

    If we reach + .75 by 2073, we might be able to farm Siberia and mine several parts of Antarctica (even with current tech)....unless we hit another one of those mini ice ages & 500 million humans starve.

    Speaking of tech, we hit the singularity, when, 2046?

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    I would say that instituting Carbon Tax is a very inefficient way of combatting climate change. For every dollars worth of tax, or carbon credit bought, or sold, at least 25 % or more is going to administration. A non profit, charity, buying a climate change conscious product, or investment would be more efficient.

    Think of it this way. When you give a homeless person 20$ he/she gets the full 20$. When you give a government 20$ to give to the homeless person, that government is going to take 5$ out of the 20$, and give the homeless person 15$.

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    This also a good argument to use on so called "Progressive" people that have been swayed by a politically corrupted media. They tend to look down on charities. However also remind them that they should do some research on charities they wish to donate to. =D

  • ant1sthenes||

    And when you give the Clinton foundation $20 to help a homeless person, $19 will go to the Clintons, and $1 will be given to the homeless person in the form of a gift certificate to a five star restaurant in the Hamptons run by a Clinton Foundation donor.

  • Jgalt1975||

    How do you calculate that there's a 25% administration cost? The IRS's budget is nowhere near 25% of the tax revenue collected by the federal government. (IRS budget for 2016 is less than $12 billion; estimated total federal income and payroll taxes for 2016 are over $3 trillion.)

  • ||

    The IRS doesn't give the money to the homeless person. The IRS' sole task is to take money from you. That $12,000,000,000 serves that purpose alone and no other.

    That $20 on its way to the homeless person has many, many layers of processing, bureaucracy and oversight before it finally trickles down to that homeless person, and every one of those people and agencies needs to be paid.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    When you have companies act as IRS agents and deduct taxes BEFORE you even see your paycheck and retailers act as franchise tax hoarders who charge you sales & use tax BEFORE you even buy something - you have created tax agents of 50% of the country.

    Do you understand now?

  • ||

    Actually, the literal number is that if you give $20 to the government to give to the homeless person, the homeless person gets $1.40.

    I know you were trying to be hyperbolic, but you wound up way undershooting. Thus is the nature of our government today.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Ron Bailey is going to have a lot of mud on his face by the end of the day.
    Ron Bailey is going to have a lot of crow to eat by the end of the day.
    Ron Bailey is going to have a lot of mea culpas to write by the end of the day

  • Jackand Ace||

    Quite honestly, I'm not sure how "being open" to a carbon tax means anything. Someone else will have to work on it? He's not convinced yet about what solutions should be implemented? If it's regulations you fear, best to get on the move to implementing solutions you want...the world isn't waiting anymore.

    In the meantime, climate scientist Heidi Cullen published this article on what to expect over the next 100 years of daily temperatures in various places in the U.S. It's projected that Dallas, by 2100, will be having around 130 days of the year with temperatures over 95 degrees... 4 months of the year.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interac......html?_r=0

    Here's hoping Johnson gets a bit more definitive as to what he wants to do.

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    Here's hoping you stick a dildo in your ear Jackass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjNxkSoSE7A

  • Brian||

    It's basically Hillary Clinton's position: she's open to discussing it, if someone else starts he conversation.

    She's intentionally avoiding a proposal for a carbon tax, what, with politics and all.

  • Jackand Ace||

    As far as a carbon tax, it is the same. Her intent is more regulations, not preferred but a solution.

    As far as I can tell, Johnson has no preferred solution at all. Being open to one of them isn't much of anything if you're not proposing something else.

    Sanders wanted a carbon tax. I'm not a Clinton supporter.

  • Brian||

    We were going with the idea that, if you're going to complain about something, then you have to complain about it all the time everywhere for everyone or else you're a big hypocrite .

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    I hope Gary Johnson is as open to a Methane Cow Fart Tax as he is to a Dirty Carbon Tax.

    Moo

  • Tornado16nb||

    See something like this may sound good and theory, but in reality...politicians always work in bait-n-switch mode. "If you give us this now, don't worry we will do this later". Of course the later never comes to their promise.

    Does anyone really trust the government to 1. replace regulations and other programs, 2. be revenue neutral with something not likely to have any discernible impact on the climate in the first place?

    I sure as hell don't.

    You just have to look at the other good government promises....the ACA was to lower costs and open up the markert! You have two different factions of the federal government...one that argues against smoking (CDC, FDA) with regulations and such while other portions subsidize tobacco. Contradictory goals that you can't get rid of.

    Also the most important thing to remember is there aint nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.

  • Tornado16nb||

    How does one discern natural variation of climate versus being "climate change"? Considering climate change will happen no matter what. These notions that one can control climate is just absurd.

  • El Oso||

    So Gary slurps the AGW kool-aid...may as well vote for the Trumpbon...what a loser, and you, too, Bailey....

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If I started dumping my garbage on you front lawn because it's cheaper than paying for trash hauling, I would be clearly violating your property rights. It's not clear to me why grinding it up into small enough pieces and throwing it far enough up in the air before it falls on your property changes that.

    So from a absolute property rights standpoint, it's not clear to me why people should be allowed to emit anything into the open atmosphere.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Forget people, it's the goddamn cows & their methane farts that scare the bejesus out of me

  • Bob Meyer||

    "Every time global solar panel production capacity doubles, the price drops 20 percent. At the current rate of growth, electricity from solar panels will be cheaper than that produced by burning natural gas in less than a decade."

    The problem with that reasoning is that it ignores the fact that solar panels are less competitive today than five years ago before fracking slashed the price of gas. Other industries won't stand still unless government hog ties them, which admittedly, is the goal of progressives.

    Solar needs an order of magnitude drop in cost to be competitive. This would require solar panel capacity increase by over 10 times while losing money on every panel sold if it is sold competitively with the present alternatives.

    As long as I have been alive solar energy has always been "just around the corner". Bear in mind that I was born during the Truman administration. The present solar conversion systems will never be competitive. We need to stop diverting engineering talent into the economic black hole that existing conversion systems represent. Stop the subsidies and let the market move the engineers into areas that are more promising. Perhaps there is an engineer with a practical approach but as long as the government picks Samuel Langleys over the Wright Brothers solar energy will never fly.

  • Ron Bailey||

    BM: Maybe. But it is interesting to note that in nearly ideal conditions, solar PV power in Chile went for $29.10 a megawatt-hour at a recent energy auction. I was not able to find a current wholesale price for electricity generated by natural gas in the U.S., but some recent wholesale prices in New England were quite low in months and years that natural gas prices were also low, dropping to as low $19.61 per megawatt-hour in June, 2015. On the other hand, the lowest annual average NE price was $36.09 in 2012.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And what is the price for backup power when that PV isn't available? Don't forget to count the inefficiencies incurred due to either cycling the source or the fuel wasted to retain it as spinning reserve.

  • Ron Bailey||

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, it is.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Fuck off, slaver is a good point too

  • Sam Grove||

    "It is a fact that all temperature data sets agree that the globe was been warming in recent decades ranging from a low rate of 0.12 to a higher rate of 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade. In addition, all data sets agree that this past July was the hottest month ever recorded."

    So what? Hasn't it been warming since the Little Ice Age?
    Shouldn't we expect record temperatures as a result?
    How does that prove anthropogenic CO2 is driving the warming?

  • Karl Swisher||

    The data sets referenced in the article are manipulated and fudged to show an increase in temperature.

    Computers at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit was hacked. Emails were exposed between these climate scientists stating that the temperature. had decreased over the last 10 years and how could they hide this. They also got the source code to the computer program generating Al Gore's hockey stick. Comments in this source code stated the data would not create the hockey stick and how to change the code in order to create it.

    Dr. Tim Ball On the Significance of the CRU Hacked Documents
    http://www.infowars.com/dr-tim.....documents/

    One of the facts in the video below is that the relationship between temperature. and CO2 is the reverse than we are being told. Temperature drives CO2 not CO2 drives temperature. There is about an 800 year time lag. This part starts at 21:40

    The Great Global Warming Swindle Full Movie
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg

  • Ron Bailey||

    KS: Well, there are more than a few studies that disagree with that claim. See "Radiocarbon constraints on the extent and evolution of the South Pacific glacial carbon pool" in the May 2015 issue of Nature Communications, and this August 2015 study, "Regional and global forcing of glacier retreat during the last deglaciation" also in Nature Communications. The basic idea is that changes in insolation resulting from orbital changes initially increase temperature which in turn releases CO2 which then contributes to further temperature increases.

    However, unraveling the causal rhythms of ice ages and interglacials is complicated.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    So, let's have a global carbon tax?

    Seriously, have you gone infuckingsane?

  • Meletaeus||

    If you're going to vote for the least of three evils, you might as well vote for the least of two. You're not making a statement, nor are you helping the LP to succeed, by supporting this guy. You're just voting for a run-of-the-mill Republicrat.

    It's not just the Democratic and Republican parties that are imploding. Looks like the LP is being taken out too. Or at least, it's becoming unrecognizable to me.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Gary Johnson isn't libertarian. He's fiscally conservative & socially tolerant.

  • Locris||

    You are correct, unrecognizable.
    Not the same from back in the mid 90's when I started reading more LP stuff.
    Shame what a 10-12% poll creates now.
    Almost, not quite, but almost power for the sake of the same.

    Perhaps in a hundred years, we can thaw out Jesse Ventura and no one will remember "The Thing That Washed Up From Whackadoo Island."

    Until then, perhaps a more nuanced dissertation on cow flatulence and the need for the "masses" to eat less beef is in order.

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Since it's "global climate change", I expect it to be a "global carbon tax". Else, why do it?

    Right Ron?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    Forget libertarian. Is this fiscally conservative /socially tolerant?

  • Woodchippin' 4 Jesus||

    You must have skipped over Old Mexican's & Not Another Skippy's posts.

    Even Bailey acknowledges their pointed arguments. So, not the only informed one in the room.

  • Vampire||

    A carbon tax? Fuck off slaver. Seriously, where is this tax money going? To the gov't?

    So tell me who has done more to reduce pollution. Is it Al Gore, and the gov't? Or is it companies like Hamond research-Cottrel, J-Power, and many more? The latter have done far more to reduce pollution. Look at the performance of J-power's ISOGO units 1 & 2. Emissions on par with that of a natural gas plant of similar output.

    To say that diverting money from companies, to the gov't will somehow result in more capital for R&D into environmental controls for power plants is complete bullshit.

    Property rights are another joke. States take property taxes from individuals. How is it that an individual has a right to their property, when it would get taken away if they couldn't pay the extortion rate? So how can individuals that get their land polluted, look to be compensated from the offending business? No, the state environmental agency fines the company, and keeps most of it for themselves, while the folks who were affected get a mere pittance in many cases. The "state environmental agency" doesn't take the money and put it towards bettering the environment, but do spend it on growing their bureaucracy and engaging in boondoggles that would put any contractor out of business.

  • NoVaNick||

    I am agnostic about AGW-I don't think that every time I drive my car, a polar bear dies-at the same time, I am not going to dismiss it either. That being said, I would support a modest carbon tax if it would be used to fund conversion of coal or oil power plants to nuclear and also the development of carbon capture and global cooling technologies. If AGW is the threat to civilization that the proggies say it is, we need solutions that will deal with it now, not in 500 years. Of course, they are more interested in their own whining and demonizing those who aren't like them that I don't think they actually give a shit. So if a carbon tax means they will have to choose between sending their little ones to private school or taking the family to an eco resort in Thailand for vacation because the airfare will cost $10K, I am all in favor of it.

  • Locris||

    But cheap product never enters the equation.

  • TGGeko||

    "If you don't use carbon"

    Literally no one doesn't.

  • Locris||

    As in cheap paint product.

  • Locris||

    Down the street, a development of hundreds of low-cost, woodframe homes needed repainting every 5-7 years, from severe pollution.

    Thus surely they were using top of line products.

  • Locris||

    So where is the "other side" of the story?
    We have pretty much heard, ad nauseam, one side

    No, not the Lib party pandering!

  • Locris||

    When any entity that can enforce punitive actions against me, especially via force, such as badges with guns and courts, and fines, and confiscation et cetera, takes money from me, for whatever reason, it is not revenue neutral. And when it is for a dubious purpose, at best, it is all the more totalitarian in nature.
    Your defense of the man is admirable, but he has no chance of winning.

  • Locris||

    Denial, hmm I sooo often hear counter arguments. Didn't the Sierra Club just have a Nat Geo special on CNN with scientists debating the subject. No? Yeah I thought so.
    I think, minus my spelling of the man's name, Daniel Patrick Moniyhan had said during the Nixon Administration that most of the East Coast would be under water by the mid 90's.
    We are still waiting.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja.....b01c1755a4

    But since it is (for some reason) Forbes, and The Daily Planet for that matter, or maybe the author is a this and that, then the article is patently false. Right?

    But no matter what, all your climate jihadist faith sees, is no debate allowed. Believer or infidel.

    As for Johnson, good luck to him. I still have the email from the LPO President (?) of Ohio where said he would have voted for Obama over Romney.
    Obama has been so libertarian. I guess Socialists always make the best libertarians.

    Revenue neutral is when my pocket isn't emptied via, again, coercion.

  • Locris||

    Boldly type all you like.
    No debate, equals blind faith or fear of your position being disproven.
    And your histrionic reply shows this. The same type of response when you question any true believers religion.

    Hence why no comment on the NASA satellites being deniers.

    Johnson has no chance. Believe it .Maybe by 2040 the LPO might get up around 20% nationally..And I say this unfortunately, as it is unfortunate, the best in so far as election victories the libertarian party has to point to is Jesse Ventura.

    May you can join up with him and revive his conspiracy show.

  • Crazyotto||

    Denial of what? Who will police / enforce this new carbon tax? More Jack booted IRS agents/thugs or perhaps the thousands of idiot bureaucrats at the EPA.? Only a statist would agree to expanding government to fix a problem that may or may not be caused entirely by man. In the same breath please explain how a carbon tax would actually stop climate change and is that your purpose? If it is to stop pollution we already have the thousands of faceless(soulless) bureaucrats at the EPA working on making economic life more miserable. this is just another statist solution not Libertarian and it will never be revenue neutral. The consumers will always be the losers.

  • culdees2020||

    You do know that global temperatures are not on the rise and the sun is cooling don't you? A carbon tax is a scam to make people like Al Gore richer while he and other environmentalists use fossil fuels to live opulent lives all the while demanding others pay for their lifestyles. As for the green energy scam it has been a pig's trough for Democrat politician's relatives and cronies to legally steal from American taxpayers who do real work for a living and don't get rich off the Federal dole.

    Face it Garry Johnson is just another run of the mill big government liberal who is only the libertarian candidate, because he took a toke and doesn't lie about inhaling. The carbon tax is an elitist entitlement program to control the lives of the average man and woman.

  • Haybob||

    Carbon Tax?! ** Quietly takes down Gary Johnson for president sign from front yard

  • TGGeko||

    So, what are his Libertarian policies again?

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Since you're so much older than the rest of the H&R Commentariat, you'll never know - isn't that correct? We may be alive and suffering because we did not listen to you and Mr. Bailey - but you won't be here to see it.

    You'll be dead.

  • Ron||

    carbon tax another method of keeping the poor poorer

  • TGGeko||

    So, wealth redistribution, then. Got it.

  • Bodica Slayer of Woodchip||

    Ron Bailey, what's the difference between Jill Stein's position on a carbon tax and Gary Johnson's position on a carbon tax?

    Not much - isn't that correct?

  • Voros McCracken||

    Searches article for "unintended consequences:"

    'Phrase not found'

    Apparently being a libertarian and right about everything makes you immune from what would otherwise be a common libertarian criticism.

  • Response||

    I don't inherently have a problem with taxes - what I have a problem is that they never seem to go to what they were designed for. Let's tax gas to fix the roads and at that point the roads begin to crumble. The road are crumbling so let's add another tax to get to fix the roads... repeat. All the taxes just get placed into the government's slush fund so that their SIGs can be managed. Eventually the problem becomes trust, because now we can't trust the government to fix problem of their own making. The libertarian solution is to reduce government to make it more manageable and transparent. A carbon tax is not inherently anti-Libertarian. The problem is how do we trust a government to use those taxes appropriately when it continues to lie about so much?

  • Haybob||

    I disagree. Any tax designed to target a specific market is anti-libertarian.

  • Response||

    I would agree, but it sounds like it would affect all markets. Isn't it a general tax against anything that could somehow be carbon positive? Really that includes all markets when you include that the additional costs would be passed around to consumers (other business).

  • David Aaron||

    Exactly. That's why The Fair Tax is fairer. It taxes all consumption evenly. In doing so, it is the most effective carbon tax every proposed. And, I posit, is the most libertarian tax ever proposed (excluding the tin-hat no-tax! position)

  • Crazyotto||

    Why create another tax when you cold just tax more the first time? You and your rather sick band of environmental libertarians really need to join the Green party.

  • David Aaron||

    Carbon and Consumption are inseparable. The more one consumes, the larger footprint one has. What very few understand is that a Consumption Tax IS a Carbon Tax. By proxy, The Fair Tax, that Gary Johnson is publicly advocating for, IS a carbon tax. In fact, the Fair Tax is probably the biggest carbon tax ever put before Congress. But because it taxes individuals, and not Duke Energy, people can't see it for what it is.

    The grand irony of the Fair Tax is that it was drafted by 10 gallon hat wearing Texans who aren't exactly environmentalists. I am pretty sure Gary Johnson has never promoted the environmental benefits of the tax, which are many.

  • Crazyotto||

    Like Hihn another big government liberal parading around as a Libertarian. Another tax is just that and please show how taxing a corporate entity who in turn passes it on to the consumer will fix the so -called man made climate issue. Seeing how you are presenting a non scientific solution to a mostly scientific problem.

  • LV||

    I suggest that all taxes be applied to the people proposing the tax, at a 100% rate (it ONLY applies to those proposing it) for 10 years. Once the 10 year / 100% test is done, if those who proposed it still think it needs to happen then we do a slow roll out of the proposed tax. 10% of the population can pay it the 11th year, 20% the next, etc.

    That way, we will know for SURE that it is a good idea. Yes / no / fuck yes / fuck no?

  • LV||

    And I also propose an 8 year term limit for ALL elected officials. No cooling off period, no return to service, nada. IF they get elected they can serve up to 8 years and no more EVAH.

  • ertdfg||

    What could be more libertarian than putting the government in charge of all business/home/and transpiration by controlling CO2?
    AND giving them a lot more revenue from the taxation this will bring?

    Clearly the best libertarian proposals are the ones giving the Federal Government significant boost to size, scope, power, and funding.

    What could be more Libertarian than working for the largest, most powerful, intrusive, and high tax Federal Government imaginable?

    Oh wait... I mean what could be more Authoritarian than that?
    Weird I use the polar opposite word. And I see you did above too.

    Why is the Libertarian Party running an Authoritarian Candidate?

  • ertdfg||

    What could be more libertarian than putting the government in charge of all business/home/and transpiration by controlling CO2?
    AND giving them a lot more revenue from the taxation this will bring?

    Clearly the best libertarian proposals are the ones giving the Federal Government significant boost to size, scope, power, and funding.

    What could be more Libertarian than working for the largest, most powerful, intrusive, and high tax Federal Government imaginable?

    Oh wait... I mean what could be more Authoritarian than that?
    Weird I use the polar opposite word. And I see you did above too.

    Why is the Libertarian Party running an Authoritarian Candidate?

  • Sugarsail||

    Global warming is a fraud based on pseudo-scientific conjecture and speculation. The masses have been seduced by their unconscious religious instincts. Prophecies of global cataclysm by rising sea levels and demands to repent for our sins litter human history in myth religion and cults. Here we go again. Sorry that Johnson got duped by his own imagination.

  • Dr. McBanjo XV||

    Taxes create a disincentive. If something has to be taxed, better to tax an externality and reduce taxes on income. I can imagine a grand compromise where carbon taxes make room for lower income or corporate tax rates or a higher standard deduction. A carbon tax would create more consistent incentives than layers of regulatory tinkering and uneven subsidies.

  • Instead of Politics||

    Aggression (including pollution) is a property issue. Damage to person or property that is quantitatively tied to carbon emissions would best be resolved through class action with choice of venue. Only the victims would be compensated. If a bureau earns any portion of the fees, the incentives for diminution will be reversed, because it would be a categorical monopoly. Libertarians (ancaps in particular) are well aware that categorical monopolies are incentivized to produce more of the evil that they were created to oppose.

  • nubwaxer||

    libertarianism is unregulated capitalism that benefits the rich. it tacks on a mishmash of progressive social issues without any way the enforce them through it's standard cut taxes for the rich republican ideology. it's as simple minded as asking why we can't use nukes or why we have to pay taxes at all. its an appeal to return to the gilded age.
    "The Gilded Age in United States history is the late 19th century, from the 1870s to about 1900. The term for this period came into use in the 1920s and 30s and was derived from writer Mark Twain's 1873 The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding."
    https://www.google.ca/?client=opera#q=guilded+age+

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