Monday, November 19, 2012

A Carbon Copy of a Bad Idea

With the exception of an attempt by New York Mayor Bloomberg to divert attention away from his city's woeful lack of disaster preparedness, global warming didn't rate a mention in the presidential election campaign -- but it returned soon after with a vengeance. Karl Rove hadn't stopped arguing over the Ohio result when various voices affiliated with the losing party (such as several scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and Greg Mankiw, a Harvard economist who advised Mitt Romney) began suggesting that a carbon tax was a really good idea going forward. There are good reasons for conservatives to contemplate how their approach to young single women, gays, and immigrants might have contributed to recent defeats, but there is no reason to think that a switch on energy policy -- which is really economic and industrial policy -- might help. A carbon tax would punish the middle class and harm the broader economy now and going forward. It should be defeated the same way as cap-and-tax was defeated.

The first argument advanced in favor of a carbon tax is that it would help reduce emissions that allegedly cause global warming. This is why NASA atmospheric scientist James Hansen occasionally moonlights as an economist to push a carbon tax. Yet a carbon tax that is set high enough to significantly affect emissions would be devastating to American household budgets. A lower carbon tax will have no noticeable effect on emissions.

As Chip Knappenberger of New Hope Environmental Services recently demonstrated, even a complete elimination of U.S. carbon emissions today would not detectably affect global temperatures or sea level in 2050 or 2100. Only a globally harmonized carbon tax could do anything to reduce emissions to the levels which alarmist scientists say are necessary, and the experience of the failed Kyoto Protocol shows that developing nations will not accept anything that reduces their prospects for economic growth. Therefore, a U.S. carbon tax will not do anything to stave off or even mitigate whatever threat global warming might present. Read more....

1 comment:

  1. Carbon "management" is just another massive scam by the left to soak the middle class. Wherever there is a dollar to be had, criminals will figure out a scam to extract it with a tax.


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