Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

[snip] the most targeted and effective free-market policy to incentivize reduced carbon emissions, the primary cause of climate change, is a carbon tax.

A carbon tax would drive investment in new technologies and spur innovation both by providing a financial incentive to reduce emissions and by giving markets a steady price signal. A set price per ton for carbon emissions -- along with gradual, scheduled increases in the tax rate over time -- would establish the market certainty needed to influence long-term decision-making. Investors and businesses could more reliably forecast the payback period and return on investment for clean technologies, projects, and processes. Companies that save on carbon taxes through innovation would soon be able to undercut more carbon-intensive competitors on cost. An intense race to reduce emissions would sweep every corner of the U.S. economy.

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Although the author makes some compelling arguments, I am not sure I fully buy into this.

I'm curious to hear what others think about this.

#1 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-19 01:28 PM | Reply

I will say this though: Europe's high gas taxes certainly spurred gasoline thrift, so I guess the same could apply with a carbon tax.

#2 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-19 01:30 PM | Reply

I'm not sure if it's the best way, but it's certainly worth using all the tools in the shed on this one.

If you believe that markets work, then you ought to believe that carbon markets work.

If not, you've got some splainin to do.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-19 01:33 PM | Reply

I'm in favor of carbon taxes on private jets, yachts and mansions, with the revenue spent on research and development.

#4 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-06-19 01:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"I am not sure I fully buy into this"

But still totally buy into the Laffer curve gimmick, even after it failed, again

#5 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2019-06-19 01:51 PM | Reply

the revenue spent on research and development.

#4 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

That's what the author of the embedded piece is proposing.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-19 01:53 PM | Reply

It would be fine if you actually taxed the producers, instead you tax secondary industries and people.

If you believe that markets work, then you ought to believe that carbon markets work.
If not, you've got some splainin to do.
#3 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Carbon markets don't work because they need to be enforced Internationally.

For instance California instituted a "market" ... but now all the energy is produced out of state, actually costing more in CO2 given parasitic losses.

#7 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-19 05:42 PM | Reply

I'm in favor of carbon taxes on private jets, yachts and mansions, with the revenue spent on research and development.
#4 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

Sailboats?

Thats BS :)

#8 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-19 05:43 PM | Reply

--Sailboats?

No, I was thinking more of luxury yachts owned by people like Michael "Beyond Carbon" Bloomberg. We should help him go "beyond carbon."

#9 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-06-19 06:05 PM | Reply

Carbon taxes are complete BS.

So company A gets taxed because they're a polluter, they don't slow down, they're still producing carbon.

They pass their fine along to the public, probably the poor ultimately.

All we've done is taxed the poorest of us, and just as much carbon has gone into the air.

We are dealing with a problem that has too short a timeframe to allow the 'steering' this type of tax is designed for.

#10 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-19 07:35 PM | Reply

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"Carbon taxes are complete BS."

Here's the thing:
Is there a tax you don't dismiss as complete BS?

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-19 07:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If you believe that markets work, then you ought to believe that carbon markets work.
If not, you've got some splainin to do.
#3 | POSTED BY SNOOFY "

They work incredibly well - as shown in California. California is well on their way hit hitting their goals with % of electricity generated by renewables. This is a great point of pride for CA politicians. Meanwhile, they don't mention electrical CONSUMPTION as the high price of renewables along with the high taxes on fossil fuels simply forced companies to shift electrical generation out of state. So, CA citizens get the privilege to pay outrageous amounts for their 'clean' energy while it is actually produced using fossil fuels - for what purpose? To virtue signal?

So yes Snoofy, markets work incredibly well and the same exact thing will happen to the US as a whole unless the entire world signs up for this carbon credit scheme - otherwise production will simply move to the country that is not charging it - like China, India, Vietnam - hell, over half of the world. As you cannot see more than one move ahead, I am sure you will crow about how you have a 'zero carbon footprint' while consuming more and more goods imported from abroad made with fossil fuels...and whine constantly how there aren't any jobs in the US for unskilled people like yourself.

#12 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-06-19 09:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"So yes Snoofy, markets work incredibly well and the same exact thing will happen to the US as a whole unless the entire world signs up for this carbon credit scheme - otherwise production will simply move to the country that is not charging it - like China, India, Vietnam - hell, over half of the world."

As though that can't be priced back in, simply through country of origin considerations...

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-19 10:11 PM | Reply

"As though that can't be priced back in, simply through country of origin considerations...
#13 | POSTED BY SNOOFY "

Oh - so we put tariff on all goods coming into the US linked to some rate of carbon usage? I thought you were against tariffs. At the end of the day, all we do is hurt US consumers by imposing tariffs according to the Left - and regressively doing it at that as poor people spend 100% of their income vs. rich people spending a small fraction. So yeah, good luck with that nonsense.

#14 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-06-19 10:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I thought you were against tariffs."

I'm more against global warming.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-19 10:34 PM | Reply

"#15 | POSTED BY SNOOFY"

Well, given China has the right to continue to increase green house gas emissions for the next 15 years as the US has been reducing on a per-capita and absolute amount for the last decade, the current China tariffs accomplish exactly that. So, now that you are supporting Trump's tariff policy, when are you going to switch your stance on the wall?

#16 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-06-19 10:39 PM | Reply

Snooty is right. Assess imports for their associated fossil carbon emissions and tax them. Green factories will have an advantage. Local factories will have an advantage.
Foreign high polluting factories will be at a disadvantage.

MAGA!

Although I think antivaxxers are the beat way to reduce emissions.

#17 | Posted by bored at 2019-06-19 10:47 PM | Reply

#17 | POSTED BY BORED

While Snooty is now MAGA and talking a little more sense, the implementation outside of the current tariffs becomes unmanageable. I can see the argument on the Left already as they bow to their Chinese masters:

"Well, China has lower per-capita emissions so they should be exempt from tariffs until their rates match that of the US"

There will always be a push by those on the Left to destroy the US and punish our working class people - it has been their goal for 30 years. The more poor people totally dependent on the government - the more elections they can win. Dems love poor people - that is why they try so hard to make more of them by destroying the middle class.

#18 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-06-19 11:04 PM | Reply

"Although I think antivaxxers are the beat way to reduce emissions.
#17 | POSTED BY BORED"

I prefer to cap immigration (legal and illegal) and fully fund the Dem abortion bills. Within a generation, our population will be much lower and the average IQ of our populace will increase as Dems self-select out of the gene pool, classic win-win. This would position us very well for the coming age of automation.

#19 | Posted by iragoldberg at 2019-06-19 11:06 PM | Reply

#19 The second amendment is more effective at improving the gene pool. 20k gun owners a year off themselves. Southern food is too slow acting. Meth and opiates are working wonders. The problem with alcohol is it lowers IQ among users and their kids, but doesnt kill enough if them before they get knocked up.

America is full of garbage people. We need to dilute that mess with quality immigrants with good education and upbringing.

#20 | Posted by bored at 2019-06-19 11:32 PM | Reply

Carbon markets don't work because they need to be enforced Internationally.

For instance California instituted a "market" ... but now all the energy is produced out of state, actually costing more in CO2 given parasitic losses.

#7 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

This is addressed in the embedded article.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-06-19 11:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

This is addressed in the embedded article.
#21 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

Way before these people thought of its there was this guy, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and having many dinners discussing this sort of issue ...

web.archive.org

#22 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-19 11:59 PM | Reply

#22 The wayback machine. My Space?

#23 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-06-20 12:04 AM | Reply

"discussing this sort of issue"

Any solutions?

#24 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 12:05 AM | Reply

Any solutions?
#24 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Well perhaps you should read part of his book, its interesting reading.

There was a woman at Stanford doing some really interesting approaches to stewardship.

I believe this to be her....
profiles.stanford.edu

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The basic approach is people need to have responsibility for the environment in an economic way. For instance fisheries, someone needs to own the fishing and get a cut of all of the species under their stewardship.

The economic point being they would patrol and make sure people were compliant. My biggest complaint is people will "Cash" out, so how can you prevent the cashing out, and passing down the "Resource".

C02 or any resource crossing International boundaries unfortunately the stewardship idea breaks down, much like the "market" idea, but has lots of success in ecosystems where resource control can be ascertained and maintained by an entity...

#25 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-20 12:15 AM | Reply

I particularly liked this line from the article:

"Such is the unimaginative and irresponsible approach to public policy that has become a mainstay of modern Democratic politics: Any problem, no matter how complex, can be solved if we throw enough money at it."

Followed immediately by:

"Fortunately, Republicans in Congress have finally woken up to the problems of climate change and are proposing their own solutions."

For example, throwing money at it: "Senator John Cornyn has announced that he's working to draft bills that would promote research on clean-energy technologies."

Or, throwing money at it: "Likewise, Senator Lamar Alexander has outlined a "New Manhattan Project" to develop cleaner energy through nuclear power, cheaper solar technology, electric vehicles, better batteries, and carbon capture."

Anyway,

"If we stopped buying fossil fuels, the price of those fuels would fall. China, India, and other developing countries would exploit this cheap-energy bonanza, offsetting our emissions reductions."

Here's an idea: What if we stopped selling fossil fuels? Then the price of those fuels would rise. This alone would incentivize renewables.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 12:18 AM | Reply

"The basic approach is people need to have responsibility for the environment in an economic way. For instance fisheries, someone needs to own the fishing and get a cut of all of the species under their stewardship. "

That sounds exactly like the workers owning the means of production, only you've changed the words around.

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 12:21 AM | Reply

"C02 or any resource crossing International boundaries unfortunately the stewardship idea breaks down"

Not when the resource is people. Then we've got camps ready to go. You lack imagination.

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 12:25 AM | Reply

Man is arrogant, greedy, and narcissistic.

Man has always asked the question - can I?
The more important question has always been - should I?
We have betrayed our own existence.

As for a carbon tax, it wont work. You see, it is much too late for it to have any effect on the problem at hand. Even if the entire planet suddenly went carbon neutral, global warming will continue to accelerate. Even if man were capable of re-forestation of the planet to pre industrial levels, global warming will accelerate.

Automation and technology are the prime destroyers of jobs and prosperity. The accession of AI is global threat. The further technology moves forward in AI, the fewer people will be employed. AI is a very real threat to all sectors of employment. Transportation, education, banking and finance, the service industry, at least 70% of the medical profession, even technology itself. This year alone, more than 10 million jobs will be eliminated globally, and the forecast for next year is twice that. This is why college graduates are having difficulty in employment. Even the so called "good" jobs are evaporating. However, technology still cannot build houses and such, but once AI is producing even better AI than man, this too, shall pass. Those few that control the technology will be the slave masters.

Man is arrogant, greedy, and narcissistic.

Man has always asked the question - can I?
The more important question has always been - should I?
We have betrayed our own existence.

#29 | Posted by gitmboy at 2019-06-20 12:52 AM | Reply

Not when the resource is people.

People can't "freely" cross international boundaries.

You wanna play silly talk, feel free... you won't solve anything and you will look like an idiot, which is fine if that is what you are going for.

That sounds exactly like the workers owning the means of production, only you've changed the words around.

No, perhaps you misread it, not surprising, an individual (stewardship) owns it, and is ultimately responsible for it...

When collectives own it, they can shrug off work/responsibility on others, it tends to break down, we see this in the tragedy of the commons (socialism).

Again read a book on it, read Jared Diamond's book Collapse, it gives excellent examples where individuals profiting on keeping ecosystems "clean" is where these evolutionary biologist are pointing.

AGain you want to play word games I am not really interested. If you are really interested in the topic spend sometime reading about it.

#30 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-20 12:56 AM | Reply

Not when the resource is people.

People can't "freely" cross international boundaries.

You wanna play silly talk, feel free... you won't solve anything and you will look like an idiot, which is fine if that is what you are going for.

That sounds exactly like the workers owning the means of production, only you've changed the words around.

No, perhaps you misread it, not surprising, an individual (stewardship) owns it, and is ultimately responsible for it...

When collectives own it, they can shrug off work/responsibility on others, it tends to break down, we see this in the tragedy of the commons (socialism).

Again read a book on it, read Jared Diamond's book Collapse, it gives excellent examples where individuals profiting on keeping ecosystems "clean" is where these evolutionary biologist are pointing.

AGain you want to play word games I am not really interested. If you are really interested in the topic spend sometime reading about it.

#31 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-20 12:56 AM | Reply

Man is arrogant, greedy, and narcissistic.

Use it to our advantage to save the planet, win-win ecology.

#32 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-06-20 12:57 AM | Reply

"People can't "freely" cross international boundaries."

Open... something.

#33 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 01:09 AM | Reply

Anyway, "an individual (stewardship) owns it, and is ultimately responsible for it..."

That's no different than capitalism. You're just praying for a benevolent despot. The result of that is evident on the island of Dominica, where one side's despot was more benevolent than the other, and that side is significantly wealthier today because Trujillo was a better steward than Duvalier.

"When collectives own it, they can shrug off work/responsibility on others, it tends to break down, we see this in the tragedy of the commons (socialism)."

Pfft. Outcome is no different than if you get a crappy steward, but this time you've decided the management model of socialism itself is the problem. But when there's a bad steward, say a Papa Doc, will you say "an individual (stewardship) owns it, and is ultimately responsible for it..." tends to break down too?

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 01:10 AM | Reply

"Carbon taxes are complete BS."
Here's the thing:
Is there a tax you don't dismiss as complete BS?

#11 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Give me an example of a Tax that I've been against. Taxes are necessary, the Government needs to perform services that individuals aren't capable of efficiently... roads, fire, defense, etc...

I may be critical at times at how we spend those taxes... but try again at not only assigning me a position, but a history of a position.

And who's the dumb f that found that tripe of a post newsworthy?

#35 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-20 11:30 AM | Reply

Taxes are necessary, yet carbon taxes are complete bs...

Your analysis of the impact of this tax is deeply flawed and overly simplistic. Companies can't always just pass taxes on. Especially when they have green competitors who have no tax to pass on. You're acting like economics is a zero-sum game.

#36 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 11:37 AM | Reply

I'm acting like we have to make immediate impacting changes. If companies continue burn carbon and pay a tax, all we've done is shift money to other people, and I maintain tax the poor. The same amount of carbon has been burned, by the time the economics have played out climate change much further down the irreversible road.

It's like telling a lung cancer patient to stop smoking immediately or die... and they decide the best course of action is to keep smoking BUT for each cigarette they smoke they donate to cancer research and calling it even. It's stupid.

Seems like you're only for it because it is a tax, no critical thought applied to the scenario at all.

#37 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-20 11:46 AM | Reply

"If companies continue burn carbon and pay a tax, all we've done is shift money to other people"

If we shift money to people in alternative energy R&D, it can reduce fossil fuel usage.

Your complaint about the same amount still being burned is a sound argument for cap and trade, which we should also pursue.

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 04:13 PM | Reply

"It's like telling a lung cancer patient to stop smoking immediately or die... and they decide the best course of action is to keep smoking BUT for each cigarette they smoke they donate to cancer research and calling it even."

It doesn't get them anything, but that's great for future generations.

#39 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-06-20 04:14 PM | Reply

Local solutions are not the best way to target global impacts, no.
It sounds more like the answer to this question: 'Is a US carbon tax the best way to outsource carbon production to countries outside of those outside of the US?'. That we're have to trust that other countries would institute the same type of tarrif system, otherwise the US would just pay more as other countries continued to pollute with impunity and actually advanced economically because of it. A global agreement, a treaty if you will, that treats countries equally and that had actual enforceable teeth in place might be sufficient for a tax of this nature.

All we've done is taxed the poorest of us, and just as much carbon has gone into the air. - #10 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-19 07:35 PM |
You're ignoring the next step: consumers have the option of seeking out cheaper, and more carbon friendly, alternatives.

#40 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-06-21 12:22 PM | Reply

If we use a coal fired power plant as an example... rates would rise, and you can't pick and choose your local electric company.

#41 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-21 12:51 PM | Reply

So the consumer would seek out wind or solar power to blunt the use of that coal powered electricity. And they would seek more efficient appliances. I'm not saying that rates would not go up and be felt most by those who have the least, only describing the method by which it would help facilitate any overall reduction in CO2

#42 | Posted by Avigdore at 2019-06-21 03:10 PM | Reply

#42, and in the meantime that plant is still burning....

How many years until the ability to recover is gone, or so hard that recovery will be generations out.

The science is saying not that many, are you confident that these taxes will have enough of an impact quickly enough?

I for one do not, which is why I call them BS. If they won't address the problem in time, then they're a money grab. The money will supposedly go to other research, but I'll believe that when I see it.

#43 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2019-06-21 04:03 PM | Reply

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