Posts Tagged ‘Cap & Trade’

A: Carbon Tax

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Q: What do Ralph Nader, James Hansen and The Wall Street Journal agree on?

Why? I mean, how on earth could these three unlikely curmudgeons–one representing political progressives, another a defender of science’s role in society, and an economic editorial board known for denying global warming–actually agree on a solution to a vexing problem?

Well, from an economic efficiency argument (the Wall Street Journal), it all makes sense–you tax a product and the economy will produce less of that product. It is simple and requires little government intervention over & above that which already exists.

From a scientific efficacy argument (James Hansen, the NASA scientist who has been railing against GW gases, profiled in the New Yorker), it captures *all* emitters of GW gases. From the big smokestack polluters down to the average homeowner/car driver. (Cap & Trade only captures the huge, single point emitters; i.e., smokestacks).

From a social justice/progressive viewpoint (Nader’s Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal here), you tax the stuff we, as a society, don’t want, and, if the tax is implemented fairly, we get the pent-fecta: Lowered GW gases, higher taxes on rich energy gluttons, lower taxes for more productive pursuits, new jobs in energy efficiency & alt-energy production, and redistribution for the poor.

It’s simple, tax carbon til we don’t use it. Or at least til we use a lot less of it.