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Posts Tagged ‘Carbon Tax’

Economists Have Been “Useful Idiots” for the Green Socialists | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 1, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/economists-have-been-useful-idiots-green-socialists

In the old Soviet Union, the Communists allegedly used1 the term “useful idiot” to describe Westerners whose naïve political views furthered the Soviet agenda, even though these Westerners didn’t realize that they were being exploited in such fashion. It is in this context that I confidently declare that American economists have been useful idiotsfor the green socialists pushing extreme climate change policies. The radical environmentalists were quite happy to embrace the economic concepts of “Pigovian negative externalities” and a carbon tax in the past, but now that it is impossible for economic science to endorse their desired agenda, the activists have discarded the entire field as hopelessly out of touch. Economists who still support a carbon tax and other climate “mitigation policies” should be aware of the bigger picture.

Using the UN’s Own Document to Defeat the Climate Change Agenda

I have been making this case for years. For example, back in 2014 I used the latest (and still most recent) UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report to show that the then-popular climate change target of 2 degrees Celsius of warming could not be justified by the research summarized in the report. In other words, I used the UN’s own report to show that the popular climate change “cures” would be worse than the disease.

Yet even though they had spent years berating the critics of government action as “climate deniers” who rejected the “consensus science,” in this case — once they realized that the economic models of climate change wouldn’t support aggressive intervention—the environmental activists all of a sudden began pointing out all the things that the UN-endorsed studies left out. Rather than summarizing the cutting edge knowledge on climate science and mitigation policies, the IPCC document turned into a bunch of misleading nonsense that would give ammunition to deniers.

Nobel Laureate Inconveniently Blows Up the Paris Agreement

Last fall, we had another demonstration of the chasm between the actual research and the media/political treatment: William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on climate change, on the same weekend that the UN released a “special report” advising governments on how to try to limit global warming to as little as 1.5 degrees Celsius.

There was just one little problem: Nordhaus’ Nobel-winning work clearly showed that the UN’s goal was insane. According to his model, it would literally be better for governments around the world to do nothing about climate change, rather than enact policies limiting warming to 1.5°C. Rather than aiming for a 1.5°C target, Nordhaus’ most recent model runs indicated that the “optimal” amount of warming to allow was closer to 3.5°C. (To an outsider this might not seem like a huge discrepancy, but it is absolutely gigantic in the context of the climate change policy debate. Many activists would confidently predict that even 2.5°C of warming would spell disaster for our grandchildren.)

The Guardian’s Slam Dunk

Ah, but I got the best confirmation of my quixotic position just this month, when the Guardian ran an editorial with this subtitle (my highlighting):

guardian-gnd-again-768x765.png

Does everybody see that? The people at the Guardian already know what the policy answers are, without needing any help from the economists.

Conclusion

My economist colleagues who continue to urge for a “carbon tax swap deal” in order to get rid of “onerous top-down regulations” and enact a simple “price on carbon” are fooling themselves. Whether it’s in a ballot initiative in Washington State—literally designed by an environmental economist, or in the wonky columns of Vox’s climate expert, in the political calculus of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, or in the FAQ on the Green New Deal itself, the environmental activists in US politics are making it quite clear that they will not settle for such half-measures.

Market-friendly economists chiming in on the American political scene should stop being useful idiots for the green socialists. Whatever the possible merits of a theoretical carbon tax package—in which a regressive hike in energy prices is matched dollar-for-dollar with corporate income tax cuts, and decades of special-interest favoring regulations are thrown out the window in the zeal for efficiency—this is all a moot point. If market-friendly economists succeed in getting their readers to hold their noses and support a carbon tax, they will all learn quite quickly that the deal has been altered.

Originally published at the Institute for Energy Research

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Green New Deal: “Air Travel Stops Becoming Necessary”

Posted by M. C. on February 7, 2019

Alexandria Occassional-Cortex

“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politicoon whether the climate change panel will write legislation around the Green New Deal. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?” 

Like Obamacare

The Real Deal“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

https://www.atr.org/green-new-deal-air-travel-stops-becoming-necessary

Posted by Michael Palicz

Below are the details of the proposal.

Rebuild every single building in the U.S.

“Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”

Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years.

The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible.

“It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!

“Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary”.

Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!

“We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”

Mandates all new jobs be unionized.

“Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”

May include a carbon tax.

“We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”

May include cap and trade.

“…Cap and trade may be a tiny part of the larger Green New Deal plan.”

How much will it cost?

No estimate of the total cost of implementing the Green New deal is offered by Ocasio-Cortez.

However, as Ocasio-Cortez admits, “even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all the resources at their disposal into this investment, the aggregate value of the investments they could make would not be sufficient.”

“The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit”…

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The Economic Argument for a Carbon Tax Is a Work of Fiction | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2019

If these regulations are so inefficient, then why do they exist in the first place? The answer, of course, is that they are there for political reasons, not because they passed a legitimate cost-benefit test.

https://mises.org/wire/economic-argument-carbon-tax-work-fiction

We live in strange times indeed when an environmental reporter for The New York Times writes that we should stop pushing for a carbon tax, just a few weeks before dozens of distinguished economists sign a letter to the Wall Street Journal calling for a carbon tax. Yet despite the prestige behind the impressive list of signers, the economists mislead the American public on several key points.

Specifically, there is quite open hostility on the progressive Left to merely a carbon tax—for example as is spelled out in the “Green New Deal” that has attracted so much attention. It is thus very dangerous for these economists to tell the public that a carbon tax would promote economic growth by eliminating unnecessary regulation. Furthermore, there is no discussion of just how severely economic growth would be limited, even if the carbon tax receipts were refunded dollar-for-dollar (which of course they won’t be). The talk about average families receiving more back in dividends than they pay out in higher energy prices is extremely misleading, and could only be true if the scheme fails in its ostensible goal of drastically cutting emissions. Finally, the attempt to maintain American competitiveness with a “border adjustment” would simply ensure that the program was symbolic and did little to slow global carbon dioxide emissions.

No, a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Deal to Replace Regulations Is Not Going to Happen

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The “Green New Deal” Debunked (Part 2 of 2) | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 27, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/green-new-deal-debunked-part-2-2

One of the hottest topics in policy wonk circles is the “Green New Deal,” spearheaded by the rising star of the progressive Left, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In my previous post, I explained that the entire premise of a current New Deal—whether green, red, or blue—was flawed. Even on standard Keynesian terms, it makes no sense to embark on a $1 trillion government spending program with official unemployment below 4 percent and the Fed raising rates to rein in price inflation. Worse, historically the actual New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt prolonged the nation’s suffering, making the Great Depression linger for a decade. Finally, I pointed out that the supporters of a Green New Deal weren’t merely interested in mitigating climate change: they quite openly announce that they will use the plan as a vehicle for transforming society according to the standard progressive wish list.

In the present post, I’ll critically analyze some of the specific policy goals listed in the draft text calling for a creation of a select committee to craft a Green New Deal. The various proposals would waste enormous sums of money in pursuit of impossible goals that would raise energy prices and hurt consumers. Even if one believes that carbon dioxide emissions constitute a “negative externality,” the measures in the proposed Green New Deal would achieve emission reductions at a much higher cost than necessary. And we see once again that the progressive Left does not think a simple “price on carbon” is enough to achieve their agenda. Conservatives and libertarians should therefore be under no illusions when the idea of a “carbon tax deal” is floated.

A Carbon Tax Won’t Satisfy the Green New Dealers

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For Climate Interventionists, New Taxes are Only the Beginning | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2018

Say what you will about the climate policy discussions at Vox, but they don’t mince words. They come right out and tell you how much they want to micromanage every last detail of your life. 

https://mises.org/power-market/climate-interventionists-new-taxes-are-only-beginning

Robert P. Murphy

Among other results, this peek into the interventionist mentality should serve as a wake-up call for the few writers who keep charmingly calling on libertarians and conservatives to strike a carbon tax deal with progressive leftists. As the Roberts/Harvey discussion says quite plainly, a carbon tax is just one arrow in the quiver of those championing aggressive government intervention to slow climate change.

A Carbon Tax Is Not Enough

Let me validate the carbon tax claim first. Here’s the key exchange from the Vox interview: Read the rest of this entry »

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Elon’s Carbon Con (Elections Have Consequences, Part Deux) – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on January 30, 2017

http://ericpetersautos.com/2017/01/28/elons-carbon-con-elections-consequences-part-deux/

Here is how Elon Musk makes his money. Just like everyone else in the green energy business. Carbon tax and government subsidy. A below the belt one-two punch to the taxpayer’s wallet.

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The CERN cloud machine and Australia

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2011

We recently spent 2 weeks in Tasmania. What a beautiful place with great people especially our host, her family and friend(s). We can’t wait to get back. I have tried to keep up with the goings on before and since our visit. One thing that jumps out at any visitor is the fact that green is big in Australia. Really big. Read the rest of this entry »

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