SEARCH BLOG: ECONOMY and ENVIRONMENT
From the Economist's View:
Almost everyone except the likes of ExxonMobil, US Vice President Dick Cheney, and their paid servants and deluded acolytes understands that when humans burn hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere, where it acts like a giant blanket, absorbing infrared radiation coming up from below and warming the earth.Wow. There are so many faulty assumptions, it should be apparent to almost everyone that this idea is unworkable. But just in case you don't see the problems, here is the short answer:
Likewise, almost everyone understands that while global warming might be a much smaller or larger problem than existing models suggest, this uncertainty is no excuse for inaction. ...
Finally, almost everyone agrees that governments, non-profit institutions and energy companies should be spending far more to develop technologies that generate non-carbon-emitting power, that remove it from the atmosphere to forests or oceans, and that cool the earth by reflecting more of the sunlight that lands on it.
Clearly, the world's rich countries should carry the burden of dealing with climate change. After all, they could take an easy, emissions-intensive path to industrialisation and wealth. Today, China, India and other developing countries cannot, and it would be unfair to penalise them for that. ...
Economists like to think of things in terms of prices. And when economists see behaviour that has destructive side effects, we like to tax it. Taxation makes individuals feel in their wallets the destruction they are causing. ...
But it has to be the right tax. An SUV going 10 miles in the city and burning a gallon of gasoline pumps about three kilograms of carbon into the atmosphere. Should the extra global warming tax be US$0.05 a gallon, US$0.50 a gallon, or US$1.50 a gallon? ...[T]he size of the tax hinges on a question of moral philosophy: How much do we believe we owe our distant descendants?
- Almost everyone excludes a very significant portion of the scientific community that does not accept the notion of an anthropogenic climate change model
- Almost everyone excludes a large portion of the economic community that believes taxation is not needed to cure a questionable problem.
- Almost everyone excludes a large portion of the world that believes China and India don't require a free ride regarding any global actions that might be enacted.
- Economists are generally not in the value judgment business regarding perceived destructive behavior and will often find that the law of unintended consequences rules over well-intentioned legislation and taxation (is outsourcing destructive behavior... ask those who lose their jobs?) Is hamstringing our economy going to solve a perceived global problem or only create a U.S. economic problem?