Carbon Taxes: Worrisome in Theory, Bad in Reality

Dan Mitchell: “Proposed #carbontax is a bad deal, requiring two bad policies for the vague promise of one good policy.”

International Liberty

I don’t have strong views on global warming. Or climate change, or whatever it’s being called today.

But I’ve generally been skeptical about government action for the simple reason that the people making the most noise are statists who would use any excuse to increase the size and power of government. To be blunt, I simply don’t trust them. In Washington, they’re called watermelons – green on the outside (identifying as environmentalists) but red on the inside (pushing a statist agenda).

But there are some sensible people who think some sort of government involvement is necessary and appropriate.

George Schultz and James Baker, two former Secretaries of State, argue for a new carbon tax in a Wall Street Journalcolumn as part of an agenda that also makes changes to regulation and government spending.

…there is mounting evidence of problems with the atmosphere that are growing…

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Green Startup Societies

Startup Societies Foundation

In 2017,  the environmentalist movement looks bleak. With Trump in the White House and Rick Perry heading the Department of Energy, new environmentalist regulation is extremely doubtful. America is not alone. The world is moving towards right wing populism and global isolationism. In this landscape, national self interest is prioritized over environmentalist concerns or the international cooperation it requires to address them.

But environmental activists do not have the luxury of conceding defeat. They know the consequence is death for millions and the wholesale destruction of the ecosystem. Action is a foregone conclusion. The real questions is: what type of action should be taken?

The common method is electoral politics in order to, “throw the bums out”. But ecological apocalypse is time sensitive. Presidential campaigning will not get off the ground for another three years. Even if the green movement wins in 2020, entrenched financial interest and Trump’s emerging political…

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