30 Mar 2016

Save the Earth humanity for $0.44/gallon? No thanks!

In a comment to yesterday's post on climate change's much worse, much sooner impacts, JP asked:
Has anyone computed what sort of per gallon carbon tax would be required to both reduce GHG discharges and to pay for mitigation and adaptation costs for some reasonable scenario?
Well, many people have, as it's easy, i.e.,
At US$50/ton CO2e, that would work out to about $0.44/gallon (EIA source). The tax* covers mitigation, but the revenue could be used for adaptation, lowering income taxes, etc.
Bottom Line: The "cost" of mitigating (reducing) our impacts from GHG emissions is small relative to the damages but politicians (helped by lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry) have presented it as a "kill your kids" intervention. So sad.

* I call it a Pigouvian fee because it corrects for a problem, rather than causing one (i.e., deadweight losses).


Anonymous said...

I have to comment on the incessant global warming posts, by David and others in the Ivory tower world of tax payer funded think tanks. 35-40 pct of US voters think your full of crap. 30-40 pct think global warming and carbon tax ideas are caused by man and therefore needed to be contained. However, the major of US voters will not support spending more than $99 per year to solve the problem. And it ranks no 15 on most peoples worry list according to Rasmussen polls. So if you want to be relegated to the dust bin of insignificance continue harping on global warming.

David Zetland said...

@anon -- your reply speaks for itself in terms of logic. I will merely add that "belief" is no defence against reality. Example: It's not that 60+ percent of Americans believe Jesus was the son of god, it's that MORE (70+ percent of) Americans think that aliens have visited this planet. Sure, go with that "democratic" version of reality.

(Kinder ps: what's to lose, in planning for or preventing global warming? Worried about paying $0.44/gal more for gas? That's quite an interesting priority.)

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