Carbon Tax Would Benefit Manufacturers

A recent report on how a carbon tax would affect our economy ignores the effects of climate change and benefits of clean energy, leading the writers to inaccurately conclude that a carbon tax would depress manufacturing and employment.  The report was written by NERA for the National Association of Manufacturers.  Interestingly, a previous report written by NERA admits that a carbon tax could be efficient in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

However, for the Manufacturers, the NERA analysts omit consideration of the huge drain on the economy from climate related extreme weather damages to infrastructure and businesses and natural resources. They omit, as well, the benefits of expanding American clean energy and efficiency industries.  

With a carbon tax raising the cost of the carbon fuels, oil, coal and natural gas, people would buy more clean energy and also invest in technologies that reduce their energy use. Increases in American manufacturing of clean energy would lower power costs, inspire growth in other industries, and raise employment. 

If the revenues from the carbon tax are mostly returned to the public instead of used to reduce the deficit, as suggested by the study, there would be a buffer for individuals and a bonus for the American economy.

A comparison of the costs of damages from emissions in a continued fossil fuel economy versus the cost of ramping up clean energy, efficiency and conservation to create a clean energy economy was done by DARA Climate Vulnerability Monitor, finding that “Economic losses dwarf the modest costs of tackling climate change.”

In addition to the $1.2 trillion loss in forgone prosperity by our failure to act on climate change, there is also the risk of unimaginable catastrophe.

A recent report for the World Bank details the costs and risks of continuing climate disruption.  The carbon fuel economy is propelling us toward : “shock to agricultural production…and pressure on water resources which would cascade into effects on economic development by reducing a population’s work capacity …and risk crossing critical social system thresholds..[where] adaptation actions would likely become much less effective or even collapse.”

A carbon tax that encourages competitive growth in American industry would benefit all manufacturers and consumers.




Investing for profit or people

How can investors make money in the time of climate change? That  was the topic of an MSN interview last October with Sarbjit Nahal,  an analyst with Merrill Lynch Global Research.

He recognized that extreme weather is the new economic reality, the “new operating environment” now for corporations and investors. There will be “increasing pressure on food security, water security and energy security, Demand across the three is set to increase by 30 to 50% over the next 20 years.”

Advisors are likely to promote investments in water, water management, water treatment, second generation biofuels from non-food crops, agricultural inputs like equipment, drought resistant seeds, fertilizer and crops.

Is this ghoulish, making money on the scarcity of the basic necessities of life, or is it responsible,- loaning savings to provide for basic needs?

Depends on how it is done.

Corporations can build facilities to desalinate seawater and recycle wastewater and increase supplies responsibly.  Or  they can take control of public water resources, charge people for water that they had used free for generations, and make money for a few shareholders, but leave many people in deeper poverty.  Agriculture can use quantities of fossil fuels and chemicals, squander water supplies, and allow soil loss, or it can reduce plowing and chemicals and preserve water and soil with alternative methods.

As we consider the challenge, providing food and water for 9 billion people in a warming world, it is clear that reducing carbon emissions should be part of every investment decision.

House Committee Refuses to Hear Climate Facts

All the Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted against holding hearings on  “the role of climate change in causing drought heat waves, wildfires, reduced crop yields and impaired electricity generation”  on Feb 6, 2013


Denial of the science of climate change by members of Congress is a threat to our safety. Rep Waxman, who is calling for hearings on reports that climate impacts require prompt action said, “House Republicans have buried their heads in the sand.  I hope they will realize how out of step they are with the science, the public, and the business community.  We have a moral duty to act to prevent the worst impacts of climate change affecting our children and future generations.”

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, representing parts of Eastern Washington, joined in the vote against climate hearings.

Climate Action Plan Comments Invited

City of Seattle has proposed a new Climate Action Plan with a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The city is inviting public review and comments.

Gasoline Costs

The average US household spent nearly $3,000 or 4% of yearly income on gasoline in 2012, according to a WSJ report on new government data.
Well worth it! We certainly wouldn’t want to mingle with people who ride trains and buses, or heaven forbid, bicycles.
It’s worth the time spent in exhaust-belching traffic jams and searching for pricey parking spaces, worth the money shelled out for car payments and maintenance and insurance.
It’s worth sending 20 more pounds of warming carbon dioxide into the air with each gallon of gasololine burned. Before too long, we will have Bahama-like weather in New York, be able to dive out of office windows directly into the ocean, and get no sand between our toes.
It’s worth spending up to 15 times more on transportation to have our own, personal, greenhouse gas dispenser.

Spin Cells for Solar Power

Spin Cells for Solar Power

Tax Our Carbon, Please, Say Most Americans

Two thirds (67%) of Americans would rather Congress tax carbon pollution from oil, coal and natural gas industries instead of cutting spending on education, Social Security, Medicare and environmental protection, according to a recent Melman Group poll. 70% of voters would support a carbon tax if the revenue were used to help solve budget problems and give tax credits to individuals and households.  72% would support it, if the revenue were used to fund clean energy jobs and programs that help deal with the effects of climate change.

Let’s send thanks to Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for supporting S.7, the Extreme Weather Prevention and Resilience Act and ask them and our    Representatives in Congress to make passage of a carbon tax a top priority.

Climate warming emissions from oil, coal and natural gas contributed to over $100 billion in extreme weather damages to America last year. A tax on carbon will make fossil fuel companies responsible for some of these damages and allow clean renewable energy industries to revive our economy and protect our environment.

U.S. Voters Favor Carbon Tax