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.

 

http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/cvm-press-releases/

http://daraint.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/CVM_RELEASE_FINAL_ENGLISH.pdf

http://www.nam.org/~/media/ECF11DF347094E0DA8AF7BD9A696ABDB.ashx

http://climatechange.worldbank.org/sites/default/files/Turn_Down_the_heat_Why_a_4_degree_centrigrade_warmer_world_must_be_avoided.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/opinion/a-carbon-tax-sensible-for-all.html?_r=0

 

 

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Policies for a Green Energy Economy

An e-mail survey came today from the Democratic Party asking for thoughts about how we should move forward.

What do you think of this answer???

With thanks for the progress made toward a greener economy, I would like the President to make leadership for a new energy economy his top priority.  The price of a transition to efficiency and clean energy would be much less than the cost to our society of continuing to burn oil, coal and natural gas.

Americans know that burning fossil fuels increases catastrophic weather damage and risks future economic collapse. We have good alternatives, just in time to help us preserve our economy and our resources.

This plan would result in revitalization of our economy, increased employment, lower energy costs, export profits, and a safer world.

We need the administration to:

1. Support Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulings based on climate science and a political policy imperative to end the burning of all fossil fuels

2. Increase Department of Energy (DOE) support for energy efficiency, and clean energy research, development and marketing

3. Cancel tariffs on foreign on clean energy technology and subsidize American clean energy production, (maybe with Department of Defense (DOD) funds, as military say our dependency on fossil fuels is a vulnerability,) Set carbon related tariffs on imported products from countries without a carbon tax.

4. Mandate all government facilities retrofit for energy efficiency and double required energy efficiency standards in new buildings

5. Mandate all new purchases of government vehicles be electric or hybrid, and continue research into non-food biofuels for aviation

6. Deny permits for additional oil or gas drilling, pipelines, or export terminals for coal, oil, gas or liquid natural gas

7. Support legislation for a carbon fee and dividend, energy standard, an end to subsidies for fossil fuel, tax credits for solar, wind, wave and geothermal energy production and other steps to incentivize investment in green energy, energy efficiency and conservation. The legislative goal should be for all new investments in energy to go into development of clean energy, not more oil, coal or natural gas. (Please note that the EPA has not determined that natural gas is better for the climate, and studies measuring unavoidable leakage and venting of gas/methane indicate that it is as bad as coal and oil. )

The Obama administration has helped the transition to a green energy economy, but worldwide carbon emissions are increasing. U.S. leadership could turn the tide.

Pseudo-science of climate change skeptics

A WSJ book reviewer quotes from Pseudo-Science Wars by Michael D. Gordin. “[W}hen mainstream science is attacked in politically credible ways, the danger comes not from the fringe of outsiders—who will always come and go, like bright, streaming comets—but from the inside, in the form of credentialed scientists at mainstream institutions who lend their prestige to, say, Big Tobacco or to energy companies fueling climate-change skepticism.” Comments express skeptic views.

Response:

The climate science data  shows that  rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) traceable to burning fossil fuels correlate with rising temperatures. The effect of increased CO2 takes a couple decades to appear, because the oceans are so huge; it takes a while to warm the Earth. So the increased evaporation, flooding, drought, fires, insect infestation, melting Arctic ice and other climate related events happening now are the result of warming gases released 20 years ago.  We will continue to see increasing climate damage for several decades after we switch to green energy.

The agency that put a module on Mars tells us that 2009 was the second warmest year since 1880, NASA reported , and that 2000 to 2009 was the warmest decade on record.

Should an individual with a deadly and highly contagious disease be allowed to carelessly infect other people? If, as is true with climate science, 98% of scientists with relevant expertise think the risk of danger is high, then what is the individual’s responsibility?

The good news is that the alternative to global warming is a phenomenal opportunity.

BNEF reports that in “more and more markets rooftop solar power is cheaper than daytime retail energy prices.”  Wind turbines, batteries and all other clean energy equipment costs are lower than just a few years ago and still dropping.  US taxpayers spend $83 billion /year to police the straits of Hormuz to protect oil shipments to China, and we spend $350 billion a year on foreign oil.  We can have a stronger economy, more exports, higher employment, and  reduce water scarcity  by getting the energy industries to  industrialize green technology and leave oil, coal and natural gas in the ground.

What are the odds?

‘You cannot prove that burning fossil fuel caused this heat wave.’ says our gasman.

Response:

We can, however, find correlations and calculate the odds. Which would you rather do, walk through a field of land mines where there is a 1 in 10 chance of setting off an explosion, or where there is a 1 in 300 chance of explosion?

Well, 1 in 300 is the odds we had 35 years ago of getting these deadly, crop blistering heat waves, and now the odds are 1 in 10, according to a new NASA statistical study.

Scientists began measuring and correlating the amount of carbon dioxide released by burning oil, coal and natural gas with rising temperatures sixty years ago. Now 40 different models have been created of the evidence and causes of the changing climate, and they all agree that human activities are causing the planet to overheat, with the main offender being the burning of fossil fuels. On the NASA site you can see the changing levels of CO2, global temperature, sea level, land ice and polar ice cover.

So the relevant question is not whether any single weather event is ‘caused’ by global warming, but  how the odds have changed, and how they are likely to change in the future.

An article on this report includes a slide show of 53 things that ‘Climate Change Just Might Ruin.’