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Thread: Climate Change / Global Warming Discussion

  1. #1851
    Member tigerade's Avatar
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    Some interesting ideas here:

    A climate for change: A solution conservatives could accept - The Washington Post

    As economists see it, the nation is giving a massive implicit subsidy to the users of fossil fuels, who fill the air with carbon dioxide, imposing real costs on society, without paying for the privilege. Make users pay for the carbon dioxide they emit and they will waste less energy, while investment will flow into low-carbon technologies. The nation would obtain emissions cuts at a minimum cost to the economy.
    This is Economics 101, but Republicans have largely ceded the free-market arena to Democrats such as Mr. Van Hollen. His proposal would put a limit on the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions, a cap that would decline each year. Beneath that cap, companies would have to buy permits for the emissions their fuels produce. The buying and selling of permits would set a market price for carbon dioxide. The government would rebate all of the revenue from selling permits back to anyone with a Social Security number, more than offsetting any rise in consumer prices for 80 percent of Americans. Most upper-income people, who use more energy, and government, which would get no rebate, would pay more under the plan.
    Behind the plan’s elegance are some inevitable complications. Mr. Van Hollen would slap a border charge on goods that come from countries that lack comparable anti-emissions policies. That will be hard to pull off efficiently. Officials will have to calculate the carbon footprint of various goods from various points of origin, and other countries will accuse the United States of protectionism. Yet any carbon pricing plan will have to include some trade adjustment. Otherwise U.S. industry will be disadvantaged.
    Mr. Van Hollen’s plan also faces political challenges. Lawmakers will be tempted to give away pollution permits to interests they favor, shattering the equity and efficiency of the policy. This is among the reasons we have preferred enacting a carbon tax. It would be less vulnerable to political gaming, and its revenue also could be rebated back to consumers or recycled back through cuts in other taxes. But both approaches have strengths.

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    I found this article very interesting as it could help address a number of pressing issues - global warming and income inequality.

    Why you have the right to a $5K dividend from Uncle Sam | Making Sen$e | PBS NewsHour

    Dividends could come from a nationwide fund similar to the Alaska Permanent Fund, which, since 1982, has used the state’s oil wealth to pay equal yearly dividends to all Alaskans. Revenue for a national fund could come from a variety of shared assets, starting with our atmosphere, that are currently given away for free. Over time, according to my calculations, such dividends could grow to about $5,000 per person per year. As in Alaska, they wouldn’t be welfare but legitimate property income.

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    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    The above two posts present starkly different incentives for consumers=voters. A carbon cap-and-trade provides an economically efficient incentive for people to reduce their carbon footprint while insulating them from the general price increases that such a program would create. Sharing out the oil royalties directly would create a political consensus to expand drilling on public lands to maximize royalties. I think the former is great, while the latter is terrifying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert.Boston View Post
    Sharing out the oil royalties directly would create a political consensus to expand drilling on public lands to maximize royalties. I think the former is great, while the latter is terrifying.
    I think if you read between the lines, the article is really suggesting that a price be put on CO2 emissions the same way a price is put on oil revenues in Alaska, not necessarily suggesting that royalties be collected on domestic oil production like the Alaska Permanent Fund. It's simply using the Alaska Permanent Fund as an example of how a royalty on a shared resource can gain widespread support across party lines.

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    New movie coming out called Disruption on September 7. Here is the preview:

    350.org Disruption: A New Movie For the Movement

  6. #1856
    Model S VIN P01536 Robert.Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drees View Post
    I think if you read between the lines, the article is really suggesting that a price be put on CO2 emissions the same way a price is put on oil revenues in Alaska, not necessarily suggesting that royalties be collected on domestic oil production like the Alaska Permanent Fund. It's simply using the Alaska Permanent Fund as an example of how a royalty on a shared resource can gain widespread support across party lines.
    Ah, I should have read the original. I would strongly support this approach to taxing carbon, as it would instantly create a majority of Americans who directly benefit from the carbon tax (assuming, as is almost surely the case, that carbon usage per person has a skewed distribution, with a minority responsible for a disproportionate share of emissions).

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