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Arguments against the carbon tax

Oh Dear:

A carbon dioxide tax is a fee
imposed on the use of carbonbased fuels, such as coal, oil, and
natural gas.1
Although carbon
dioxide taxes have often been touted
as “revenue neutral,” the purpose
of a carbon dioxide tax is to make
conventional energy so expensive that
people will be coerced into buying
wind and solar power, which is
already very expensive.
Under a “revenue-neutral” carbon
dioxide tax system, energy bills and
prices for goods and services throughout the economy increase dramatically
because industries and individuals
rely increasingly more on expensive
wind and solar power. If people were
to purchase expensive wind and solar
power exclusively, there wouldn’t be
any carbon dioxide taxes to collect, so
no revenue would be collected. When
that happens, the carbon dioxide tax
becomes revenue neutral for government but inflicts substantial costs on
Analysts have repeatedly found that
carbon dioxide taxes would raise energy costs, affecting all consumers. For
example, researchers Marc Hafstead
and Paul Picciano conducted an analysis that estimated carbon dioxide taxes
of $50 per metric ton would raise
gasoline prices 44 cents per gallon in
the United States.3
(See Figure 1.) The
same tax would raise natural gas and
coal prices—which account for nearly
two-thirds of U.S. electricity generation—by 62 percent and 330 percent,

The bit about revenue neutrality is wrong – simply flat out wrong.

Raising gas by 44 cents, gas and coal pries – yes, that’s the damn point.


10 thoughts on “Arguments against the carbon tax”

  1. It is a sin tax, although the sin is much disputed. Sin taxes ALWAYS turn the taxman into a pimp. He can’t give up his immoral earnings.

    Oh, and the theory behind the entire pigou thing is shite when it is a tax on something essential for civilisation to operate. It only works on optional things.

  2. If you want to half carbon emissions, kill half the people.
    A good war should do it.
    Oh. That was the plan all along.

  3. Tim

    I think you’ve missed something.

    Go and re-read the statement.
    They’re saying that yes indeed carbon taxes make everything cost more. Yes indeed they make gas, petrol, coal, oil more expensive. Yes indeed that’s the point of those taxes.

    But the preceding material spells out clearly that according to published official data, there is no ‘climate change crisis’, and so the carbon taxes imposed here and there to fight said crisis are inappropriate; meanwhile, they make everything. more expensive.

    I think they’re right.

  4. We’re lucky there was no carbon tax at the start of the industrial revolution. Imagine 0.5% growth instead of 2%+. Instead of being twenty or a hundred times better off, we’d still be shivering and eating Swedes.
    Lately world gdp has been booming (apart from govt snafus) at around 3% p.a. That means that in 100 years time people who worry about 1 degree of global warming (that’s the conservative IPCC prophesy) will be SIXTEEN times richer and have a lot of disposable income to do something about it.
    This is a “crisis” we can park for a century.
    My grandchildren will be adults and can sort out their own problems, so fuck ’em.

  5. ‘we’d still be shivering and eating Swedes’

    Didn’t know the Vikings were still raiding around then philip. Do Swedes taste like ordinary long pig??

    ‘A good war should do it.’

    Ah. Is that the reason for all the fuss over Ukraine TtC??

  6. The argument as to whether “carbon” or other Pigou taxes are good or bad is to miss the point by a country mile.

    In the specific case of a “carbon” tax, it is not just nonsense, it is economically crippling and – I don’t really think I’m going too far – civilizationally threatening. Why? Because it is not based on any sort of scientific or technological reality, being instead just a childish ideology. The degree of propaganda, lies, undemocratic coercion and sheer cope needed to even maintain the political illusion is staggering, very possibly unprecedented in societies that are still euphemistically referred to as “democratic”.

    And of course, it is failing spectacularly.

    Economics itself can be criticized: Is it a science, a pseudo-science or just a set of general principles that roughly align with what sensible people know? That is an interesting argument in itself. What is the true utility of economics in the operation of entities from small businesses to the global economy?

    But, since the fall of the ancien regime, I can think of nothing else – perhaps not even religion (is economics a religion, or becoming one? Now there is a topic for debate) – that has been so abused and exploited and used as justification for various forms of millennialism (maybe it is a religion after all) and why people can’t have things and must obey the fantasy zeitgeist (aka “climate emergency”)

    If you are an economist, look at at what it is you are “economising” on behalf of. Look at the world, learn a bit about how it works. Of course, you have to earn a crust like everybody else, but do so in a way that helps your fellows. When this “climate” fantasy runs out of steam – as, of course, it will – and we are surveying the wreckage of the fantastic damage is is and will do – economists may be seen as the moral equivalents of doctors to an earlier enthusiastic regime.

    Likely things will just carry on and they can hitch themselves to the next roller coaster but you never know. They may be called upon to answer.

  7. Mark @ 8.31 “Likely things will just carry on and they can hitch themselves to the next roller coaster but you never know. They may be called upon to answer“.

    We can only hope so.

    Despite many years having passed, I am heartened by the case of the blood contamination scandal:
    “These risks were ignored by leading clinicians and government who failed to take appropriate action to end their use and return to safer products. Pharmaceutical companies and leading clinicians did not share appropriate information about risks with patients and patient groups”.
    What does that remind you of I wonder?

    Those responsible need to be prosecuted.No matter how long it takes.

  8. Just saw this in regard to a father who died from Hep C and HIV. His daughter said: “In my eyes it’s corporate manslaughter. You can’t go giving people something that you know is dangerous, and they just carried on doing it. As far as my family’s concerned, they killed our dad and they killed thousands of other people and there’s been no recognition for him since he died, there’s been nothing.

  9. Raising gas by 44 cents, gas and coal pries – yes, that’s the damn point.

    And then your next thread talks about pitchfork moments. Be careful what you wish for.

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