Thursday, November 29, 2012
Legislators Must Oppose a Carbon Tax
By Alan Caruba
One of the most disturbing pieces of news has been the way some Republicans in Congress have gone wobbly on the greatest hoax of the modern era, global warming or climate change or whatever other name is being applied to it as the effort to impose an insane tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is getting a push.
Let’s briefly examine the facts:
There never was any global warming if you apply Al Gore’s definition—“The Earth has a fever.” There was no dramatic increase in the Earth’s overall temperature at the end of the mini ice age that ended in 1850 after some three hundred years of significant cooling. An increase of about one degree was sufficient to produce warming.
Carbon dioxide plays NO role whatever in the increase or decrease of the Earth’s overall temperature. The single determining factor was and is the SUN. The seasons reflect the Earth’s circumnavigation of the Sun, warming in the spring and getting colder in the winter.
Carbon dioxide represents 0.033 to 0.038 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. By contrast, nitrogen represents 78.084 percent, oxygen is 20.94 percent, argon is 0.934 percent, and trace elements represent 0.002 percent.
Carbon dioxide is not a warming gas. It is a cooling gas.
There is no “consensus” among scientists that the Earth is warming or that CO2 plays a role in this alleged, utterly false claim.
There has been no warming for some sixteen years since the Earth entered a natural cooling cycle.
Carbon dioxide is vital to all life on Earth. It is the “food” that all vegetation requires for growth. In greenhouses, CO2 is pumped in to stimulate growth. Without vegetation in the form of crops, all other life on Earth dies. Seeking to reduce CO2 emissions is an idiotic idea.
Taxing so-called greenhouse gas emissions was originally a scheme to enrich those selling “credits” to do so in various exchanges, many of which have since ceased to operate. The carbon tax has a lot of appeal to a dead broke U.S. government. Raising tax rates and revenues allows the government to continue ignoring the larger problem of debt.
What happens when government entities, federal and states, get more income? In general they waste it. Or they allocate it to pay for the benefits, pensions, and healthcare of civil service union employees. Most such obligations are under-funded these days due to their size.
One of the most famous lobbyists against raising taxes, Grover Norquist, a man who has bound Republican lawmakers in Congress to a pledge against draining more money out of the economy, was required to deny reports in the National Journal that he advocated a “carbon tax swap.”. Meanwhile, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has sued the Treasury Department for failure to be more transparent about any deliberations it has engaged in regarding a carbon tax.
If Republicans allow the door to “climate change” to crack open, this utterly baseless tax will be on its way to being law and, like the income tax, will grow to such proportions that it will suck the life out of the nation’s economy, if there is an economy.
It has no basis in science and even a simple understanding of economics and history tells us that it is one of the worst ideas ever put forth. In a recession, you lower taxes, not increase them in order to get more money circulating. In a recession you find ways to encourage job creation, investment, and saving.
On November 13th The Institute for Energy Research released a study that demonstrates the many ways a carbon tax is plagued by theoretical and practical problems. “Conservative proponents of the free market, of all analysts, should be wary indeed of any plan to introduce a new carbon tax in the name of promoting economic growth,” warned IER Senior Economist Robert P. Murphy.
Simply put, “The U.S. government, acting unilaterally, cannot significantly slow global carbon dioxide emissions.” Other nations will continue to rely on coal-fired utilities to produce the electricity they need to maintain and expand their economies. China is a major factor as is India and all others. Only France that relies on nuclear energy would be exempt.
Moreover “Federal and state governments already have in place many policies that discourage carbon-intensive activities and encourage alternatives such as gasoline taxes, CAFÉ standards, renewable energy mandates.” None of these incentives combined have had any significant impact on reducing CO2 and none of them make the least sense at all. Renewable energy is the most inefficient, impractical and unreliable forms of energy production.
California has just introduced the first tax on emissions and California has been bleeding citizens, industries and businesses for years as life there becomes economically unsustainable.
So, one can only pray that conservative legislators do not fall prey to the desperation and depression that has followed the reelection of President Obama who has been speaking, as usual, out of both sides of his month about climate change.
The climate changes. It has for 4.5 billion years. Humans, a relatively new species on Earth, do not have any control over the climate which is measured in centuries or the weather which cannot be accurately predicted more than two weeks to a month in advance.
Doing anything about “global warming” is the equivalent of Indian rain dances. It may make people feel that they are influencing the climate, but all they are doing is dancing in a circle to the sound of drums.
© Alan Caruba, 2012