Friday, June 15, 2007

More On McKitrick's T3 Tax

From David Reevely's (of the Ottawa Citizen) Ecolibertarian blog, further critical comments of McKitrick's version of a Carbon Tax. He too is concerned with the lag-time between emissions cuts and an end to the warming phenomenon:

Superficially, McKitrick’s proposal to tie the carbon-tax rate to observed warming is his idea’s best characteristic. Immediate feedback, adjusting to on-the-ground (or in-the-air) realities, and so on. The trouble is the extremely long lag that the overwhelming bulk of the world’s scientists believe exists between the emission of greenhouse gases and their effect (which is cumulative) on the amount of heat they cause the earth’s atmosphere to retain.

If we stopped all human greenhouse-gas emissions right now, the IPCC figures the earth would warm by another 1.1 degrees over the next century or so. That’s a timescale McKitrick’s proposed monitor-and-adjust carbon-tax system can’t cope with. Worst of all, because the T3 tax only responds to damage that’s already happened, it has little preventive effect.

In fairness, he does have a partial response to that in his FP piece:

Under the T3 tax, investors planning major industrial projects will need to forecast the tax rate many years ahead, thereby taking into account the most likely path of global warming a decade or more in advance.

And best of all, the T3 tax will encourage private-sector climate forecasting. Firms will need good estimates of future tax rates, which will force them to look deeply, and objectively, into the question of whether existing climate forecasts have an alarmist bias. The financial incentives will lead to independent reassessments of global climate modelling, without regard to what politicians, the IPCC or climatology professors want to hear.

Yyyyyyee-esssss, but that also encourages gaming the system, encourages blowing out extra carbon now while it’s cheaper to do so (creating a whole new tragedy-of-the-commons problem), and puts individual consumers, on whom any reasonable response to climate-change concerns primarily depends, at a distinct disadvantage in planning ahead.

In addition, there are other reasons to be cutting C02 emissions beyond mitigating the effects of AGW. For example, C02 increases Ocean Acidification. Insofar as the T3 tax might go down at some point because warming has slowed or reversed, and therefore encourage emissions increases, it will do nothing to solve this particular problem.


Anonymous said...

why don't all you Believers go sell your tax ideas to the Chinese & Indonesians & Brazilians because if they don't "get it", then anything that the we do is just more taxation.

Must be why so many politicians love all this warming business . . . voters spooked into begging for more taxes.


Anonymous said...

Funny. Liberals trying to sound like adults by talking about taxes & economics. Just stick to your 'feelings'. After all, numbers are worthless - they can be used to prove just about anything. It's feelings that really count!

Ti-Guy said...

why don't all you Believers go sell your tax ideas to the Chinese & Indonesians & Brazilians because if they don't "get it", then anything that the we do is just more taxation.

Where's the fun in that? Much better to torture you righty chuckleheads with threats from tax 'n spend liberals.


...heh heh.

Anonymous said...

over taxation is the basis of socialism, which leads to this

I wonder if mayor millar knows these little hoodlums are playing basketball on one those courts he built for them.

Anonymous said...

yeah, I get it
he parrots your idea so he's right (sorry, left...or whatever)
stop staring at your overgrown toenails.
I hide all my carbon-spewing activities so you can't get any tax from them.
I also buy all the copies of 'An Inconvenient Truth' I can find just so they make more of the petrochemical copies of them.
No detriment to the earth ecology here.
As Randolph eloqunetly cried:
"Get in there and sell, sell, sell!!"

Ti-Guy said...

I think the Righties are worried that taxing noxious emissions will eventually lead to taxing economic argument I've been making for years now. A more market-based approach has already been tried with a stupidity trading mechanism known as the American entertainment industry, but the results have been unsatisfactory.

Anonymous said...

Since Third World countries were exempted from Kyoto constraints because they didn't cause the problem, I'd suggest that the Third World provinces in Canada also be exempted from meeting Kyoto constraints, namely the Atlantic provinces, Manitoba, and Quebec. Since Saskatchewan is a producer of grains, lumber, and hydro and thus a much more green province, they should receive refunds instead. And since it's been mostly Ontario that has selfishly kept almost all energy-intensive manufacturing to itself for the last 140 years, we may as well just say that they should foot the bill themselves.

Forget about trying to get anything out of BC, they're too high. And Alberta will just tell you to FO anyway.

Anonymous said...

reedom, not climate, is at risk

By Vaclav Klaus

Published: June 13 2007 17:44 | Last updated: June 13 2007 17:44

We are living in strange times. One exceptionally warm winter is enough – irrespective of the fact that in the course of the 20th century the global temperature increased only by 0.6 per cent – for the environmentalists and their followers to suggest radical measures to do something about the weather, and to do it right now.

Ask President Klaus
Vaclav Klaus

Is climate change just propaganda? Vaclav Klaus will answer your questions in an online Q&A. Post a query now

In the past year, Al Gore’s so-called “documentary” film was shown in cinemas worldwide, Britain’s – more or less Tony Blair’s – Stern report was published, the fourth report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was put together and the Group of Eight summit announced ambitions to do something about the weather. Rational and freedom-loving people have to respond. The dictates of political correctness are strict and only one permitted truth, not for the first time in human history, is imposed on us. Everything else is denounced.

The author Michael Crichton stated it clearly: “the greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda”. I feel the same way, because global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem. It requires courage to oppose the “established” truth, although a lot of people – including top-class scientists – see the issue of climate change entirely differently. They protest against the arrogance of those who advocate the global warming hypothesis and relate it to human activities.

As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning.

The environmentalists ask for immediate political action because they do not believe in the long-term positive impact of economic growth and ignore both the technological progress that future generations will undoubtedly enjoy, and the proven fact that the higher the wealth of society, the higher is the quality of the environment. They are Malthusian pessimists.

The scientists should help us and take into consideration the political effects of their scientific opinions. They have an obligation to declare their political and value assumptions and how much they have affected their selection and interpretation of scientific evidence.

Does it make any sense to speak about warming of the Earth when we see it in the context of the evolution of our planet over hundreds of millions of years? Every child is taught at school about temperature variations, about the ice ages, about the much warmer climate in the Middle Ages. All of us have noticed that even during our life-time temperature changes occur (in both directions).

Due to advances in technology, increases in disposable wealth, the rationality of institutions and the ability of countries to organise themselves, the adaptability of human society has been radically increased. It will continue to increase and will solve any potential consequences of mild climate changes.

I agree with Professor Richard Lindzen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said: “future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.

The issue of global warming is more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature.

As a witness to today’s worldwide debate on climate change, I suggest the following:
■Small climate changes do not demand far-reaching restrictive measures
■Any suppression of freedom and democracy should be avoided
■Instead of organising people from above, let us allow everyone to live as he wants
■Let us resist the politicisation of science and oppose the term “scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority
■Instead of speaking about “the environment”, let us be attentive to it in our personal behaviour
■Let us be humble but confident in the spontaneous evolution of human society. Let us trust its rationality and not try to slow it down or divert it in any direction
■Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives.

The writer is President of the Czech Republic

Ti-Guy said...

Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts, or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions in human lives.

Except when talking about the threat of Islamofascism. Scream hysterically about that one.

I don't know why so many righties are still entertaining this issue as a philosophical one. Why aren't they paying more attention to the science?


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