Are Carbon Taxes a Good Idea? Happer and Everett versus Hartley
The Global Warming Policy Foundation recently published a paper which argued in favor of carbon taxes as the economically optimal way to address global warming. CO2 Coalition Chairman Dr. Will Happer and Director Dr. Bruce Everett take exception to this analysis. Why carbon taxes are a bad idea. The authors conclude that CO2 has:
• no impact on human and animal health,
• a substantial positive impact on plant growth and crop yields,
• positive impacts from the modest warming observed so far, and
• no empirical support for net damages, which remain a prediction, not an observation.
It’s difficult to extract from this analysis any basis for supporting a Pigouvian tax on CO2. The United States currently emits roughly 5 billion metric tons of CO2 per year, mainly from fossil-fuel use. Despite the best hopes of climate activists, renewable energy is too costly and performance-limited to replace the fossil fuel economy.