Friday, April 17, 2015

Carbon tax, bad idea

Want to know how a carbon tax will work? Look at current taxes. Years to get approved, then laden with exceptions, then many loopholes found. Why would a carbon tax be different?

It is worse than that. A carbon tax CAN NOT work.

The price of carbon necessary to have a real effect would be too high. Corporations would correctly argue that the nation that implements it would harm its own ability to compete. A tax would have to international, with all the big powers at least.

A carbon tax addresses the supply-side of energy. It does nothing to discourage growth. By the laws of thermodynamics, humans, at current growth, will cook the planet regardless of what we burn. We need a demand-side solution.

We could at least stop wasting energy on autos and sprawl. Autos are consumer products which are unsuitable for a major transport system. They take up too much room and pollute before they turn a wheel. Sprawl, the partner of the auto, is the most wasteful way to live. Each house must have its own set of consumer products, there is no economy of scale from sharing that a city has.

Let's make cities a pleasant place to live. Start by getting rid of cars. Make buses free.