Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed NOT Carbon Trading

Top science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed and NOT Cap-and-Trade Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)

The following eminent scientists, economists and writers variously argue strongly FOR a global Carbon Tax that will directly put a price on greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution and enable urgently required rapid transformation to a non-carbon economy. They variously argue AGAINST Carbon Trading involving carbon pricing based on a Kyoto Protocol-based  Cap-and Trade Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (of which the pro-coal Australian Government's carbon pollution-increasing and accordingly oxymoronic Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) is  a particularly  flawed and disastrous example: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/australia-s-5-off-2000-ghg-pollution-by-2020-endangers-australia-humanity-and-biosphere ).

1. Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist; Head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies; adjunct professor, Columbia; University, New York, USA), February 2009: “The most honest effective way to achieve a carbon price capable of driving our economy and our society to the clean world of the future is “Carbon Tax with 100% Dividend” … This tax, and the knowledge that it would continue to increase in the future, would spur innovations in energy efficiency and carbon-free energy sources. The dividend would put money in the hands of the public, allowing them to purchase vehicles and other products that reduce their carbon footprint and thus their taxes. The person doing better than average would obtain more from the dividend than paid in the tax. The tax would affect building designs and serve as an effective enforcer of energy efficient building codes that are now widely ignored. The need to replace inefficient infrastructure would spur the economy. Tax and 100% dividend can drive innovation and economic growth with a snowballing effect. Carbon emissions will plummet far faster than alternative top-down regulations. Our infrastructure will be modernized for the clean energy future. There will be no need to go the most extreme environments on Earth for the last drop of fossil fuel, to squeeze oil from tar shale, or develop other unconventional fossil fuels.A tax on coal, oil and gas is simple. It can be collected easily and reliably at the first point of sale, at the mine or oil well, or at the port of entry. This approach also implies the fastest most effective way to international agreements … The abject failure of Cap & Trade was illuminated for all to see by the Kyoto Protocol, the granddaddy of all Cap & Trade schemes. Even countries that accepted the toughest emission reduction targets, such as Japan, saw their emissions actually increase. The problem is the inevitable loopholes in such complex approaches, which take years to negotiate and implement. The Congressional Budget Office provides a comparison of carbon taxes to cap-and-trade. That report concludes that a given emission reduction could be achieved at a fraction of the cost via a carbon tax, as opposed to cap-and-trade. Another useful comparison is also available. The worst thing about cap-and-trade [ETS], from a climate standpoint, is that it will surely be inadequate to achieve the sharp reduction of emissions that is needed. Thus cap-and-trade would practically guarantee disastrous climate change for our children and grandchildren. The only solution to the climate problem is to leave much of the fossil fuels in the ground. That requires a high enough carbon price that we move on to our energy future beyond fossil fuels. Summary. The honest approach, the effective approach, for solving the global warming problem would be a tax with 100% dividend. The public is not stupid. They will understand that the hooks and eyes of a less comprehensive more dissembling approach will be put there for some reason other than saving the future for their children. One of the biggest advantages of the Tax and Dividend approach is its simplicity, which would allow it to be introduced quickly. The Kyoto-like Cap & Trade is notoriously slow to negotiate and implement, as well as being ineffective in the end. A related point is that an effective international accord could be implemented with only a few of the major economies. Import duties on countries not imposing a comparable tax would surely bring broad rapid compliance.” [1].

2. Jonathan Leake (science and environment editor of the UK Sunday Times), March 2009: “Britain’s faith in carbon trading as a way of reducing greenhouse gases could be dangerously misplaced, according to an independent academic working with the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Dr Chris Hope of the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School … [has] a far wider conclusion: the current European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is deeply flawed and should be replaced – or at least augmented – with a green tax … For the ETS to work, the price has to be set at a level that makes it worthwhile for consumers to cut their energy use. According to Hope’s research, the minimum price needed is about £85 per tonne [A$173] , rising at roughly 2 to 3 per cent a year … Prices now stand at roughly £9.50 [A$19] per tonne of CO2 – less than 12 per cent of what Hope’s calculations show is needed.… He believes a market-based trading system such as the ETS is very unlikely to generate consistent high prices, and this instability could undermine the whole point of the scheme”. [2].

3. Professor William Nordhaus (Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, USA), March 2009: “The international community is making huge wager on the Kyoto model. The wager is that the cap-and-trade structure contained in the model will do the job of slowing global warming. The new United States Administration advocated that the U.S. adopt this system as its contribution top solving the global problem, and the primary legislation in the U.S. Congress is firmly a cap-and-trade proposal. But, as I have suggested above, the cap-and-trade approach is a poor choice of mechanism. It is untested in the international context; it has been unable to attain anything close to universal participation; and it has the inherent flaws just described. It is unlikely that the Kyoto model, even if strengthened, can achieve its climate objectives in an efficient and effective manner. To bet the world’s climate system and global environment on an untested approach with such clear structural flaws would appear a reckless gamble. History is lettered with failed institutions. You need only to look today at the wreckage of the current financial system to see the latest example of the effects of failed regulatory and risk-management design. So, if the Kyoto model turns out to be another failed model, it has lots of company. But it would be better to recognize and change it now, rather than in one or two more decades of ineffective and inefficient efforts to slow emissions. The international community should move quickly to replace the current cap-and-trade structure with one in which the central economic mechanism is a tax on greenhouse-gas emissions.” [3].

4. Professor Jacqueline McGlade (Director of the European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, marine biologist and Professor of Environmental Informatics in the Department of Mathematics at University College London, UK), March 2009: "His [Nordhaus’] idea is very sensible. We need to move the burden of taxation away from labour to resources — and tax not just on carbon but other resources such as water to tackle the far wider environmental and resource problems we face." [4].

5. Professor Daniel M. Kammen, (Energy and Resources Group and Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley), March 2009:  “Evolving the field of climate solutions science: the economics of clean and sustainable energy must be supported for individuals and companies to achieve a shared vision; a price on greenhouse gas emissions is essential (but alone it is not sufficient); innovative financing is needed to advantage clean energy; innovation and implementation is needed in the North and South; scientific, and policy innovations open the door for quantified cases of clean development that, in turn, can reset the political landscape in favour of a low carbon future.” [5].

6. Professor Barry Brook (Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 2009: “1. A cap and trade mechanism is by its nature, an all consuming policy instrument that extinguishes the effectiveness of voluntary actions, harming rather than enhancing the evolution of a low carbon economy. 2. With a cap and trade approach, the target is everything as both the emissions cap and emissions floor are locked in. No one can do better than the cap, and so the cap must be a science based all consuming sustainable target pathway that won’t lock in failure. As we don’t yet have the widespread political and economic preparedness to commit to an all consuming sustainable target pathway (either nationally or internationally), the cap and trade mechanism is the wrong approach and we should instead focus on a carbon tax with complementary mechanisms that would transform the economy more effectively than the [Australian] proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).” [6]. 

7. Larry Lohmann (climate economist, The Corner House, London, UK); summary of book “Carbon Trading”, by Larry Lohmann, editor, 2006 [implicit in the GHG pollution cessation argument is taxing GHG pollution out of existence]: “The main cause of global warming is rapidly increasing carbon dioxide emissions -- primarily the result of burning fossil fuels. Some responses to the crisis, however, are causing new and severe problems -- and may even increase global warming. This seems to be the case with carbon trading -- the main current international response to climate change and the centrepiece of the Kyoto Protocol. Carbon trading has two parts. First, governments hand out free tradable rights to emit carbon dioxide to big industrial polluters, allowing them to make money from business as usual. Second, companies buy additional pollution credits from projects in the South that claim to emit less greenhouse gas than they would have without the investment. Most of the carbon credits being sold to industrialized countries come from polluting projects, such as schemes that burn methane from coal mines or waste dumps, which do little to wean the world off fossil fuels. Tree plantations claimed to absorb carbon dioxide, in addition, often drive people off their lands and destroy biological diversity without resulting in progress toward alternative energy systems. This exhaustively-documented but highly-readable book takes a broad look at the social, political and environmental dimensions of carbon trading and investigates climate mitigation alternatives. It provides a short history of carbon trading and discusses a number of 'lessons unlearned'. Detailed case studies from ten Third World countries -- Guatemala, Ecuador, Uganda, Tanzania, Costa Rica, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Africa and Brazil -- expose the outcomes on the ground of various carbon 'offset' schemes. The book concludes that the 'carbon trading' approach to the problem of rapid climate change is both ineffective and unjust. The bulk of fossil fuels must be left in the ground if climate chaos is to be avoided.” [7]. 

8. Dr Robert J. Shapiro (Chair, U.S. Climate Task Force and finance consultancy firm Sonecon; undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs in the Clinton Administration), January 2009: “A cap-and-trade system is very unlikely to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions — and more likely to introduce new, trillion-dollar risks for the financial system. The clearest illustration of the problems with cap-and-trade is the European Trading Scheme, based on the Kyoto protocols covering most of Europe. According to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, there’s little if any evidence that the ETS has had any effect at all on emissions in Europe. One reason is that major emitters such as Germany simply exempt many of their facilities generating greenhouse gases. Another factor is the “offset” permits that European “transition” economies, themselves exempt from caps, can sell to other ETS members. According to a recent study in Nature, once we set aside those offsets, emissions under the ETS have actually increased by 10 percent. The system also has failed to establish a stable price for carbon — a goal widely considered a prerequisite for any effective climate change effort. To the contrary, the prices for ETS permits are highly volatile ... Volatility like the kind experienced in the ETS would translate into much more volatile energy prices, unsettling everyone’s markets and undermining investment. And the volatile prices for the permits themselves, traded on financial markets, would attract speculation and new financial derivatives, putting us at risk for another crisis. Even more regulations cannot eliminate most of cap-and-trade’s inherent price volatility or the incentives for its participants, including governments, to evade or manipulate the system. These are the main reasons why the father of climate-change politics, Al Gore now prefers carbon-based taxes over cap-and-trade. A carbon tax system would apply a stable price to carbon, creating direct incentives to develop and use less carbon-intensive fuels and more energy-efficient technologies. President-elect Barack Obama is committed equally to fighting climate change and restoring economic growth. The best way to do both is to give up cap-and-trade and learn to love carbon-based taxes." [8]. 

9. Dr Robert J. Shapiro (Chair, U.S. Climate Task Force and finance consultancy firm Sonecon; undersecretary of commerce for economic affairs in the Clinton Administration), March 2009: "The proper approach here is a straightforward one. First, enact a carbon-based tax to move people and firms to prefer and choose less-carbon-intensive fuels and technologies. Second, as we change the relative prices of different forms of energy based on their effects on the climate, protect people’s incomes and the overall economy by returning all or virtually all of the revenues through payroll tax cuts or lump-sum payments to households. Third, use the certainty of a substantial tax on carbon, along with additional subsidies, to promote the development of new climate-friendly fuels and technologies that can capture a new and fast-growing global market.I recently co-authored a study that used the same modeling system as the Department of Energy to estimate the environmental and economic consequences of applying this specific approach. We found that we can effectively address climate change without harming our economy ... And after the carnage of Wall Street’s recent rounds of malfeasance, it is painfully clear that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department simply lack the ability (and the resources) to effectively police complex, fast-moving markets involving many, many thousands or millions of trades per day. Despite its advocates’ good intentions, cap-and-trade could put America at risk of another meltdown — one originally created and financed by the government itself. None of these painful and difficult issues arise with a carbon tax-shift. Rather, it could enable us to effectively do our part in addressing climate change, while protecting or even enhancing our economic prospects. That’s a deal Congress cannot afford to pass up." [9].

10. Public Citizen (Public Citizen is a US national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts),  27 June 2009: “Climate change legislation that narrowly passed the House of Representatives late Friday must be strengthened. The legislation will not solve our climate crisis but will enrich already powerful oil, coal and nuclear power companies. President Obama got it right when he announced in February his plan to impose strict new limits on greenhouse gas emissions and require polluters to pay. But HR 2454 enshrines a new legal right to pollute and gives away 85 percent of the credits to that right to polluters.” [10].

11. Stephen Lendman (leading liberal US analyst and commentator), 8 July 2009: “On May 15, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) was introduced in the House purportedly "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy." In fact, it's to let corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by charging consumers more for energy and fuel as well as create a new bubble through carbon trading derivatives speculation. It does nothing to address environmental issues, yet on June 26 the House narrowly passed (229 - 212) and sent it to the Senate to be debated and voted on… Strong-arm pressure, threats and bribes got the bill through the House. Forty-four Democrats opposed it. Eight Republicans backed it. Over 1200 pages long, few if any lawmakers read it… It contains enough loopholes to make its claimed performance standards worthless, one of which prohibits the EPA from using the Clean Air Act to regulate future greenhouse gas emissions. That alone means they'll proliferate beyond what new technology reduces on its own, and only then if it's profitable to do it… Overall, carbon trading is a scam, first promoted in the 1980s under Reagan. Clinton made it a key provision of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. He signed it in 1998, but it was never ratified. As of February 2009, 183 nations did both, but independent scientists call it "miserable failure" needing to be scrapped and replaced by a meaningful alternative… Contributing $4,452,585 to Democrats in 2008 (around $1 million to Obama) was mere pocket change for what it can reap from scams like cap and trade disguised as an environmental plan. The scheme was devised. GS [Goldman Sachs] helped write it. The House passed it and sent it to the Senate. Unless stopped, it will transfer more of our wealth to corporate polluters and Wall Street on top of all they've stolen so far from derivatives fraud and the imploded housing and other bubbles. And Goldman will lead the way finding new ways to do it until there's nothing left to extract.” [11].

12. Catherine Austin Fitts (US commentator), 1 July 2009:  "If you think the housing and credit bubble diminished your financial security and your community, or the bailouts, or the rising gas prices did as well, hold on to your hat. The worst may be yet to come. Carbon trading is gearing up to make the housing and derivatives bubbles look like target practice. Here are some comments on H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009: “economic colonization of the heartland”-Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Kentucky); “a scam” -Rep. Devin  Nunes (R-California); “massive transfer of wealth” -Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin); “Carbon markets can and will be manipulated using the same Wall Street sleights of hand that brought us the financial crisis.” -Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).” [12].

13. Greenpeace (leading global environment protection organization), 25 June 2009: “As it comes to the floor, the Waxman-Markey bill sets emission reduction targets far lower than science demands, then undermines even those targets with massive offsets. The giveaways and preferences in the bill will actually spur a new generation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants to the detriment of real energy solutions. To support such a bill is to abandon the real leadership that is called for at this pivotal moment in history.  We simply no longer have the time for legislation this weak.” [13].

14. Kenneth Davidson (respected economics columnist for “The Age” newspaper, Melbourne; co-editor of “Dissent”), 2009: “The [Australian] Rudd Government's environmental credentials are in tatters: the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme has been exposed as sham. This shouldn't be surprising. There isn't one cap-and-trade scheme in the world that has resulted in a reduction in carbon emissions. Instead, such schemes have made money for the biggest polluters and created a new branch of the derivatives industry that creates new wealth opportunities for brokers and financiers. Rudd's cap and trade scheme benefits the worst polluters. But the Australian scheme is special. It has been rorted at the planning stage … The carbon scheme is not simply weak. It is fraudulent. In his new Quarterly Essay: Quarry Vision, Coal, Climate Change and the End of the Resources Boom, Guy Pearse shows that Australia's biggest emitters will be able to meet their targets by buying emission permits from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea in return for promises by these countries to reduce the rate of deforestation ... opaque government built on unnecessary complexity, like its close relative, secrecy, is a one-way street to corruption, especially when the government faces an incompetent opposition. Carbon taxes were imposed by Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Italy in the 1990s. Sweden is the most successful country in the world in reducing its carbon footprint, according to the German environmental group Germanwatch. Between 1990 and 2006 Sweden cut its emissions by 9 per cent, exceeding the target set by Kyoto, while at the same time real growth increased 44 per cent.” [14].

15. Guy Pearse (Australian climate and energy commentator): “[Australian government  commissioned economist] Garnaut had recognized Indonesian and PNG rainforests as the perfect place to hide greenhouse pollution on the cheap and avoid emission cuts in Australia. Annual emissions from deforestation in these two countries alone were 3 times Australia’s total emissions. Paying landholders not to log could effectively offset pollution in Australia – and various estimates cited by Garnaut – from the Stern Report and the World Bank – suggested the price might be US$1-3$ - perhaps less than 1/10th of the price of a tonne of carbon otherwise … Having allowed Australia to outsource all its emissions cuts [overseas], Rudd nationalized the cost with a spectatcular money-go-round of compensation payments: to small businesses, householders, and dozens of adjusted welfare payments. The ostensible aim was to help offset the impact of emissions trading on energy costs – estimated at A$312 per household per year [Australia population 21 million]. The real was ensuring that in the flurry of cheques, people couldn’t properly identify the winners and losers. “No-one gets a free ride”, said the government. Their glossy PR material claimed that “under the scheme,  Australia’s biggest polluters will  pay for the pollution they generate”. But, what the government carefully didn’t say was that the biggest polluters would only pay for on average one tonne in every 5 tonnes of their pollution – the rest of us paid for the other 4 tonnes.” [15].

16. Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University; 2001 Economics Nobel Laureate; former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank), December 2007: “The only principle that has some ethical basis is equal emission rights per capita (with some adjustments - for instance, the US has already used up its share of the global atmosphere, so it should have fewer emission allowances). But adopting this principle would entail such huge payments from developed countries to developing countries, that, regrettably, the former are unlikely to accept it. Economic efficiency requires that those who generate emissions pay the cost, and the simplest way of forcing them to do so is through a carbon tax. There could be an international agreement that every country would impose a carbon tax at an agreed rate (reflecting the global social cost). Indeed, it makes far more sense to tax bad things, like pollution, than to tax good things like work and savings. Such a tax would increase global efficiency. Of course, polluting industries like the cap-and-trade system. While it provides them an incentive not to pollute, emission allowances offset much of what they would have to pay under a tax system. Some firms can even make money off the deal. Moreover, Europe has grown used to the concept of cap-and-trade, and many are loathe to try an alternative. Yet, no one has proposed an acceptable set of principles for assigning emission rights.” [16].

17. Professor James Hansen (top US climate scientist; Head, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies; adjunct professor, Columbia; University, New York, USA), February 2009: “The essential step, then, is to phase out coal emissions over the next two decades. And to declare off limits artificial high-carbon fuels such as tar sands and shale while moving to phase out dependence on conventional petroleum as well. This requires nothing less than an energy revolution based on efficiency and carbon-free energy sources. Alas, we won't get there with the Waxman-Markey bill, a monstrous absurdity hatched in Washington after energetic insemination by special interests. For all its "green" aura, Waxman-Markey locks in fossil fuel business-as-usual and garlands it with a Ponzi-like "cap-and-trade" [ETS] scheme … There is an alternative, of course, and that is a carbon fee, applied at the source (mine or port of entry) that rises continually. I prefer the "fee-and-dividend" version of this approach in which all revenues are returned to the public on an equal, per capita basis, so those with below-average carbon footprints come out ahead … The fact is that the climate course set by Waxman-Markey is a disaster course. Their bill is an astoundingly inefficient way to get a tiny reduction of emissions. It's less than worthless, because it will delay by at least a decade starting on a path that is fundamentally sound from the standpoints of both economics and climate preservation”. [17].

18. Carbon Tax Center (US organization demanding the pricing of carbon efficiently and equitably), 2009: “Why revenue-neutral carbon taxes are essential,
what's happening now, and how you can help. The Obama Administration and the new Congress are being called upon to address 21st Century climate realities. In a carbon-constrained world, a permanent and increasing U.S. carbon tax is essential to reduce the emissions that are driving global warming.  A carbon tax is a tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas). A carbon tax is the most economically efficient means  to convey crucial price signals and spur carbon-reducing investment and low-carbon behavior. Our spreadsheet  shows how fast emissions will fall. Carbon taxes should be phased in so businesses and households have time to adapt. A carbon tax should be revenue neutral:  government can soften the impacts of added costs by paying back the tax revenues ("dividends") or reducing other taxes ("tax-shifting"). Support for a carbon tax is growing steadily among public officials; economists; scientists; policy experts; business, religious, and environmental leaders; and ordinary citizens (see: http://www.carbontax.org/who-supports/ )”. [18].

19. Carbon Tax Center (US organization demanding the pricing of carbon efficiently and equitably), 2009: lists of quotations supporting a Carbon Tax from numerous public officials; scientists and economists; environmental, business and religious leaders; corporate editorial positions; authors, writers, pundits and newspaper columnists. [19]. 

20. Richard Denniss (executive director of the Australia Institute, Canberra, Australia), 18 February 2009:  Many Australians have waited a long time for a government to do something about climate change and no doubt some of them would be reluctant to see the CPRS [proposed the Australian ETS] fail for that reason. However, most of these people are unlikely to understand that the 5 per cent emissions reduction target is not a step in the right direction but a legislative barrier to reducing emissions any further. The CPRS [ETS] locks us into failure, in that it will prevent emissions falling below the timid targets proposed by the Rudd Government. So, where to from here? A simple way to get the ball rolling without locking in the worst features of the CPRS {ETS] is to introduce a carbon levy of $25 a tonne. This is the same price the Rudd Government expects to flow from its CPRS [ETS] and it has already done the work figuring out how to provide compensation. An important benefit of such an approach is that we don't need to start from scratch. The administrative capacity required to collect a carbon levy is consistent with that required to introduce the CPRS [ETS]. That is, both systems require the monitoring of emission levels, the determination of liability and the reconciliation of who has paid their carbon bills. The other benefits of a carbon levy are its simplicity, its compatibility with simple measures such as investment in household energy efficiency, and the fact we don't have to set our targets until international agreement is reached in Copenhagen. Unlike the CPRS [ETS] , a carbon levy would not discourage individual action.” [20].

21. Paul Taylor (Reuters economics columnist), 22 July 2009: "Cynics say the French never saw a market they didn’t want to regulate, or an economic activity they didn’t want to tax. Now this levy-happy nation, with one of the highest fiscal burdens in the world, is eying a new target for taxation: carbon. And in this case, they may just be right …Most experts agree that a carbon tax, based on a global price for carbon, would be the simplest and most logical way to use market forces to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. But it is not politically feasible in most countries.  The French, with their Cartesian logic and their tradition of a strong, dirigiste state, are among the few nations outside the Nordic area with the political will to impose one. We can only hope that other countries will follow in their slipstream." [21].

22. John Humphreys (Economist,  Research Fellow, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, Australia), 2007: “With growing public concern and constant calls for action on climate change, it is important that we have a full debate about what is the best response. Many politicians have rushed to support poor climate change policy. Our government is currently using an approach of regulation and subsidy while considering the possibility of implementing a carbon trading scheme. We would be better served if the government replaced all of these options with a revenue-neutral carbon tax. A carbon tax is preferable to a carbon trading system because it is more efficient, effective, simple, flexible and transparent . More importantly, a carbon tax has the added benefit of providing revenue that can be used to cut other taxes. Indeed a revenue-neutral carbon tax may have little or no economic cost.” [22].

23. ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas (Father of Rogernomics”; urging  the Government and the Emissions Trading Scheme Select Committee to read Centre of Independent Studies Report): "The report states, quite rightly, that an ETS is the wrong approach and advocates a carbon tax – not as the best option but, rather as the best option currently available. At least a carbon tax would result in revenue for the Government, which can be used to reduce company and personal income tax rates. Linking climate change policy to tax cuts will ensure that it does not significantly damage the economy. The report also outlines that agriculture should be excluded. Taxing agriculture does little to facilitate a sustainable low-emission economy. A carbon tax which excluded agriculture would still provide important incentives toward new technology without harming the economy. If the Government feels it must be seen to be addressing climate change, it must do so in a manner that causes the least possible harm to New Zealand’s economy and those who drive it – especially our farmers and other primary producers." [23].

24. Dr Vandana Shiva (Indian physicist, feminist, founder of eco-feminism, author of several books and of hundreds of scientific and technical papers, and a very prominent environmental analyst and activist): “The science of climate change is now clear, but the politics is very muddy. Historically, the major polluters were the rich, industrialised countries, so it made sense that they should pay the highest price… Such [Carbon Trading ETS] schemes are more about privatising the atmosphere than about preventing climate change; the emissions rights established by the Kyoto Protocol are several times higher than the levels needed to prevent a 2°C rise in global temperatures… Carbon trading uses the resources of poorer people and poorer regions as "offsets" for richer countries: it is between 50 and 200 times cheaper to plant trees in poor countries to absorb CO2 than it is to reduce emissions at source. In other words, the burden of "clean-up" falls on the poor… Thanks to industrialisation, the rural poor in China and India are losing out on their land and livelihood. To count them as polluters is doubly criminal. When global firms outsource to China or India, they need to be responsible for the pollution they carry overseas. Regulating by carbon trading is like fiddling as Rome burns… We face a stark choice: we can destroy the conditions for human life on the planet by clinging to "free-market" fundamentalism, or we can secure our future by bringing commerce within the laws of ecological sustainability and social justice”. [24].

25. Dave Massen (Convenor of the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Stop Global Warming Issue Organizing Team (IOT); active member in the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter energy and climate committee) re PDA Stop Global Warming Issue Organizing Team support for Carbon Tax with revenue recycling: “When we began the process, individual team members supported several different mechanisms for reducing CO2. But in view of the recent economic meltdown, we became concerned that even with some proposed new regulations, a large market for trading carbon derivatives would also be vulnerable to a collapse with global repercussions, especially since hard-to-verify offsets are likely to be part of any trading scheme. Additionally, it seemed that paying Wall Street traders would add unnecessarily to the costs of reducing carbon.” [25].

26. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Stop Global Warming Issue Organizing Team, Global Warming Policy Statement, adopted Oct. 19, 2009. (Footnotes omitted.):

"No issue is more of a threat to civilization than the accelerating menace of catastrophic climate destabilization.  To avert this disaster, we must make a collective, long-term investment in a new energy infrastructure in order to protect the welfare of future generations.

 Focus group research shows that the “…public has come to view clean energy as an immediate and long lasting economic driver,…something that is vitally important to the health of our economy.”  Scientists call for urgent action: “Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions, for just another decade, practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmospheric composition beneath the tipping level for catastrophic effects.”

PDA calls on the President and Congress to lead boldly in reducing our country’s oil dependence and use of fossil fuels by investing in walkable, bikeable communities, efficient public transportation, energy conservation technologies and alternative energy development, which all create good-paying and dependable jobs.

PDA supported 2008’s “climate principles letter” circulated in the House of Representatives.  To repeat and expand upon its goals, we agree that climate/energy legislation should meet these criteria:

1. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a long-term trajectory that will avoid the worst effects of global warming;

2. Transition the United States to an efficient, clean energy economy by putting a price on carbon that will guide investment and personal decisions on every level and lead the world with both incentives and example;

3. Recognize and minimize any adverse economic impacts from global warming legislation and build political support for a price on carbon pollution by “recycling” carbon pricing revenues directly to households; and

4. Aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global warming.

To help achieve these goals, PDA supports revenue-neutral direct carbon pricing over carbon trading.

Direct carbon pricing:

  1. Can push America toward an efficient, clean energy economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a long-term trajectory, by providing a gradually-increasing price on carbon pollution;
  2. Can minimize adverse economic impacts of legislation by “recycling” a substantial portion of carbon revenue to households through a direct “carbon dividend” or a payroll tax reduction;
  3. Can provide revenue to aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global warming;
  4. Reduces the need for complex and difficult-to-verify regulations and cannot be gamed in a multi-trillion dollar unregulated secondary energy trading market;
  5. Eliminates offsets, which are difficult to measure and substantiate;
  6. With WTO-sanctioned border tax adjustments would create immediate incentives for international implementation, as all countries have a taxing mechanism in place but few (if any) can manage a complex carbon trading system;
  7. Can be set at levels to form the basis for international cooperation and treaties to reduce greenhouse gases to levels consistent with the findings of the IPCC; and
  8. Would maintain the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions.". [26].

27. Dr Clive Spash (top Australian ecological economist at CSIRO, former head of the European  Society for Ecological Economics, author of numerous scholarly publications), 2009: "While carbon trading and offset schemes seem set to spread, they so far appear ineffective in terms of actually reducing GHGs (greenhouse gases). Despite this apparent failure, ETS [emission trading schemes] remain politically popular amongst the industrialised polluters. The public appearance is that action is being undertaken. The reality is that GHGs are increasing and society is avoiding the need for substantive proposals to address the problem of behavioural and structural change." [27].

28. Professor Tony Owen (international energy economist, University College London), in arguing that most economists believe a carbon tax would much more effectively reduce emissions than an Australian-style ETS: "Use the tax very similar to a GST. You can give rebates at the border, so the export industry doesn't suffer. The way this would work for the customer. If they thought the carbon content was high, they would realise they were paying fairly high tax component on the price of the good. Then they can modify their consumption behaviour accordingly." [28].

29. Dr Richard Dennis (excecutive director, Australia Institute) on Australian Treasury modelling indicating little impact of the Australian ETS known as the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme):After the 20 per cent renewable energy target is achieved in 2020 there is no further reduction in the amount of electricity generated by black and brown coal-fired power stations. This is because the CPRS has no effect on the competitiveness of coal-fired power stations.The projected carbon price of around $20-$25 per tonne is significantly less than the cost difference between renewable electricity and coal-fired electricity. While the introduction of a carbon price will reduce the profits of the coal-fired power stations, it will not reduce the amount of electricity they generate…The CPRS is complex, expensive and ineffective. The government's strategy is to suggest to voters that they are taking significant action on climate change while simultaneously allowing them to assure industry that they aren't really doing anything. It may or not turn out to be a well-designed political tool, but as a policy tool it is an enormous distraction." [29].

30. Kenneth Davidson (leading Australian economic commentator) re the proposed Rudd Labor Government Australian  ETS known as the CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme): "Under the CPRS rules, they [the coal burning electricity generators] can buy unlimited supplies of cheap, dodgy carbon offsets from Indonesia and PNG to avoid using any of their free permits to actually produce electricity. In other words they will be able to sell their free permits by simply replicating, with minor variations, the multibillion-dollar rort by EU generators of the EU carbon trading system since its establishment. The flawed CPRS should be replaced with a broad-based carbon tax. If it was set initially at $10 a tonne it would be hardly noticed, it would raise $5 billion a year and all the money could be spent on green infrastructure instead of the financial bubble if the CPRS goes ahead." [30].

31.
Dr James Hansen (top US climate scientist, head, NASA’s Goddard Insitute for Space Studies) in answer to the question “Is there any real chance of averting the climate crisis?”: “Absolutely. It is possible [to avert climate crisis] – if we give politicians a cold, hard slap in the face. The fraudulence of the Copenhagen approach – "goals" for emission reductions, "offsets" that render ironclad goals almost meaningless, the ineffectual "cap-and-trade" mechanism – must be exposed. We must rebel against such politics as usual. Science reveals that climate is close to tipping points. It is a dead certainty that continued high emissions will create a chaotic dynamic situation for young people, with deteriorating climate conditions out of their control. Science also reveals what is needed to stabilise atmospheric composition and climate… Cap and trade with offsets, in contrast, is astoundingly ineffective. Global emissions rose rapidly in response to Kyoto, as expected, because fossil fuels remained the cheapest energy. Cap and trade is an inefficient compromise, paying off numerous special interests. It must be replaced with an honest approach, raising the price of carbon emissions and leaving the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground. Are we going to stand up and give global politicians a hard slap in the face, to make them face the truth? It will take a lot of us – probably in the streets. Or are we going to let them continue to kid themselves and us and cheat our children and grandchildren? Intergenerational inequity is a moral issue. Just as when Abraham Lincoln faced slavery and when Winston Churchill faced Nazism, the time for compromises and half-measures is over. Can we find a leader who understands the core issue and will lead?” [31].

32. Dr James Lovelock FRS (in response to the New Scientist interviewer question “Your work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons led eventually to a global CFC ban that saved us from ozone-layer depletion. Do we have time to do a similar thing with carbon emissions to save ourselves from climate change?”) (January 2009): “Not a hope in hell. Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.” [32].

33. Dr Vandana Shiva (physicist and ecofeminist) (2007): " Kyoto totally avoided the material challenge of stopping activities that lead to higher emissions and the political challenge of regulation of the polluters and making the polluters pay in accordance with principles adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio. Instead, Kyoto put in place the mechanism of emissions trading which in effect rewarded the polluters by assigning them rights to the atmosphere and trading in these rights to pollute. Today, the emissions trading market has reached $ 30 billion and is expected to go up to $ 1 trillion. Carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase, while profits from "hot air" also increase. I call it "hot air" both because it is literally hot air leading to global warming and because it is metaphorically hot air, based on the fictitious economy of finance which has overtaken the real economy, both in size and in our perception. A casino economy has allowed corporations and their owners to multiply their wealth without limit, and without any relationship to the real world. Yet this hungry money then seeks to own the real resources of people - the land and the forests, the farms and the food, and turn them into cash. Unless we return to the real world, we will not find the solutions that will help mitigate climate change. Another false solution to climate change is the promotion of biofuels based on corn and soya, palmoil and jatropha.” [33].

34. Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University, New York, author of “Globalization and Its Discontents”. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 for research on the economics of information. Most recently, he co-authored with Professor Linda Bilmes, Harvard. “The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Costs of the Iraq Conflict”) : “Pretty speeches can take you only so far. A month after the Copenhagen climate conference, it is clear that the world’s leaders were unable to translate rhetoric about global warming into action. It was, of course, nice that world leaders could agree that it would be bad to risk the devastation that could be wrought by an increase in global temperatures of more than two degrees Celsius. At least they paid some attention to the mounting scientific evidence…

The failure of Copenhagen was not the absence of a legally binding agreement. The real failure was that there was no agreement about how to achieve the lofty goal of saving the planet, no agreement about reductions in carbon emissions, no agreement on how to share the burden, and no agreement on help for developing countries…

The consequences of the failure are already apparent: The price of emission rights in the European Union Emission Trading System has fallen, which means that firms will have less incentive to reduce emissions now and less incentive to invest in innovations that will reduce emissions in the future. Firms that wanted to do the right thing, to spend the money to reduce their emissions, now worry that doing so would put them at a competitive disadvantage as others continue to emit without restraint. European firms will continue to be at a competitive disadvantage relative to American firms, which bear no cost for their emissions…

Clearly, the idea that those who emitted more in the past should get more emission rights for the future is unacceptable. The “minimally” fair allocation to the developing countries requires equal emission rights per capita…

Perhaps it is time to try another approach: a commitment by each country to raise the price of emissions (whether through a carbon tax or emissions caps) to an agreed level, say, $80 per ton. Countries could use the revenues as an alternative to other taxes -- it makes much more sense to tax bad things than good things… A system of border taxes -- imposed on imports from countries where firms do not have to pay appropriately for carbon emissions -- would level the playing field and provide economic and political incentives for countries to adopt a carbon tax or emission caps. That, in turn, would provide economic incentives for firms to reduce their emissions.” [34].

35. Dr Hansen, NASA (2010): "Cap and trade with offsets, in contrast, is astoundingly ineffective. Global emissions rose rapidly in response to Kyoto, as expected, because fossil fuels remained the cheapest energy.

Cap and trade is an inefficient compromise, paying off numerous special interests. It must be replaced with an honest approach, raising the price of carbon emissions and leaving the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground.

Are we going to stand up and give global politicians a hard slap in the face, to make them face the truth? It will take a lot of us – probably in the streets. Or are we going to let them continue to kid themselves and us and cheat our children and grandchildren?

Intergenerational inequity is a moral issue." [35].

36. . Dr James Lovelock FRS, eminent UK climate scientist famous for atmospheric monitoring technology and the Gaia Hypothesis,  commenting  carbon trading (23 January 2009): “Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading,  with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.” [36].

37. Dr Cameron Hepburn, Fellow, Oxford University, UK 2010): “ And by and large, the economists who’ve looked at the kind of science and pulled it all together say, and here’s the big answer, it’s what you’ve been waiting for, the marginal damage curve we think of climate change is fairly flat, relatively flat and so a carbon tax is the most efficient answer.  “ [37].

38. John Daley & Tristan Edis, Grattan Institute (economics think-tank involving links with Melbourne University, the Victorian Government, and corporate Australia), April 2010 , “Restructuring  the Australian economy to emit less carbon – a Grattan report”: “Like much of the world, Australia has debated putting a price on carbon emissions (a “carbon price”) with an emissions trading scheme or tax. A carbon price aims to induce structural change in the economy that will reduce emissions and consequently the risks of global warming. The Australian debate has been dominated by concerns that Australia might lose industry and jobs offshore if it has a carbon price when competitor countries do not. If Australian production moves to countries with higher emissions, this would defeat the purpose of carbon pricing. To avoid this possibility, and protect industry from such an event, government plans to provide some industries with free carbon permits. The report is a detailed industry by industry analysis of the impact of carbon pricing. We find that much of the protection proposed for the major emissions-intensive industries is unnecessary or poorly targeted. It would delay the structural adjustment required to move to a lower carbon economy. Using industry data, the report finds that many of the recipient companies will be internationally competitive even if they receive no free permits. Many of the industries that would not be competitive would emit less carbon if they moved offshore, which is the purpose of carbon pricing. The proposed free permits will mute the incentives to reduce carbon emissions. They are also very expensive for other Australian taxpayers.” [38].

39. Steve Stoft and Dan Kirshner (Steve Stoft is an economist and Dan Kirshner an analyst, both in Berkeley CA. Stoft’s new book (with which Kirshner assisted) is Carbonomics: How to Fix the Climate and Charge It to OPEC; available on Amazon, and downloaded free from http://www.stoft.com.): “OK, we’re agreed: the revenues from carbon pricing—whether from cap and trade or from a carbon tax—should be returned, not kept by the government. It’s good politics—t-a-x is a four-letter word—and it’s good government—we don’t need to entice special interests with more revenue. Once that’s settled, however, a new issue arises: how should the revenues be returned? Renowned climate scientist James Hansen advocates a 100 percent dividend—a check to your mailbox. Al Gore favors reducing the payroll tax. Economists will tell you it’s more efficient to reduce an existing tax; that’s their preference. We’re here to tell you that they’re wrong. In fact, they’ll prefer a 100 percent dividend once they think about it for a moment. It is good news to find that a dividend is good economics in addition to what we already knew: that a dividend is good politics… We can use the universal rejection of a capitation tax as unfair to prove to economists that they prefer dividends. In fact, pricing carbon plus dividend refunds meets the economists’ gold standard of fairness: it’s equivalent to giving everyone their own “atmospheric climate right,” which they are free to sell…. Bottom line: a dividend is good politics and good economics. However carbon pricing is implemented—cap and trade or carbon tax—let’s go for the gold: 100 percent dividend refunds.” [39].

40. Carbon Tax Center, demolishing the ETS myth:Myth #7. A carbon cap-and-trade system is as good as a carbon tax, and is far more politically feasible.Who says? Many “Big Green” groups, business organizations and corporations seeking a less transparent way to put a price on a carbon. Click here for CTC’s dissection of the logistical and strategic differences between carbon taxes and cap-and-trade (they’re not minor). As for political feasibility, the landscape has changed radically in the few years since some prominent environmental lobby groups threw in their lot with cap-and-trade. Public concern over climate is at critical mass, complex financial instruments have been discredited, and the rise of populist sentiment is making the notion of “revenue return” politically appealing. Congress is starting to take carbon tax proposals seriously. Acceding to cap-and-trade may have seemed necessary several years ago, but it now looks to be a case of setting the bar too low, as well as an idea whose time has passed.” [40].

41. Carbon Tax Center, compendium of scientist and economist critics of Cap-and-Trade ETS:Scientists and Economists. This page, featuring Scientists and Economists, is one of half-a-dozen compiling expressions of support for carbon taxes (or more targeted taxes, e.g., on gasoline) by notable individuals and organizations. Use Navigation Bar at top of page to access other pages.” [41]

42. Ian Dunlop (a CPD Fellow, a contributing author to the CPD book, More than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now and chaired the AGO Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998 to 2000) , “Demolishing myths on emissions trading” (2010): “One of the great myths being perpetuated in this election campaign is that the Greens, by refusing to support the Government's CPRS (Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme), prevented the introduction of effective emissions trading in this country, thus blocking serious action on climate change. Penny Wong was at it again on ABC's Q&A on Monday night. Utter nonsense! The CPRS is appalling policy. By weakening the underlying emissions trading mechanism with multiple escape clauses and compensation, it runs counter to all the recommendations of the sound policy design work that had been carried out in Australia, ranging from the AGO 1998 National Emissions Trading framework to the 2008 Garnaut Review, as well as practical overseas experience…Turnbull deserves credit for standing up to the climate luddites in the Coalition, but he is still not prepared to honestly acknowledge the nonsense which the CPRS represents and, more importantly, the size of the problem we now face. The only political party to do so are the Greens… Put bluntly, we face a global climate change emergency, which requires an emergency response; both major parties are well aware of this from their scientific briefings. In this context, the emission reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020, which they are so graciously offering is derisory. The only possible conclusion is that both parties do not believe in human-induced climate change and are going through the motions purely to placate the electorate. I, for one, object in the strongest possible terms to the future of my children and grandchildren being thrown away by such irresponsibility from those who would profess to be our "leaders". Christine Milne is quite right to hold out for serious climate change policy rather than this "Clayton's" variety offered by the major parties' deniers.” [42].

43. Prins, Gwyn and  Galiana, Isabel and Green, Christopher and Grundmann, Reiner and Korhola, Atte and Laird, Frank and Nordhaus, Ted and Pielke Jnr, Roger and Rayner, Steve and Sarewitz, Daniel and Shellenberger, Michael and Stehr, Nico and Tezuko, Hiroyuki (2010)The Hartwell Paper: a new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009”, Institute for Science, Innovation & Society, University of Oxford; LSE Mackinder Programme, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK: “Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernible real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in 15 years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model [Carbon Trading] was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009…But above all, it emphasizes the primacy if accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in non-carbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidized costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such money productively. To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness – which has failed and will continue to fail. The Hartwell Paper follows the advice that a good crisis should not be wasted.” [43]. 

44. Steve Rayner ( a professor at Oxford University and a member of the eminent and international Hartwell  Group) (2010): "I think we have been over-enamored of the economists' argument that if we get the right price, the problem will fix itself. The notion that we can force up the price of carbon-based fuels and thus facilitate a move away from them is not taking adequate account to the political resistance from rising energy costs." [44].

45. Gwyn Prins (Research Professor at the London School of Economics & Political Science and a member of the eminent and international Hartwell  Group) (2011):  “It is now plain that something has gone badly awry with the European Union’s policies and views on the issue of climate change. Plain to any observer, it seems, other than the EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, and her colleagues inside the shiny towers of the Brussels quartier européen. They continue to assert in a triumph of hope over experience that it will all come good with more of the same polices that have just failed. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme and associated promotion of so-called “cap and trade” carbon trading has crashed and is burning. The carbon price had already crashed twice before the present time. That isn’t to say that nothing is happening: much is. A false market in the non-emission of carbon has been created by fiat and is having a dampening effect on already fragile EU economic recovery. But it is fertilising a luxuriant undergrowth of consultants and ‘carbon traders’, rather in the way that speculators in other classic ‘bubble’ markets have been enriched in the past… To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity and political pragmatism is not just noble and necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness—which has failed. Securing access to low-cost energy for all, including the very poor, is truly and literally liberating. Building resilience to surprise and to extremes of weather is a practical expression of true global solidarity. Improving the quality of the air that people breathe is an undeniable public good. Significant public investment in direct decarbonisation of the global energy system is the most ambitious goal but is, in the Hartwellite view, only likely to be attained by an indirect approach. The good news is that there are good reasons to believe that such a radically reframed policy can work where the current EU policies have failed. But that depends entirely upon accepting that this is the case. So my plea to Ms Hedegaard and her colleagues is the same that Oliver Cromwell made to the Church of Scotland in 1650. “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.” [45].

46. William Nordhaus (Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University) (2010): “The present study examines alternative outcomes for emissions, climate change, and damages under different policy scenarios. It uses an updated version of the regional integrated model of climate and the economy (RICE model). Recent projections suggest that substantial future warming will occur if no abatement policies are implemented. The model also calculates the path of carbon prices necessary to keep the increase in global mean temperature to 2 °C or less in an efficient manner. The carbon price for 2010 associated with that goal is estimated to be $59 per ton (at 2005 prices), compared with an effective global average price today of around $5 per ton. However, it is unlikely that the Copenhagen temperature goal will be attained even if countries meet their ambitious stated objectives under the Copenhagen Accord…. A final difficulty arises because the Kyoto and Copenhagen regimes have adopted a cap-and-trade structure. These have the theoretical advantage that they can coordinate emissions reductions across countries in an efficient manner. However, these theoretical advantages have proved illusory to date. Analysts who have examined the actual functioning of similar quantitative restrictions in different sectors note many difficulties with cap-and-trade that are not fully appreciated in the scientific community (33, 34). Economists often point to harmonized carbon taxes as a more efficient and attractive regime, but these have been generally shunned in negotiations, particularly in the United States, because of the taboo on considering tax-based systems (35).”.  [46].

47. Dr Chris Hope (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) (2011): “If the best current scientific and economic evidence is to be believed, and climate change could be a real and serious problem, the appropriate response is to institute  today a climate change tax equal to the mean estimate of the damage caused by a tonne of CO2. emissions. The raw calculations from the default PASGE09 model suggest that tax should be about $100 per tonne of CO2 in the EU. But correcting for the limited time horizon of the model, and bringing the calculations forward to 2102, in year 2012 dollars, brigs the suggested tax up to about $150 per tonne of CO2.” [47].

48. Dr James Hansen et al (2013): “Thus our objective is to define what the science indicates is needed, not to assess political feasibility. Further, it is not obvious to us that there are physical or economic limitations that prohibit fossil fuel emission targets far lower than 1000 GtC, even targets closer to 500 GtC. Indeed, we suggest that rapid transition off fossil fuels would have numerous near-term and long-term social benefits, including improved human health and outstanding potential for job creation. A world summit on climate change will be held at United Nations Headquarters in September 2014 as a preliminary to negotiation of a new climate treaty in Paris in late 2015. If this treaty is analogous to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol [257], based on national targets for emission reductions and cap-and-trade-with-offsets emissions trading mechanisms, climate deterioration and gross intergenerational injustice will be practically guaranteed. The palpable danger that such an approach is conceivable is suggested by examination of proposed climate policies of even the most forward-looking of nations. Norway, which along with the other Scandinavian countries has been among the most ambitious and successful of all nations in reducing its emissions, nevertheless approves expanded oil drilling in the Arctic and development of tar sands as a majority owner of Statoil [258][259]. Emissions foreseen by the Energy Perspectives of Statoil [259], if they occur, would approach or exceed 1000 GtC and cause dramatic climate change that would run out of control of future generations. If, in contrast, leading nations agree in 2015 to have internal rising fees on carbon with border duties on products from nations without a carbon fee, a foundation would be established for phaseover to carbon free energies and stable climate.” [48].

49. Dr Chris Hope (2013). Dr Chris Hope interviewed by  Emma Alberici (ABC TV Lateline):

"EMMA ALBERICI: The Australian Government now wants to move earlier to an emissions trading scheme linked to the European system. What do you think of that?

CHRIS HOPE: Yes. I think that the scheme that Australia has at the moment of a carbon tax is far better than an emissions trading scheme, particularly when you see the problems that there are with the emissions trading scheme in Europe at the moment. The price of the permits in Europe has fallen to below five euros, certainly below 10 Australian-US dollars per tonne. It's at a much lower level than anybody who designed the scheme was thinking it would be at and politicians and policymakers in Europe are making desperate attempts to try and adjust the scheme in a way that will increase the price. Because if we want to have sensible and serious action on climate change, then we need a price on carbon dioxide emissions that is significantly higher than $10 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

EMMA ALBERICI: Is price the only flaw in the European system?

CHRIS HOPE: There are many ways in which a carbon tax is better than an emissions trading system. For instance, one obvious one is that if you have a carbon tax then everybody who is trying to make decisions knows what the price is and they can have some certainty in the planning that they're doing. And as we've seen with the European emissions trading scheme, that's a certainty that you don't have if you have a cap and trade system. The price can go all over the place. And what that means is that people can't plan effectively, they can't change the types of electricity generation that they have, they can't put in place infrastructure that might take years or decades to be fully put in place. And therefore we've seen things like in the UK, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has now put in place a carbon floor price which means that the price of emissions of CO2 in the UK is £16 per tonne whatever the European emissions trading scheme price goes down at. So, US$25 or so per tonne, roughly the sort of levels that you're seeing in Australia at the moment.

EMMA ALBERICI: But specifically on the reason it was initially conceived, has the EU system actually worked, eight years after it was launched? Has it managed to reduce carbon emissions in the European region?

CHRIS HOPE: It's very hard to say because it's very hard to work out what the emissions would've been without the emissions trading scheme, because as you know, we've been through in Europe quite a severe recession as a result of the financial crisis of 2007 onwards and so it's very hard to see what the emissions would've been. But I think most people would say that it has been nowhere near as successful at reducing emissions as we would've hoped it would be and as a sensible carbon tax at a sensible level of maybe $100 per tonne of carbon dioxide would be.?" [49].

 [50]. Dr Irvin Tucker (a longtime member of the US National Council on Economic Education and former Director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte) (2012): “But there is increasing questioning of whether or not carbon trading is preferable to a tax on carbon. One contributing argument is the European experience to date, which has been disappointing. By mid-2006,  the price of contracts had collapsed to 8 euros.  The primary fact was that numerous national governments had issued enough permits that covered producers did not find it necessary to buy permits. In fact, carbon emissions increased in many countries in the first year of the carbon trading regime. Since that time, there have been reforms in the trading system, and prices have risen. Nevertheless, the possibility that an emissions trading system might not reduce carbon emissions has given impetus to those who argue for a carbon tax. For those who prefer the tax approach, perhaps the most widespread reason is that the tax  will raise revenue.” [50]. 

51. Professor Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University, and formerly Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank) (2010): “Underlying the failure in Copenhagen are some deep problems. The Kyoto approach allocated emission rights, which are a valuable asset. If emissions were appropriately restricted, the value of emission rights would be a couple trillion dollars a year – no wonder that there is a squabble over who should get them.  Clearly, the idea that those who emitted more in the past should get more emission rights for the future is unacceptable. The “minimally” fair allocation to the developing countries requires equal emission rights per capita. Most ethical principles would suggest that, if one is distributing what amounts to “money” around the world, one should give more (per capita) to the poor. So, too, most ethical principles would suggest that those that have polluted more in the past – especially after the problem was recognized in 1992 – should have less right to pollute in the future. But such an allocation would implicitly transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from rich to poor. Given the difficulty of coming up with even $10 billion a year – let alone the $200 billion a year that is needed for mitigation and adaptation – it is wishful thinking to expect an agreement along these lines. Perhaps it is time to try another approach: a commitment by each country to raise the price of emissions (whether through a carbon tax or emissions caps) to an agreed level, say, $80 per ton. Countries could use the revenues as an alternative to other taxes – it makes much more sense to tax bad things than good things. Developed countries could use some of the revenues generated to fulfill their obligations to help the developing countries in terms of adaptation and to compensate them for maintaining forests, which provide a global public good through carbon sequestration.” [51].

[52]. Professor Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University, and formerly Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank) (2010): “Economic efficiency requires that those who generate emissions pay the cost, and the simplest way of forcing them to do so is through a carbon tax. There could be an international agreement that every country would impose a carbon tax at an agreed rate (reflecting the global social cost). Indeed, it makes far more sense to tax bad things, like pollution, than to tax good things like work and savings. Such a tax would increase global efficiency.Of course, polluting industries like the cap-and-trade system. While it provides them an incentive not to pollute, emission allowances offset much of what they would have to pay under a tax system. Some firms can even make money off the deal. Moreover, Europe has grown used to the concept of cap-and-trade, and many are loathe to try an alternative. Yet, no one has proposed an acceptable set of principles for assigning emission rights.” [52].

[53]. Professor Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University, and formerly Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank) (2010): “There is a way out, and that is through a common (global) environmental tax on emissions. Alternatively, each country could keep its own revenues and use them to replace taxes on capital and labor: it makes much more sense to tax “bads” (pollution, like greenhouse gas emissions) than to tax “goods,” like work and saving.” [53].

[54]. Bernard Rooney (climate change activist) (2010):Putting a price on carbon is ''a no brainer'' and should be the first priority of any government, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says.''I'm an advocate of carbon tax, because the general principle is that it's better to tax bad things than good things,'' he told a capacity crowd at the Australian National University's Llewellyn Hall yesterday afternoon, drawing a loud burst of enthusiastic applause.''We don't know exactly what the right price of carbon is some say around $US60 to $80 ($A66 to $A88) a tonne, but what we do know is that zero is the wrong price ''. Stiglitz thus joins what appears to be a majority of economists from all schools who advocate the carbon tax over 'carbon trading'.  In theory, 'carbon trading' would work, if the licenses were auctioned on an annual basis, but then if it is so like a carbon tax, why bother? In my view, 'carbon trading' is designed to fail. It's designed to make money for Wall st traders and to allow corporate-dominated governments to giveaway 'permits to pollute' to the big polluters. An obvious and inevitable line of attack against the carbon tax is the 'great big new tax' and 'raise the cost of standard of living' arguments. To counter this purely at the political level a carbon dividend should be proposed. Either 50% or even 100% of the revenue raised from a carbon tax should be returned to each citizen on a per capita basis as compensation for increased energy costs.  Or 50% of the revenue could be invested in the building out of the new clean energy infrastructure. This would be a genuine 'nation building' project, not the farcical and murderous wedding-bombing operation in Afghanistan.” [54].

[55].  Professor Joseph Stiglitz (a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University, and formerly Chairman of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank) (2010) giving the Crawford School Oratory at the Australian National University (2010): “I'm an advocate of carbon tax, because the general principle is that it's better to tax bad things than good things. We don't know exactly what the right price of carbon is some say around $US60 to $80 ($A66 to $A88) a tonne, but what we do know is that zero is the wrong price '' [54, 55].

[56]. Dr Gideon Polya (biological chemist,  climate change activist and convenor of 300.org that demands an urgent return of atmospheric CO2 to a safe 300 ppm CO2 from the present dangerous and damaging 400 ppm CO2) (2014): "Science-informed people welcome coal miner and major greenhouse gas (GHG) polluter Clive Palmer's intervention to save the Australian Climate Change Authority (CCA), the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) but this has NOT "reframed the debate about carbon pricing" in pro-coal, pro-gas, pro-pollution Australia that is a world leader in GHG pollution. Thus Clive Palmer has rejected the Carbon Tax and opted for a Carbon Trading-based ETS to be implemented when half a dozen major players in America, Europe and East Asia do likewise. However numerous economists, activists, scientists and climate scientists argue that what is needed is a transparent, science-based Carbon Tax rather than an ineffective and fraudulent ETS. The Carbon Trading ETS approach is variously condemned as dodgy because it is empirically ineffective, accordingly counterproductive and is inherently fraudulent because it would involve particular rich countries selling licences to enable corporations to pollute the one common atmosphere and ocean of all countries and all peoples (for 56 such expert opinions c/- of 300.org that demands an urgent return of atmospheric CO2 to a safe 300 ppm CO2 from the present dangerous and damaging 400 ppm CO2, Google “carbon tax needed NOT carbon trading”)." [56]. 

[57]. Adela Putinelu (an MA student in International Development: Politics and Governance at the University of Manchester) (2012): Climate change has been described as the greatest collective action problem the world has ever faced (Barrett 2008: 257). In the search for regulatory solutions which would mitigate the effects of global warming, emissions trading has become the most favoured policy instrument. If we are to envisage a more sustainable future and a transition away from today’s fossil-fuelled economies, it is imperative that we seek to understand the EU emissions market in terms of its aims, and propose ways to overcome its current failures... Does it work? Intense corporate lobbying against governments’ favoured idea of a carbon tax and the desire of the EU to fill a power vacuum after the US withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 saw the EU making a U-turn and adopting a cap-and-trade policy. Subsequently, the EU enjoyed a leading role in climate change negotiations while its proposed emissions trading scheme increasingly attracted attention as a model for a global cap-and-trade system. But concerns about the practical implementation and effectiveness of the current scheme, the failure of the US (the world’s largest per capita emitter of GHG) to establish a national cap-and-trade programme and the fundamental ethical critique of the legitimacy of carbon commodification indicate that the future of emissions trading is far from certain (Perdan and Azapagic 2011: 6052-6053). With little incentive for investing in clean technologies, a timely transition away from fossil fuels seems unlikely. With the market-based policy tool of emissions trading preferred on grounds of economic efficiency (although this is subject to debate), environmental policy will not address the challenge of behavioural change while the goal remains to seek new investment and financial opportunities (packed in green discourse and delivered to the public in the form of pro-growth strategies). Structural deficiencies in the EU ETS cannot be understood as part of an institutional learning process so long as the EU policymakers remain unwilling to learn from its failures.” [57].

[58]. N. Gregory Mankiw (a professor of economics at Harvard and a former  adviser to President George W. Bush) (2013): “summer, the Obama administration released the President’s Climate Action Plan. It is a grab bag of regulations and policy initiatives aimed at reducing the nation’s carbon emissions, which many scientists believe contribute to global warming… Economists call the effects of our personal decisions on others “externalities”…  Fortunately, a policy broader in scope is possible, which brings us to the third approach to dealing with climate externalities: putting a price on carbon emissions. If the government charged a fee for each emission of carbon, that fee would be built into the prices of products and lifestyles. When making everyday decisions, people would naturally look at the prices they face and, in effect, take into account the global impact of their choices. In economics jargon, a price on carbon would induce people to “internalize the externality”…  Among economists, the issue is largely a no-brainer. In December 2011, the IGM Forum asked a panel of 41 prominent economists about this statement: “A tax on the carbon content of fuels would be a less expensive way to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions than would a collection of policies such as ‘corporate average fuel economy’ requirements for automobiles.” Ninety percent of the panelists agreed.  Could such an overwhelming consensus of economists be wrong? Well, actually, yes. But in this case, I am confident that the economics profession has it right. The hard part is persuading the public and the politicians.” [58].

[59]. S. Rausch and J.M. Reilly (economists from 83-Nobel-Laureate MIT) (2012):
“Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, leading to interest in raising revenue through a carbon tax. This revenue could be used to either cut other taxes or to avoid cuts in Federal programs. There is a body of economic research suggesting that such an arrangement could be a win-win-win situation. The first win—Congress could reduce personal or corporate income tax rates, extend the payroll tax cut, maintain spending on social programs, or some combination of these options. The second win—these cuts in income taxes would spur the economy, encouraging more private spending and hence more employment and investment. The third win—carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution and oil imports would be reduced. This analysis uses the MIT U.S. Regional Energy Policy (USREP) model to evaluate the effect of a carbon tax as part of a Federal budget deal. A baseline scenario where temporary payroll cuts and the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire is compared to several scenarios that include a carbon tax starting at $20 per ton in 2013 and rising at 4%. We find that, whether revenue is used to cut taxes or to maintain spending for social programs, the economy is better off with the carbon tax than if taxes remain high to maintain Federal revenue. We also find that, in addition to economic benefits, a carbon tax reduces carbon dioxide emissions to 14% below 2006 levels by 2020, and 20% below by 2050. Oil imports remain at about today’s level, and compared to the case with no carbon tax, are 10 million barrels per day less in 2050. The carbon tax would shift the market toward renewables and other low carbon options, and make the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles more economically desirable”. [59].

[60]. William G. Gale (the Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings, an expert on tax policy, fiscal issues, pensions, and saving behaviour,  co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project) , Samuel Brown and Fernando Saltiel (2013): “there is too much consumption and production of fossil fuels. Economists have long recommended specific taxes on fossil-fuel energy sources as a way to address these problems. That recommendation has gained additional urgency in recent years in light of the fiscal situation outlined above. New revenue from energy taxes could be used to reduce the debt or finance reform or reductions in other taxes. Throughout this paper we use the phrase “carbon tax” to refer to a tax on carbon dioxide. Although a carbon tax would be a new policy for the federal government, the tax has been implemented in several other countries (though—as discussed in the introduction to this volume— not always in a way that conforms to the design principles advocated by economists). Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark instituted carbon taxes in the early 1990s, followed by the Netherlands and Germany in the latter part of the 1990s. The United Kingdom followed suit in 2001. Australia introduced a carbon tax in 2011. North American jurisdictions have also implemented carbon taxes. The town of Boulder, Colorado, adopted a carbon tax in 2006, and Montgomery County, Maryland, did so in 2010. The Canadian provinces of Alberta and Quebec adopted carbon taxes in 2007, followed by British Columbia in 2008…The United States faces substantial and unsustainable medium- and long-term budget deficits, which will require a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to resolve. On the tax side, one relatively attraction option for raising revenue would be to impose a carbon tax. Besides its impact on revenues, the tax would improve environmental outcomes, increase economic efficiency, and allow the elimination of selected other tax subsidies and spending programs. The distributional effects would be regressive but could be offset by other policy changes. As policy makers search for solutions to the fiscal problem and for ways to improve the tax system, carbon taxation could play a positive role in addressing each situation.”

[61]. Daniel Rosenblum (carbon tax journalist) (2007) “According to the Wall Street Journal’s Monthly Economic Forecasting Survey; February 2007, 85% of the surveyed economists believe the government should encourage development of alternatives to fossil fuels. When asked "what is the most economically sound way for the government to encourage development of alternatives to fossil fuels," 54% responded with "taxes that raise the cost of purchasing fossil fuels." The next largest category was "other" at 28%, followed by "subsidies for producers of alternative fuels" at 13%. According to former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, as quoted in the International Herald Tribune, taxes either on emissions or on petroleum could be effective in reducing global warming, that it would be wiser to impose a tax on oil than wait for the market to force prices up, that measures to reduce global warming would not be economically devastating and, putting the issue in perspective: "What may happen to the dollar, and what may happen to growth in China or whatever," he said, raising his voice, "pale into insignificance compared with the question of what happens to this planet over the next 30 or 40 years if no action is taken." [61].

[62]. David Kestenbaum (economics journalist) (2013): “Climate change seems like this complicated problem with a million pieces. But Henry Jacoby, an economist at [83-Nobel-Laureate] MIT's business school, says there's really just one thing you need to do to solve the problem. Tax carbon emissions… As with any fix for climate change, a carbon tax would hit some people harder than others. People with long commutes would pay more. People who work in coal mines could lose their jobs. But here is where [John] Reilly [economist from 83-Nobel-Laureate MIT] brings up what is perhaps the most surprising thing about a carbon tax: If you do it right, he says, carbon tax can be nearly painless for the economy as a whole. Besides reducing carbon emissions, a carbon tax brings in a bunch of money — it's a tax after all. So, Reilly says, you can reduce, say, income tax to balance out the new taxes people are paying for carbon emissions. People pay more for gas, but they get to keep more of their income. I called around and talked to a bunch of economists about this, and they said the basic idea was sound: If you give the carbon-tax money back by cutting income taxes, you can probably offset a lot of the pain. President Obama has indicated he would support a market-based solution to climate change. But a carbon tax would, of course, require an act of Congress. And right now, that seems unlikely.” [62}.

[63]. Pope Francis slamming the ETS approach and supporting a full Carbon Price in his 2015 Encyclical letter “Laudato si” (2015): “Once more, we need to reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals. Is it realistic to hope that those who are obsessed with maximising profits will stop to reflect on the environmental damage which they will leave behind for future generations? Where profits alone count, there can be no thinking about the rhythms of nature, its phases of decay and regeneration, or the complexity of ecosystems which may be gravely upset by human intervention. The strategy of buying and selling "carbon credits" can lead to a new form of speculation, which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors” [63, 64] and

“The principle of the maximization of profits, frequently isolated from other considerations, reflects a misunderstanding of the very concept of the economy. As long as production is increased, little concern is given to whether it is at the cost of future resources or the health of the environment; as long as the clearing of a forest increases production, no one calculates the losses entailed in the desertification of the land, the harm done to biodiversity, or the increased pollution. In a word, businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved. ‘Yet only when the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations,’ [Benedict XVI, [64]] can those actions be considered ethical. An instrumental way of reasoning, which provides a purely static analysis of realities in the service of present needs, is at work whether resources are allocated by the market or by state central planning” [Section 195, [63]. 

[Editor's  note: climate change economist Dr Chris Hope from 90-Nobel–Laureate University of Cambridge has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price of US$150-$250 per tonne CO2-e (CO2-equivalent) depending on location. Based on a Carbon Price of $100 per tonne CO2-e, the  World now has a Carbon Debt (in US dollars) from historical  CO2 pollution (mostly from European countries) of $270 trillion that is increasing at $10 trillion each year, and Australia (a world leader in annual per capita  greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution) has a Carbon Debt of $5.6 trillion that is increasing at $300 billion per year (increasing at about $30,000 each year per head for under-30 year old Australians). Based on a Carbon Price of $200 per tonne CO2-e [3], the  World now has a Carbon Debt (in US dollars) of $540 trillion that is increasing at $20 trillion each year and Australia has a Carbon Debt of $11 trillion that is increasing at $600 billion per year (increasing at about $60,000 each year per head for under-30 year old Australians) (see Dr Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/research/workingpapers/wp1109.pdf  and  “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/ )].

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[62]. David Kestenbaum, “Economists have a one page solution to climate change”, Planet Money, 28 June 2013: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/06/28/196355493/economists-have-a-one-page-solution-to-climate-change .

[63]. Pope Francis, Encyclical Letter “Laudato si”, 2015: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html .

[64]. Pope Francis quoted in “Key excerpts from the Pope’s encyclical on the environment”, ABC News, 19 June 2015: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-19/pope-francis-warns-humanity-about-pace-of-consumption/6557822 .


 

Some useful compendia about climate change information, requisite actions & expert opinions:

“2011 climate change course”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course .

300.org: . https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org .

“300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm CO2”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org---return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .

“Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/ .

“Cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/cutcarbonemissions80by2020/ .

“100% renewable energy by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/100renewableenergyby2020/ .

“Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .

“Gas is not clean energy”: https://sites.google.com/site/gasisnotcleanenergy/ .

 “Biofuel Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/biofuelgenocide/ .

“Divest from fossil fuels”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/divest-from-fossil-fuels .

“Climate Justice & Intergenerational Equity”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/climate-justice .

“Science & economics experts: Carbon Tax needed NOT Carbon Trading”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/sciennce-economics-experts-carbon-tax-needed-not-carbon-trading/ .

“Stop climate crime”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/stop-climate-crime .

“Are we doomed?”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed .

“Nuclear weapons ban , end poverty & reverse climate change”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/nuclear-weapons-ban .

"Too late to avoid global warming catastrophe": https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/too-late-to-avoid-global-warming .

 

Some key analyses by Dr Gideon Polya (Melbourne scientist):  

Gideon Polya, “Expert Witness Testimony To Stop Gas-Fired Power Plant Installation”, Countercurrents,  14 June, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140613.htm .

Gideon Polya,  " Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html .

Gideon Polya, “Australia 's Huge Coal, Gas & Iron Ore Exports Threaten Planet”, Countercurrents, 15 May 2012: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya150512.htm .

Gideon Polya, “Country By Country Analysis Of Years Left Until Science-demanded Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, Countercurrents, 11 June 2011: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya110611.htm

Gideon Polya , “2015 A-to-Z  Alphabetical List Of Actions And Advocacies For Climate Change Activists”,  Countercurrents,  14 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140115.htm

Gideon Polya, “100 Ideas For Climate Change Activists Trying To Save The Biosphere And Humanity”,  Countercurrents, 10 August, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya100813.htm .

Gideon Polya, “Biochemical  Targets Of Plant Bioactive Compounds”: moral & utilitarian reasons to stop ecocide, speciescide, omnicide & terracide”, Countercurrents, 22 February, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya220215.htm .

“Climate change articles by Dr Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/climate-change-articles .

“Climate change websites created by Dr Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/climate-change-websites .

“Gideon Polya”: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home .

 

Carbon Debt quantitates responsibility for climate catastrophe:

Carbon Debt reflects the inescapable future cost in today's dollars of fixing the remorselessly increasing climate damage. Carbon Debt  is the historical contribution of countries  to the carbon pollution of the atmosphere and can be variously expressed as Gt CO2-e (gigatonnes or billions of tonnes of CO2-equivalent) or in dollar terms by applying a Carbon Price. Thus leading climate economist Dr Chris Hope from 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge  University has estimated a damage-related Carbon Price in US dollars of $150 per tonne CO2-e (see Dr Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/research/workingpapers/wp1109.pdf  ).

The World added 350 Gt C (1285 Gt CO2) to the atmosphere in 1751-2006 (see James Hansen, “Letter to PM Kevin Rudd by Dr James Hansen”, 2008: http://www.aussmc.org.au/documents/Hansen2008LetterToKevinRudd_000.pdf ) and currently adds a further 64 Gt CO2-e annually (see Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang, “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf ).

The World  has a 1751-2006 Carbon Debt of     350 Gt C x (3.67 Gt CO2/Gt C) x $150 per tonne CO2-e = $193 trillion plus a 2007-2015 Carbon Debt of (64 Gt CO2-e /year) x  ($150 /t CO2-e) x 8 years  = $76.8 trillion or a total 1751-2015 Carbon Debt of $270 trillion (about 3 times the annual world GDP of $85 trillion)  that is increasing by about 64 Gt CO2-e/year  x ($150 /t CO2-e)  = $9.6 trillion/year or about $10 trillion each year.

By way of a national example, Australia is a world-leading annual per capita  GHG polluter with a 1751-2006 Carbon Debt of 5.9 Gt C x (3.67 Gt CO2-e/Gt C) x ($150 /t CO2-e) = $3.2 trillion plus a 2007-2015 Carbon Debt of  2 Gt CO2-e/year  x ($150 /t CO2-e) x 8 years  = $2.4 trillion i.e. a total 1751-2015 Carbon Debt of $5.6 trillion (A$7.2 trillion) that is increasing at 2 Gt CO2-e /year x ($150 /t CO2-e) = $300 billion (A$385 billion) per year. Thus Australia (population 24 million) with 0.34% of the world's population has 2.1% of the world's Carbon Debt. The Australian Carbon Debt will have to be paid by the young and future generations and for under-30 year old Australians is increasing at about $30,000 (A$38,500) per person per year, noting that the annual Australian per capita income is about $65,000 (A$83,000) (see Gideon Polya, “2015 A-to-Z  alphabetical list of actions and advocacies for climate change activists”,  Countercurrents, 14 January, 2015: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya140115.htm ).












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