Friday, July 05, 2013

'How to Get Rich and Combat Global Warming,' writes Steve Chapman

I know that many on the right remain global warming skeptics. I am not. I long ago accepted the majority scientific theory of global warming. I do think there are global warming alarmist however, and hustlers and con artist. And, I think there are those who see global warming as their Trojan Horse to advance a big-government, redistribution-of-wealth agenda. While the right has basically said "what problem?" the left has offered nothing but non-solutions.

Much of the anti-global warming activist have wasted energy in promoting insignificant feel-good measures, such as turning off your computer when not in use and properly inflating your tires. These things may make you feel virtuous but are not a solution. The same people who do these feel-good measures may do other things that leave a big carbon foot print, like enjoying their personal car just like the rest of us or owning a dog. A large dog is as about as bad for the planet, it has been calculated, as is owning a small car, yet Earth Day in Centennial Park is full of dogs. Most of the anti-global warming activist, in my view, are not doing anything that will make a difference.

Other anti-global warming activist offer nothing but the big-government power-grab solutions. Cap and Trade, as proposed a few years ago, would have transferred too much authority into the hands of the government to pick winners and losers and would have grown government and produced greater poverty. Opposing the Keystone pipeline, simply means the oil will go to the Pacific Coast instead of the Gulf and it will be purchased by China. It will not stay in the ground. Many of the environmentalist also oppose fracking which has released trapped clean natural gas and done more to reduce American Co2 emissions than anything else. They also oppose nuclear energy. While many on the right do not believe the science of global warming theory, those on the left appear not to believe in technology, economics and markets.

I believe the solution to combating global warming lies in three areas: (1) clean energy such as nuclear and natural gas, with the environmentalist-activist-favored wind and solar playing a minor role; (2) big bold technological advances involving geoengineering such as solar radiation management and carbon removal; and (3) use of market forces such as peak load pricing for energy consumption and most importantly, a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Unfortunately, the most ardent environmentalist who are liberals don't embrace these solutions and many conservative who should embrace them don't see a problem in need of solving.

Steve Chapman is a conservative syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune and has written articles that have appeared in Town Hall, National Review, American Spectator, and the Weekly Standard. In the article below, he argues that properly pricing fuels to account for their negative effects would reduce consumption of those fuels. A revenue-neutral carbon tax would give us more of what we wand such as production and savings and less of what we don't want which is Co2 emissions.  He argues that a carbon tax is pro-environmental, pro-growth, and pro-market.

by Steve Chapman,Town Hall, July 04, 2013- So the president will act to curb emissions as best he can through heavy-handed regulation and extravagant subsidies of "clean" energy. The trouble with these clumsy remedies, says economist Adele Morris of The Brookings Institution, is that they often impose higher costs than the benefits they yield.

They would not be needed if the government taxed fuels according to their environmental side effects. Raise the price of gasoline and Americans would buy more efficient cars, drive less and take the occasional bus. Make coal more expensive and businesses would switch to fuels that pollute less. These adjustments would occur through the natural operation of markets, a process that favors the cheapest solutions. (link)

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