October 29, 2008
Global Warming: Carbon Tax?
Companies aren't legally allowed to dump toxins in the ocean, because of the third-party costs associated with it. They'd be getting free disposal, while poisoning the water, affecting fish, other wildlife and humans.
So, if carbon emissions are destructive in a similar way, shouldn't this bear a financial responsibility? A $2/ton carbon tax roughly estimates the damage caused by carbon emissions. Yet, some people suggest instituting a $140/ton tax on carbon emissions because this would help curb global warming faster.
This is true, but:
A) is it right to arbitrarily tax someone that much higher than what their output is causing?
B) are the benefits worth it? for instance, we could lower the speed limit to 5 mph and drastically decrease traffic accidents, but there are costs associated with this
C) how much easier will it be to get countries around the world on board with a $2/ton carbon tax as opposed to the larger one? Because frankly, not many countries are going to be willing to accept an economic penalty when countries they compete against aren't?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 12:43 PM