- Reason Awakes -

Climate Change

If global warming (or more accurately climate change) is a real problem, and we believe that it is, it is an international problem. If we going to act on dealing with climate change, it will only be effective if we can force global cooperation. We believe that this is possible. We propose that the US impose on itself a carbon tax or $50/ton (with comparable taxes or other green house gases). We should attempt to persuade as many other countries as possible to impose the same taxes on themselves. In order to encourage other countries to impose these tases, we should place tariffs on the goods from countries, who do not impose these taxes on themselves, that are proportional to the estimated carbon emission content of the goods. This should rapidly result in a global carbon tax of $50/ton.


Each nation could use the revenues from the tax for its own purposes. In the U.S., these revenues should be used for a comparable subsidy for carbon capture and sequestration with the residual being used to reduce the national debt.

Other Policies that Don't Require International Cooperation

Market Shift to Natural Gas and other alternatives to Oil and Coal

The taxes on oil (described in the Energy Policy section), for economic and geo-political reasons) and coal (described in the Environmental Policy section), for non-climate-change environmental reasons would shift energy demand in the U.S. toward natural gas.

This would have the side benefit of significantly lowering the carbon foot print of the U.S. without imposing any unwarranted economic damage on the U.S. economy. These taxes would also provide market-based incentives for solar power, wind power and other non-fossil fuel alternatives. The movement toward real time pricing of electric power, described in the section on Energy Policy will also provide a market-based incentive for solar power.

Geo-Engineering and other R&D

The downside of geo-engineering to reverse climate change is that it involves large scale experiments with the environment. The upside is that it may be possible for the U.S., acting alone, or with a few allies, to have a major impact on solving the problem. We would support government investment in R&D on these alternatives and on basic research on low carbon energy technologies.



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