Carbon Tax Economists are the Modern Day Alchemists pursing the Philosopher's stone
- Sep 28, 2021 2:40 pm GMT
A recent article in the Washington Post titled "Senior Democrats’ push for powerful climate tool collides with political realities" quotes some prominent economists supporting the use of carbon taxes to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. However, they face a big problem, just like the Alchemists in their belief that the magical powder "tincture" could transform lead into gold, there is no empirical evidence supporting their "economic theory" that a carbon tax would be an effective cure for our climate crisis.
A carbon tax would raise the cost of electricity on everyone, resulting in a disincentive to electrify our homes, businesses and transportation. If we want to address climate change and prevent it's disastrous effects, urgently, we need to look at other "proven" alternatives. We need look for solutions that incentivize electrification AND build an electric system with less reliance on fossil fuels, e.g. nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, tidal AND secures the essential grid services that are needed to ensure grid reliability and resilience, which carbon pricing does not achieve according to this NEPOOL Report. In short, if we want to reduce emissions from the generation of electricity and ensure that we have a reliable, resilient electric grid, then we need to follow the lead of green buyers and invest in zero emissions generators and transmission lines that are able to bring these remote source of power to the load centers.
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