[MCN] Should have been "how to REDUCE IMPACT on farm, forest, water, wildlife

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Fri Apr 6 10:36:22 EDT 2018

Carbon taxes could make significant dent in climate change, study finds
Several different carbon-pricing approaches would help reduce emissions, and some would be fair as well, researchers report.
David L. Chandler | MIT News Office 
April 6, 2018
http://news.mit.edu/2018/carbon-taxes-could-make-significant-dent-climate-change-0406 <http://news.mit.edu/2018/carbon-taxes-could-make-significant-dent-climate-change-0406>


Putting a price on carbon, in the form of a fee or tax on the use of fossil fuels, coupled with returning the generated revenue to the public in one form or another, can be an effective way to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s one of the conclusions of an extensive analysis of several versions of such proposals, carried out by researchers at MIT and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

What’s more, depending on the exact mechanism chosen, such a tax can also be fair and not hurt low-income households, the researchers report.

Eleven research teams at different institutions carried out the research using a common set of starting assumptions and policies. While significant details differed, all the studies agreed that carbon taxes can be effective and, if properly designed, need not be regressive.

An overview report on the 11 studies appears today in the journal Climate Change Economics <<https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S2010007818400158 <https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S2010007818400158>>> along with reports on the individual team results. The MIT and NREL team included former MIT postdoc Justin Caron, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Co-Director John Reilly, and Stuart Cohen and Maxwell Brown of NREL.

“It’s sort of an obvious solution,” Reilly says, “to take some chunk of the money and use it to focus on the poorest households, and use the rest to cut taxes. It doesn’t seem like a hard thing.”

“By taxing carbon,” Caron says, “we will collect a lot of money that can be used to supplant other taxes that we like less. Why tax something that we like?” And, he adds, by using just a small portion of that revenue — less than 10 percent — it’s possible “to compensate the lower-income people and neutralize the regressivity.”

But even at the lowest end of the policies they studied, with a $25-per-ton initial tax,” that “would be adequate to meet the U.S. pledge in Paris” for 2030. But the rate of increase is important, the study says: “Five percent a year is sufficient. One percent a year is not.”

Reilly says “all these tax scenarios at worst meet U.S. commitments for 2030, and the $50 tax is well exceeding it.” Many experts say the Paris Agreement alone will not be sufficient to curb catastrophic consequences of global climate change, but this single measure would go a long way toward reducing that impact, Reilly says.

"We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that 
we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing."

"We are not able even to  think  adequately about the behavior that 
is at the annihilating edge."

R. D. Laing. Introduction, The Politics of Experience. 
1967, New York. Pantheon Books, a division of Random House

“Consumer expectations of ever-higher living standards were fuelled by more lenient and readily available bank lending, 
…. Social status and identity became closely associated with consumption, in particular with the concept of luxury. 

"Identifying oneself with the good life meant being able to live beyond traditional understandings of basic needs. Debt was the price 
one paid for the joys of being part of a hedonistic consumer culture.”

Kenneth Dyson. The Morality of Debt. Foreign Affairs. May 3, 2015

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