What If a Tax on Carbon Emissions Isn’t the Right Goal?

Perhaps planting one trillion trees through a tree-planting program would be equally or more effective…


Economists favor a carbon tax as the most efficient way to forestall global warming because they assume that the goal should be to reduce the amount of carbon. But what if that assumption is wrong?

David Henderson gives three reasons why it may be wrong: (1) controlling methane emissions appears to be far more important than controlling carbon, (2) geo-engineering (e.g., emitting sulfur dioxide to counteract the effects of warming) may be more economical than reducing carbon and (3) it may be more cost effective to remove carbon from the atmosphere by planting trees.

According to a July 4, 2019, article in The Guardian, planting one trillion trees would be much cheaper than a carbon tax and much more effective. At an estimated cost of 30 cents per additional tree, the overall cost would be $300 billion. That’s large, but it’s a one-time cost. Moreover, writes the Guardian’s environment editor Damian Carrington, such a tree-planting program “could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as ‘mind-blowing’.”

A carbon tax, by contrast, would simply slow the rate of emissions into the atmosphere.

Is It Too Late to Stop Global Warming?

“Brace for Doomsday,” says economist Richard McKenzie.


This is Dick McKenzie, writing in Regulation magazine:

The gremlin in climate scientists’ gloomy narrative is the prospect of a “tipping point”: an abrupt worsening in environmental change, looming in the next dozen years or (at most) the next few decades—if the tipping point has not already been reached. Once climate change has “tipped,” global warming (and an array of other changes in the global climate) will be self-perpetuating, self-accelerating, and irreversible, no matter how drastic the adopted future emissions-abatement policies are….

Beyond the tipping point, many scientists say, there is one inevitable outcome: environmental Armageddon, at which point the climate will become so degraded that all of life will be hellish, if species can survive that long. Effectively, Earth will gradually become a second Venus, which at one time, long ago, was likely as habitable as Earth, but is not today because of its (natural, not man-made) greenhouse-gas self-perpetuating cycles. Venus’s surface temperature is now close to 900 degrees.

Regulation is published by the Cato Institute.

No. That’s not a misprint. It’s the same think tank that has been telling us for years that climate change is no cause for alarm.​

In sum: “Few climate scientists seem to understand the extent of the entrapment that the Climate-Change Doomsday narrative imposes.”

Is the Media Lying about Climate Change?

The media have become cheerleaders for climate change.

Is the Media Lying about Global Warming?

Here is Holman Jenkins in the Wall Street Journal:

I mean every word of the following: Ignore climate-science reporting in major U.S. news organs. The press has given up wrestling with the limits of knowledge or accurately relaying the caveats tied to highly abstract computer models….

The media, for whatever reason, has chosen a role for itself as a cheerleader for climate boondoggles. And the more specialized the media—the website Inside Climate News is your example here—the more completely it will devote itself to misleading the public about the true nature of the climate challenge in our democracy.

So, what is the truth? It is this:

Of the two-dozen-plus climate models consulted by scientific bodies, only one model, that of the Institute of Numerical Mathematics in Moscow, accurately simulates past climate changes. It also forecasts the least warming, about 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit, under realistic emissions assumptions.

And this:

If a worst-case scenario materializes, humanity will have recourse to relatively cheap geoengineering solutions to attempt to mitigate warming. In the meantime, there is no reason to believe the world will forcibly wean itself off fossil fuels.