Climate scientist proposes steep energy tax to help curb global warming - The Santa Fe New Mexican
Future generations face sea-level rises of 18 to 27 feet, extinction of 30 percent to 50 percent of animal species and other catastrophes if carbon-based fuels continue to be used at the same rate as today, a climate scientist told a group at the Santa Fe Institute on Thursday.
James Hansen, physicist, astronomer and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, said average temperatures have risen eight-tenths of a degree centigrade over the last century, and efforts to stem climate change will be ineffectual as long as fossil fuels remain the cheapest form of energy.
Hansen proposed a new tax for carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal, collected at the wellhead, mine or port of entry, increasing $10 per ton annually for 30 years, with proceeds distributed directly to the public, which in a decade would mean $2,000 to $3,000 per resident, or $6,000 to $9,000 per family.
“About 60 percent of the people would get more in this dividend than they would pay for the increased price of everything, but it would do it in a way they would want to,” he said. “So, for example, if you get your food from the farm next door as opposed to importing it from New Zealand, as this tax gets higher, it’s not going to make sense to import your food from New Zealand.
He said when he spoke about this idea with John Kerry, former Massachusetts senator, 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and now secretary of state, Kerry told him, “Well, of course, you’re right, but that’s politically nonviable. … I can’t get one vote in the Senate for that.” Instead, Democrats propose “3,000 pages of this cap and trade with offsets, which gives the big banks marvelous opportunity to make huge amounts of money on the fluctuating cap-and-trade market,” Hansen said.
“Bill Gates is financing the fourth generation of nuclear power out of his own pocket because that’s the only hope of doing it on a time scale that would help with this problem of climate change. So he’s going to build his reactor in South Korea. He can’t build it in the United States because of the way our government works. The [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] has become too much, in effect, antinuclear, making it so difficult that you can’t advance the technology.”
James Hansen: like Suzuki, like McKibben, like Ehrlich, standing in front of a fun-house mirror, seeing himself taller and slimmer than he really is, surrounded not by an adoring multitude but by the adoration of his own, distorted image. Talking to himself with a delay in the PA system so he can hear the wisdom of his own words.
One of the new political revolutionaries, armed not with bandoleers of bullets, but tomes of tax codes, determined to re-steel the structures of humanity. Accepting the imminent unpleasantness for the billions of today with the fortitude of a Robespierre: the generations to come will praise me in the glory of the New Eden.
Lord, save us from those who would improve the lives of our grandchildren! The self-interest of an Al Gore causes us pain today, but at least an Al Gore, once dressed in the ermine robes of the environmental papacy, will have the decency to retire to a profligate life in a mansion by the sea, and leave the future alone.
James Hansen is an idiot...
OK for some fun stuff
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Sir....Seventy years ago, as CO2 in the atmosphere
increased from 300ppm to today's 395, plants are
growing much faster, and feeding what was three
billion, then, but seven billion, now. Blame this
all on burning fossil fuels.
Hansen at demo says we are Half Doomed, and that "Our governments are well oiled and they are coal fired. The public has got to begin to put the pressure on the governments to serve the people, not the special interests."
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