Tom Friedman: We must respond to the Boston attacks by…passing a carbon tax
posted at 1:58 pm on April 24, 2013 by Guy Benson
A few days old, but worth highlighting nonetheless. The New York Times is a cartoon:
Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men. With all our warts, we have built a unique society — a country where a black man, whose middle name is Hussein, whose grandfather was a Muslim, can run for president and first defeat a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the opposition, and no one thinks twice about it. With so many societies around the world being torn apart, especially in the Middle East, it is vital that America survives and flourishes as a beacon of pluralism.Rebuilding our strength has to start with healing our economy. In that regard, it feels as if our budget drama has dragged on for so long that it has not only been drained of all emotional energy but nobody even remembers the plot anymore. It’s worth recalling: What are we trying to do? …
So what to do? We need a more “radical center” — one much more willing to suggest radically new ideas to raise revenues, not the “split-the-difference-between-the-same-old-options center.” And the best place to start is with a carbon tax.
It’s pretty clear that Friedman had a carbon tax column in the pipeline, then felt compelled to shoe-horn in the Boston bombings somehow. The result smacks of grotesque opportunism and bizarre callousness. It’s also wildly out of touch. And is there any justification for imposing economy-crushing carbon taxes anymore, aside from a massive revenue- and power-grab? Climate science isn’t quite as “settled” as we’ve been led to believe; carbon emissions have climbed steadily over the past 15 years, yet temperatures have flat-lined over the same period. Stephen Hayward notes that even The Economist is beginning to waver on climate alarmism, in light of the evidence:
The problem for the climateers is increasingly dire. As The Economist shows in its first chart (Figure 1 here), the recent temperature record is now falling distinctly to the very low end of its predicted range and may soon fall out of it, which means the models are wrong, or, at the very least, that there’s something going on that supposedly “settled” science hasn’t been able to settle. Equally problematic for the theory, one place where the warmth might be hiding—the oceans—is not cooperating with the story line. Recent data show that ocean warming has noticeably slowed, too…
And then there’s this gem on greenhouse gas emissions and the Kyoto Treaty,via the Wall Street Journal:
European officials have criticized both the U.S. and China at recent United Nations climate summits for a lack of political will to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The European Union instituted regulations requiring its member states to lower emissions. The EU has also reduced its overall greenhouse-gas emissions to meet requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. compact adopted in 2005 which the U.S. hasn’t signed. Late last year, the EU said its emissions have fallen 17.5% since 1990 and were “on track” to meet its 20% reduction target under the Kyoto agreement by 2020. Since 1990, U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions are up 8%. But since 2005, U.S. emissions have fallen faster than Europe’s.
So since we rejected Kyoto in 2005, the US has made more progress towards achieving the treaty’s goals than its preening signatories. But by all means, let’s slap middle class families with more taxes and higher energy costs anyway. The economy is booming, so why not conduct mandatory social engineering on the entire populace? It’s almost as if carbon tax schemes are motivated by something other than “saving the planet,” or whatever.