To the editor:
I was manning the Citizen’s Climate Lobby table at Earth Day in the park recently and I was asked an interesting question, interesting in the sense that I had not heard it before, and I did not immediately know an answer.
“Isn’t the dividend part of carbon tax and dividend just a political ploy?”
My answer was something to the effect that, well, no one would be in favor of it if the government got to keep the money. The man who asked the question acted as though I had confirmed it is only a political ploy, but I’m wondering what he thinks a better solution is. Unless you think you know more than the vast majority of researchers studying the issue over the last 100 years, you should admit we have a problem.
We can deal with that problem by pretending it doesn’t exist, we can write a lot of regulations intended to reduce CO2 production, or we can tax the carbon in fossil fuels. If we tax carbon, even Jim Hansen suggests (in recent testimony to Congress) that conservatives should introduce the legislation in order to keep liberals from keeping the money.
I’m willing to accept that the problem exists, I’m not a big fan of regulations, and I really don’t want to give the government any more money. So, a carbon tax and dividend is the best solution I know. If anyone knows of a better one, I’d be interested to hear about it.