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    • You are often correct about social media being inane, but I find it very useful to kick around new ideas in off-grid living, dealing with climate change, and puzzling out the disturbing conclusions of modern physics. These are each, in their way, profound. If you find venues, please share. I have had some interesting conversations here and actually thought there was going to be a good discussion once in a philosophy group on MeWe, but it quickly deteriorated.

      As for influencing; apparently the issue of whether time actually exists or is an experiential artifact just doesn't grab the general public's attention - I find that amazing. A segment of the population has now heard of carbon taxing, but it means something different to each person at this point. I think it will, and has to be, huge in coming years.

    • My God,man. You ... actually WANT to be taxed for your so-called carbon foot print? Is that right?
      Why? What will your carbon tax dollars do to stop man made pollution? Who gets to decide how to spend that money? Al Gore? The same people who thought it was a good idea to put us in this position in the first place? Politicians and Multi-national Businessmen? Dude, you just lost me. In my experience the amount of energy it takes to even attempt to get an opposing point across to people who are as bought in to the current system as pro carbon taxers are, is time, and yes I do believe in time( in fact this last 5 minutes of time I may never get back) that is wasted. No amount of carefully thought out reason can penetrate the bullet proof, teflon coated, shiny veneer they are encased inside of. But please, feel free to take the lead and start forwarding your hard earned money tothe billionaire capitolists that are pushing for a carbon tax. At least you'll sleep better and you'll have less money to worry about.

    • Lol - well taxes are not a joy, but they are necessary sometimes. Yes, I want everyone to be taxed for their carbon footprint. The taxing itself is necessary to shift demand into lower carbon ways of living. You bet if the price of fuel suddenly doubles there will be all kinds of ways folks try to adapt. It is time to do some adapting.

      Now what to do with the tax is a separate issue. It might be too much to hope that it is wisely used for egalitarian purposes. I think there are all sorts of proposals - people love to spend money. I am pretty sure that even if they take my advice and tax me, they still won't let me choose how to spend it.

    • Cade, you seem like a great guy. Seriously. I bet we'd be pals. But I will never, NEVER, be ok with a bunch of elites deciding to take more of my money and just trust it will be used for the betterment of anyone but themselves.

    • That is why I think it's so important we have a dialog. Taxes are not spent perfectly, but I very much enjoy having a fire department, police, roads, schools, and yes, environmental controls and I'm happy to pay my fair share to make them happen.

    • Your carbon taxes wont go to any of those things, and all of those things only add to the carbon pollution that the tax is supposed designed to stop, so its seld defeating at best.

    • Carbon taxes made sense twenty years ago as a way to slow down the pollution rate.

      The best model, imho, is where the biggest polluters have to pay penalties for anything over their limit; those who pollute below their limit earn credits and can sell them to the polluters.

      The problem even back then with that plan is enforcement. Robert Reich in Saving Capitalism talks about how politicians can vote in favor of popular regulations and then kill them by underfunding the enforcement agencies: think EPA, SEC, IRS.

      Even with that reality, I think a carbon tax could’ve helped by giving us a few more years of breathing room before climate collapse.

      If you believe the 12 year deadline, a carbon tax approach at this point would be too little too late.

    • Selling xarbon credits to polluters so they can continue to pollute.

      What are “xarbon credits”? They sound like the official currency of the Vogons.


    • If I was to set up a carbon tax program I would set a floor for the price of credits, meaning that the U.S. government would buy credits for say $100 per credit.

      Set up the buying and selling of credits like any exchange. You could theoretically trade it on the CBOT.

      If there are more credits issued than penalties in a given year, companies that curbed their pollution still have a financial incentive since excess credits can still be sold to the government.

      Credits sold to the government would be “shredded”: they could not be re-sold to polluters.

      Credits would also have an expiration date, say a year from issuance, so that polluters couldn’t buy up several years’ worth of abuse.

      The pollution limit for the country, the pollution limit for companies, as well as the floor price for credits, would need to be determined and adjusted by a Federal Reserve type of governing board like the Fed interest rate.

      If a polluter couldn’t buy up enough credits for the auto plant, the plant needs to be idled until it’s average pollution is back in compliance.

      Again, I think we are way too late to adopt a gradual plan like this.

      Gino, I’m genuinely curious as to what your solution is for dealing with climate change.

    • taxes are two-faceted: they act as a deterrent when imposed and an incentive when the money is spent. There is no law that the thing deterred must bear any relationship to the thing incentivized. So a carbon tax could be used to pay for an educational system (for example) and the tax imposition would still deter carbon emissions.

    • My background is science and I live in the Silicon Valley, so I've seen a lot of good come from tax dollars that made a big difference to the common good: the Internet, microchips, the EV subsidies for the first 200,000 electric cars a company like Tesla makes to help them get in the market, GPS, some crucial vaccines, the NSF grant Larry and Sergey got for Google, the development of wind power... I could go on for a very long time.

    • First of all, I do not accept that climate change is man made. We, humans, have an extremely limited data sample that we are using to prove that the Earth's climate is changing, and we are determined to prove that we are the cause. This is an example of someone knowing just enough to be dangerous. Geologists theorize that the Earths poles shift every 7,000 years and our magnetic field has been weakening since the early 1800's, long before man was burning off fossil fuels at it's current rate. I'm not sure that man can stop climate change, but I am 100% sure that I'm not interested in giving away money and power to the already wealthy and powerful so they can figure out how best to spend it. There's some that theorize that the coming pole shift, which more and more seems like and event horizon that is inevitable, with less and less people bother to deny that it is happening, can only be survived underground for an extended period of time. Perhaps this explains why Elon Musk and others are so keen to invest in deep tunneling technology. How would I know, but I think the folks who actually have access to the real data and not just internet based fodder, may realize that climate change cant be stopped. It can only be survived.

    • One of the interesting features of Cake is the ability to “lock” a conversation you started from further responses and reactions.

      Typically, it occurs on forums if the conversation has gotten out of control (not here) or if the conversation has turned into two unrelated conversations (definitely here):

      - Google+ Influencers

      - Carbon Tax

      The reason for the lock is that people interested in discussing climate change will never think to check out this conversation. And people interested in sharing Google+ memories will be less likely to do so in the midst of a carbon tax debate.

      I am planning to create a new Google+ conversation later this week.

      @Gino @Chris @CadeJohnson if you’d like to continue our spirited yet civil debate, I will leave to one of you fine gentlemen to start a separate conversation, which I and a few others will be happy to join in.