Cake
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    • 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.