By John McClaughry
Bill McKibben, the activist in residence at Middlebury College, has written a long piece in the Nov. 22 issue of New Yorker. To many readers it will be a persuasive explanation of the terrors of climate change, with its sea level rises, fires, floods, and droughts.
McKibben, like Bernie Sanders, lays the blame on ExxonMobil and the Koch Brothers as the major culprits who have blocked dramatic action by the world to stop emitting greenhouse gases.
But the paragraph that caught my eye was this: “Even if a carbon tax somehow made it past the GOP, the amount Exxon says it wants — $40 a ton — is tiny compared to what the IPCC’s analysts say would be required to make a real dent in the problem. And in return the proposed legislation would relieve the oil companies of all liability for the havoc they’ve caused. IPCC estimates that avoiding “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” requires governments to impose carbon dioxide taxes of between $135 and $5,500 per metric ton”.
Here in Vermont, McKibben and the carbon tax advocates want to put a tax on heating oil, gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas that rises to $40 a ton after eight years. If the whole world did that, according to McKibben it would produce only 30 percent of the absolute bare minimum needed to make any difference to Planet Earth. So they’ll demand to quadruple the tax, and make you pay it.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.