Roper: The latte-sipping, croissant-eating carbon taxers

By Rob Roper

Bill Schubart perfectly encapsulated the elitist, totally-out-of-touch mindset of Vermont’s carbon taxers in his latest VTDigger column in which he congratulates himself for heroically purchasing an electric car and supporting Vermont’s participation in the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), the left’s latest carbon tax scheme.

Much of Schubart’s piece focuses on why electric vehicles in their present state of development don’t make a lot of sense in Vermont. They perform poorly in cold weather, which we have an abundance of, and they don’t have sufficient range to be practical in a rural state, especially for work. But, no fear, Schubart is morally up to the task of living with and around these shortcomings, writing what to my mind is the money-line of the piece: “If it’s freezing cold and I have a round trip to Montpelier [from Hinesburg], a stop at Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex for a quick charge, a latte and a croissant isn’t much of a price to pay for doing my part.”

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

What part? Apart from virtue signaling, Schubart’s EV purchase and support for TCI accomplish precisely nothing in regard to climate change while inflicting unnecessary pain on a lot of people. This is immoral. According to TCI’s own analysis, if the region did not adopt TCI, carbon emissions would drop by 19% over 10 years anyway. If we adopt the mildest recommendation (a 5 cent tax), that number will go to 20%. That’s almost imperceptible. If we go whole hog (a 17 cent tax), the number goes to 25%. That’s a 6% very minor regional change with no perceptible climate impact on a global scale whatsoever, but at a cost of over $50 billion in regressive, highly disruptive taxes on working people. Some of that money will be used to subsidize electric vehicle purchases, leaving owners like Schubart with more disposable income to spend on French pastry and fancy coffee. Not a particularly equitable arrangement.

Schubart opines, I imagine wiping buttery crumbs from his lips with a silk handkerchief, “It’s disheartening to hear special interests and climate deniers [he earlier made specific reference to EAI] froth on about their temporal material interests.” Yeah, temporal material interests like driving to and from work, getting our kids to school, going to the grocery store, etc., all of which you want to make more difficult and more expensive just so you can feel good about yourself without actually having to accomplish anything.

I’m happy Bill Schubart can afford the time and money to nibble croissants, sip lattes, and indulge in fantasies that he’s heroically saving generations from future fire, floods and famine during the time it takes his $40,000 car to charge, but these are not luxuries most working Vermonters can afford. Forcing this burden upon them — especially when doing so will have no impact whatsoever on the problem you claim to want to solve — is nothing more than self-indulgent cruelty. It’s certainly not something to break your arm patting yourself on the back over. This is what folks like Bill Schubart don’t understand or care to contemplate.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

12 thoughts on “Roper: The latte-sipping, croissant-eating carbon taxers

  1. I read his commentary and added my Digger Footnote as they call it. Actually it was a comment on his new EV that he named Greta. Just that alone proved to me that he is just another member of an elite class of morons. I just had a work assignment of 328 miles in my 4 cylinder Jeep. Can you imagine trying to calculate how many Lattes and little French pastries I would have to search for as well as a charging station in the middle of nowhere. What a farce and the idiots in this state vote for all this crap. How cute to name his little unreliable electric tin can on wheels Greta after a 16 year old kid who has been brow beaten by her father and other adults into thinking the earth is dying. The whole EV thing in Vermont winters is ignorance on display by virtuous morons vying to be part of the climate religion infecting the left.

  2. What is extremely disheartening to me is that fellow travelers like Bill Schubart seem to be intelligent, somewhat discerning people, yet they totally ignore the simple math of any regressive climate change initiative Vermont policy makers have implemented and what to implement.
    As a extension of what Rob said would indicate, if Vermont enacted every single Pie-in-the-sky climate change thought they may have, drove out every hard working Vermonters so that all are left are rich, electric car owners with solar panels on their roofs totally bankrupting the state in the process, the effect of all of that on our Globe would be sooo insignificant as a percentage reduction that you would need glasses to see the digit after all the zeros.

  3. Can’t help but wonder if good ole Bill would have bought his sweet climate saving EV if all the freebe subsidies weren’t available. My guess is that neither Bill or his tree hugging friends would be driving an Ev any time soon.

  4. Where is all this ridiculous amount of new electricity going to come from???????
    Run all our cars, heat and cool our homes, deliver our goods, refrigerate perishables

    Folks, electricity does not come from the socket, while we hate nuclear power.

    Can you really charge your electric toy overnight with your roof top solar panels in the darkness of overnight?

    • According to the latest Bull Manure bureaucrats, each socket has a tiny generator that quietly generates electricity and stores it, so when you plug anything in, presto your light bulb shines, your EV gets charged, your toaster toasts; the sky is the limit.
      Global warming?
      Not a problem!
      What me worry?
      No more!
      But wait.
      To make this work a bigger and bigger CARBON tax is needed.
      Oh my lord, what would be do without those bureaucrats?

  5. Rob,
    The latte-sipping, croissant-eating carbon taxer’s, you got to love it !!

    Al ” Lear Jet ” Gore, would be proud.

  6. “They perform poorly in cold weather,”

    If you can’t run the defroster To Keep The Windshield Free of ICE they shouldn’t be allowed
    on VT highways as a safety concern for all who are on the road. A gas auto has to have a
    functioning (at all times) defroster so EV’s shouldn’t be able to be inspected as well.
    The cold also diminishes the highly polluting Lithium batteries life making more needed for
    miles driven here in the Nord..
    A cold car is a unsafe car, the reason heated seats are prevalent on European cars, when
    your shivering your less attentive.. Plus I can’t afford croissant’s and lattes every 40 miles…

  7. Progressive Eco-Group Admits It: Renewable Energy is a Hoax that Benefits its Greenie Elmer Gantries like Al Gore

    from article published in the “Liberty Daily”


  8. Giving themselves self-indulgent pats on the back are what all of these liberals are about. They actually do nothing worth doing for the average person. — Everyone of them grew up and never heard the concepts or words spoken by the founding fathers, church leaders or even sports writers, like Grantland Rice; ‘when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game. — I want to make all these idealists understand that and live by it. Or be driven out of Vermont forever.

  9. Bob,
    Well written.
    There are not many people in Vermont who can afford a $40,000 car or EV.
    However, Schubart is a retired businessman and obviously much better off than the average Vermonter. He has decided to do some virtue signaling.

    The lifetime CO2 of a 4WD Tesla Model 3 is about the same as of a 30 mpg compact 4WD, gasoline SUV, cradle to grave, both driven 150,000 miles.

    The Tesla would have a range of less than 300 miles, the compact SUV about 500 miles
    The Tesla would cost about $60,000, incl. taxes, etc., the compact SUV about $30,000

    One has to be a masochist to put up with the winter shortcomings of an EV
    One has to be an economic moron to choose a Tesla over a compact SUV, unless the goal is virtue signaling.

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