“But Taxes”

Nobody likes taxes. We should.


[DAVIDQ] Any debate about climate change must discuss which IPCC prediction we believe and what the effect on jobs and pockets will be if we do what Greta etc want.

[MARCC] Mate, what to do is easy: a carbon tax. How to get that through that’s the hard part

[SELINA] NGL, many of these climate “solutions” sound like “We’re once AGAIN gonna spend 100s of billions to trillions of $$ in US taxpayers’ hard-earned money &/or explode fed debt to catastrophic levels, make a bunch of well-connected elites even richer, & get little to show for it”

[TAXES DON’T PREVENT BAD WEATHER] Why should I need to be a climatologist to decide if it’s too warm outside, or if simultaneous contradictory claims can both be true, or if the weather’s getting worse, or if taxes can prevent bad weather?

Objections and Replies

(Theft) Taxation is theft
Reply. You read too much Freedom Fighters. Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.

(Cost) Taxes cost us
Reply. Taxes can be neutral. Taxes can replace other taxes, for instance those levied to pay for fossil fuel subsidies.

(Work) Taxes don’t work—
Reply. Indeed they do.

(Weather) Taxes don’t prevent bad weather. –
Reply. When implemented properly, Pigouvian taxation changes behavior. The end game is to stablize our emissions, and taxing them should help.


{Budgeting} The winning strategy turns the exchange into a budgeting exercise. Build your own list of dubious spending decisions: military spendings, Mars exploration, police force, etc. Audits never end.

{Incentive} The word “incentive” sells better than “tax” or “regulation.” From political philosophy, we now turn to marketing.

{See also} #ButCosts, #ButPSYOP, #ButFreedom.

Further Readings

2015-09. Picking Winners and Losers: A Structural Examination of Tax Subsidies to the Energy Industry. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2657336.

2019-02. Stranded Assets and Efficient Pricing for Regulated Utilities: A Federal Tax Solution. SSRN: 3443927.

2019-05. Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Remain Large: An Update Based on Country-Level Estimates. ISBN: 9781484393178/1018-5941.