Comments about ‘Letter: Leave our own footprints: Put fee on carbon’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 18 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Surely the letter writer understands that Conservatives, once again, will come out STRONGLY against one of their own ideas.

What was once championed as a market based approach to pollution and was pushed by G HW Bush, is now panned as a crazy, environmental leftist wacko concept.

I wonder if Obama pushed for lowering taxes for the richest 2% if the GOP would suddenly switch positions. It just might work.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

A carbon tax makes a lot of sense because it addresses the problem of what economists refer to as "hidden costs."

The true cost of carbon-based energy would include the cost of the damage caused by global warming which results from burning fossil fuels. We have allowed the long-term costs of using coal, oil, and natural gas to be paid for by distributing those costs to society at large. Our insurance premiums, defense budgets and healthcare costs all include the hidden costs of a carbon-based economy.

Burning carbon for fuel isn't going away any time soon, but we absolutely must take significant action right now to begin transitioning our economy away from our dependence on carbon and towards new, less dangerous ways to produce the energy we need.

A tax on the carbon content of fuels would create a strong economic incentive to develop alternative energy sources and encourage conservation, and would place to true cost of using fossil fuels where it belongs - at the point of sale.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Quit driving your car or using anything we mine or need fuel for like food if we are that bad. Way to control people.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

I should have thought that the conclusion to this comment on superstorm Sandy would hve been more logically the opposite of that stated. With millions in the cold and bereft of power, a good old fashioned fireplace and lots of coal would have kept people warm and relatively healthy. Here in Utah we have enough coal to supply the world, if it were all taken account of. Should I mention jobs too?

one old man
Ogden, UT

Oh, Robert, the GOP and their owners are gonna be really ticked with you.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

higv,

How about actually _contributing_ to the discussion for a change?

You think people won't drive personal automobiles if we place a higher economic value on the vehicle efficiency?

You think people will stop eating if the way we grow food begins to more accurately account for the energy we use in growing it?

How much "control" do you think people have whose lives are wrecked by increases in the severity of drought, flooding and storms that result from a rapidly warming planet?

Henderson
Orem, UT

"Quit driving your car or using anything we mine or need fuel for like food if we are that bad."

Then folks like you would complain about their lack of work ethic and classify them as people merely looking for handouts.

Nice catch 22 you put people in.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Let's say you suffered from sever headaches and you saw one hundred brain surgeons to get an opinion. Ninety-nine of them said you have a brain tumor and it has to come our immediately. One said he's not sure so let's just do nothing for a while. Who would you believe?

Climatologists have studied the climate as thoroughly as brain surgeons have studied the brain.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Blue we have no control over the climate. Why let it control us. Those things happened before the industrial revolution which we cannot control.

higv
Dietrich, ID

The tractors and combines with the fuel we use feed many many people. For people that criticize how food is grown, How we use energy starve and don't use some of the things. Is there proof of droughts, floods are caused by a warming planet? Natural disasters would happen just as much in horse and buggy days as they do now. In Tonga and other south pacific countries with no electricity people died do to hurricanes and had no way to get help. Grateful for oil and electricity.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Blue,

Before we start taxing carbon emissions, I have some questions that you may be able to answer.

May I assume, from your many posts on this subject, that you have done some significant study into the causes of increased average global temperatures? As such, then you should well know that there are many other atmospheric forcings that can cause increases in average global temperatures besides increased amounts of CO2. Therefore, could you please answer the following questions?

1. How sensitive is the overall earth's atmosphere to these increased CO2 forcings? In other words, what percentage of increase in average global temperatures is directly attributable ONLY to these CO2 forcings, be they anthropometrically caused or from other sources?

2. Have any recent current scientific investigations been able to successfully isolate other atmospheric forcings (that can cause increases in average global temperatures on earth) from these increased CO2 forcings?

Please provide your scientific references.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "A carbon tax makes a lot of sense . . . ."

No. A carbon tax makes absolutely NO sense.

It amounts to fining ourselves and crushing our own economy, while China, India, and the rest of Asia outcompete us in every possible way, continuing to burn every ounce of the carbon we refuse to use.

It's national suicide, with ZERO effect on even the atmospheric carbon component of a complex, multifaceted environment, one which honest scientists admit, we're uncertain of any holistic effect of changes to that, or any other component.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Coal fire plants draw on hysteria. While China and India build plenty. Wonder if our fear will cause our detriment when none of what people says is going to happen will. We had coal fire plants for a long time as well as many other industrial revolutions that feed us and make our life comfortable. Why bite what feeds us now.

Sensible Scientist
Rexburg, ID

There is no demonstrable link between the weather events listed in the letter and CO2, which most experts would agree with. Period. The letter is entirely baseless.

jsf
Centerville, UT

The earth has been warmer in the past. We are still coming out of the last ice age. Scientists are now saying there is no tempature rising in the past 16 years. The Antarctica ice sheet is growing, which reduces sea levels. Artic sea ice melting does not raise sea levels. What caused the drought of the thirties and the great dust bowl, and the massive hurricane that hit the east coast in 1938. Couldn't be global warming. Carbon emmissions have dropped in the US without cap and trade, but appearently the wild events go on. The extremeness of Sandy was the result of cold air. Every cold air event we are told is global warming. All those gw believers, what is the correct tempature? Show proof. Cap and trade is just another hidden tax on the poor and middle class. It will drive up the cost of basic needs. And remember CO2 is not a pollutant.

No One Of Consequence
West Jordan, UT

I'm trying to follow Robert's logic, but it's really tough.

He want's to tax fossil fuels, the burning of which puts CO2 (plant food) into the atmosphere. By applying this negative force to the economy he hopes to reap positive results in the form of some energy source that will not offend anybody, unlike Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, (all of which emit CO2 and waste heat when burned); Hydroelectric (bad for fish); Nuclear (waste heat, radioactive waste); Wind Turbines (bad for birds, 'spoiled vistas'); Solar (no good at night) and Geothermal (careful not to create a volcano while you're at it...). Then he wants to sell that mystical new energy source to the impoverished masses who can barely afford food because of the damage done to the economy by the Carbon Tax.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

All around us we see people who are unemployed and underemployed; people barely scraping by and all we hear are calls to raise taxes. All taxes diminish the economy and hurt the poor. The rich tend to employ the rest of us so taxing my boss hurts me and my co-workers.

No New Taxes!

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

VST, for an introduction to the many anthropogenic sources of warming and the research being done to understand how each source effects total overall warming, begin with the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, "Climate forcings in the Industrial era" by Hansen, Sato, Lacis, Ruedy, Tegen and Matthews, 10/27/98.

Since that article was published, follow-on research has shown even more powerfully how human activities are causing global climate change. Start with the National Climate Data Center and their article on "Forcings." Use Google keywords "NCDC Paleoclimatology Program Forcing"

This is just scratching the surface. The scientific evidence proving the causal link between human activities, primarily involving the combustion of coal and oil, and significant and accelerating climate change is enormous and growing.

The question is - will you pay attention to it? Do you let scientifically verifiable facts shape your beliefs?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Do you let scientifically verifiable facts shape your beliefs?"

Every day.

But no honest, ethical scientist would call anthropogenic global warming theory a "scientifically verifiable fact." And basing ruinous, socialistic economic and political decisions on a variable set of questionable, non-replicable data that can't even sustain nuanced, manipulated models and theories to any reasonable confidence level is the very definition of foolishness.

It's truly amazing that true-believing social activists claiming to be scientists aren't laughed out of academe for demanding such sophomoric political action based on such thin science.

Alfred
Ogden, UT

Robert, you can help if you will park your car and either walk to work or ride your bike. Until then, we don't need your advice.

@Blue:
"The scientific evidence proving the causal link between human activities, primarily involving the combustion of coal and oil, and significant and accelerating climate change is enormous and growing."

So, tell us Blue, what caused climate change when humans were not on the earth, huh? Perhaps the causes are out of our control such as variances in the temperature of our sun, changing distances from the sun, etc.

"The question is - will you pay attention to it?"

The question is... (see comment for Robert above).

"... we absolutely must take significant action right now to begin transitioning our economy away from our dependence on carbon and towards new, less dangerous ways to produce the energy we need."

Like what? Please elucidate.

@Roland Kayser:
"Climatologists have studied the climate as thoroughly as brain surgeons have studied the brain."

Climatologists need to stop taking temperature readings closer and closer to warm buildings over the years... which is probably what they do to try to support their contention that temperatures are rising.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Let's say you suffered from sever headaches and you saw one hundred brain surgeons to get an opinion. Ninety-nine of them said you have a brain tumor and it has to come our immediately. One said he's not sure so let's just do nothing for a while. Who would you believe?

You need to add that the 1 Dr that didn't think the surgery was necessary was employed by your insurance company that didn't want to pay for it.

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