Letter: Leave our own footprints: Put fee on carbon


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  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Nov. 21, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Carbon tax is just another way for liberals and progressives to get money for their socialistic, uninformed,ineffective programs.Just another way to extract money from businesses and people to fund unprofitable and subsidized crony companies that claim to be good for the control of climate change, when in fact it only lines the pockets of the dopes that promote it.It's like thinking that a butterfly hitting my windshield on my car will change the speed of it.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    All taxes are paid by the consumer. What the politicians are suggesting is that I take money from the consumers to encourage them to use some other form of fuel in their car. Then I redistribute the proceeds to the consumers to offset the effect of the tax.

    Will my benevolence endear me to my constituents and ensure my re-election?

    Nurserymen will confirm that plants at atmospheric concentrations are on a starvation diet. No matter how much fertilizer and water you give them, they only use 1/4 of the amount of sunshine they could turn into plant material because they are starved for CO2 turning the absorbed photons into heat instead of plant.

    Turn on the CO2 generators and temperatures in the greenhouse decrease and plants grow twice as fast with concentrations of CO2 of 4 times atmospheric. Think how much more productive our farms and forests would be if we just unlocked some of that natural carbon the carboniferous era tied up in coal and oil and used the increased productivity to feed our world.

    But without poverty, how am I going to get re-elected?

  • Phred Ogden, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 9:29 p.m.

    Just so we all understand the terminology being used here, consensus does not mean agreement.

    I may not like my son's girlfriend and foresee difficult if not tragic times ahead for them. But I also recognize that he will be driven even farther into troubled paths because of my desire to protect him from his own poor choices if I get stubborn. Even though I do not agree with his choices, to preserve my relationship with my son, as the last holdout, I finally give my son the consent he so eagerly wants.

    We have reached consensus. Go along to get along.

    So when you hear that there is consensus within any group, don't confuse that with everyone being in agreement. If they are in agreement, say so and do not use the term consensus as it doesn't mean what you think it means.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 4:29 p.m.

    I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that the anthropogenic global climate change "deniers" (who also seem to have an obstructionist streak) prevent any meaningful, proactive conservation and climatic rehabilitation until it is too late.

    On the other hand, I look forward to being able to grow pineapple and mangoes in my backyard . . .

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    More taxes is not always the answer, in fact it is rarely the answer.

    I think 43 cents a gallon is plenty of tax on my gas. More taxes on burning carbon fuels will further suppress the economy. It taxes the lower income harshly. The necessities they buy all cost more because the companies that ship them have to pass the higher cost, due to taxes, on to consumers. They can't absorb the tax bill and stay in business.

    My electric bills are plenty high now and so are my natural gas bills, all of which have built in taxes. Raising those taxes will again hurt the economy and hit hard the lower income group.

    Seems a really high price to pay, to soothe the Chicken Littles of the world.

    I do favor reducing fuel usage as a responsible choice, and bike riding for good health, but not by more taxation, and not because the world "needs saving".

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    Kayser If conservatives are heckled for quoting non climatologists in the debate, why do you give credence to non climatologists? So everyone is on the same page, last night, the climatologists being quoted by Nova, regarding Sandy, said, Sandy is not related to Global Warming and Global Warming was not the cause.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    In the past two thousand years the earth has seen two periods warmer than now. The earth has had many periods warmer than now. What temperature will be the right temperature? how fast a change is to fast? Mammals have been found on the north slope in the Artic frozen with fresh grass in their stomachs. Wyoming was a tropical landscape. I have to laugh, Mormons get heck for thinking they can become as god, but, progressives think they are god and can control nature, the earth, heaven, and everything on and in them.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    The idea of taxing carbon is a fallacy. It is just government's justification for more taxes. Lets see what the scientists are saying about temperatures:

    From the Daily Mail "Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it"

    From WSJ "New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism" There we learn that the best models are still wrong.

    "WORLD MAY NOT BE WARMING, SAY SCIENTISTS" from National Center for Policy Analysis

    "The sun shines some light on global warming orthodoxy" National Post. There we find that the sun and cloud cover drive global temperatures.

    "NASA STUDY FINDS INCREASING SOLAR TREND THAT CAN CHANGE CLIMATE" from NASA's web site. This one again states that we have had increasing amounts of solar radiation for many decades, and that it effects cloud cover and temperatures.

    So, according to scientists, they either don't know what is going on or else it is the sun driving temperatures. How do you alarmists propose taxing the sun?

  • elviejo RIVERTON, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    You need to add the 99 doctors that recommened the operation want to by a new SUV.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 19, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    I read a description of conservatism yesterday that very aptly describes the deniers here. it was described as traditional, anti-intellectual, and often containing mystical propensities. Who would say such terrible things..the great Fredick Hayek. He also describes it as Paternalistic, Nationalistic, and adoring of power. The creator of the austrian school of economics had no patience for the ideologies spouted here daily.

    Utah is the most conservative state in the union so therefore, you're going to get the most anti-intellectual..etc. etc. The difference now is that because of the force of science in our lives anti-intellectuism has to be dressed up in it's own science. Wala..climate change deniers, creationism etc.. All of which is just, as Sarah Palin would say, putting lipstick on a pig.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 19, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    To Alfred: You should google the work of Dr. Richard Muller, a prominent physicist at U.C. Berkeley who once thought as you did. He thought that climatologists were cherry picking their data to fit their models. He was paid by the Koch Brothers, no less, to conduct a review of the literature. His conclusion was that climatologists had been scrupulously honest with their data and that increases in temperature were indisputably linked to carbon emissions.

    You might also check the work of Svante Arhenius, a Swedish physicist and chemist who first demonstrated that the hypothesis that increased atmospheric carbon raises the surface temperature is a basic equation of the laws of physics. He did that in 1896. His handwritten calculations are still available and have never been refuted.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 18, 2012 11:17 p.m.

    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.

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    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.

    "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.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 7:54 p.m.

    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?

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    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!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Sensible Scientist Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 18, 2012 2:01 p.m.

    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.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Nov. 18, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    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.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    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
    Nov. 18, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    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.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Nov. 18, 2012 11:31 a.m.

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

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    "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.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 9:53 a.m.


    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?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 9:19 a.m.

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

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    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?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Nov. 18, 2012 8:18 a.m.

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

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Nov. 18, 2012 4:30 a.m.

    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.