Stanford research finds climate change regulation burden heaviest on poor

A bit dated, from Feb 28th of this year, but given the big push for Paris and the Pope’s encyclical, it is germane at the moment. -Anthony

Stanford research reveals that it is ultimately people – not corporations – who would bear the costs of climate change regulation. Under a hypothetical carbon tax, households in the lowest income group would pay as a percent of income more than twice what households in the highest 10 percent of income distribution pay. The findings suggest a fairer way to regulate greenhouse gases in the United States.

energy bill

Irina Mos / Shutterstock

New research finds the heaviest burden for climate change regulation falls on the poor, for whom basic necessities take up a bigger chunk of the budget.

The heaviest burden for climate change regulation costs falls on people – especially lower income groups – and not corporations, according to new Stanford research.

The reason is that companies ultimately pass on those costs to people. For the poor, basic necessities take up a bigger chunk of the budget than for the rich.

“Households in the lowest income group pay, as a percent of income, more than twice what households in the highest 10 percent of the income distribution pay,” wrote economist Charles Kolstad, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and the Precourt Institute for Energy.

The research gives impetus to adopting a fairer approach to carbon regulation costs, Kolstad said.

“This regressivity can be addressed through transfer payments, if and when the U.S. decides to regulate greenhouse gases leading to climate change,” said Kolstad, who researches environmental economics, regulation and climate change. As an example, he suggests reducing the payroll tax for lower income groups as a way to make a carbon tax more fair.

The study examined Bureau of Economic Analysis data and used a $15 per metric ton carbon “tax” as a scenario. In other words, every person or organization (such as a company) that emits carbon into the atmosphere would pay a tax on the total amount emitted multiplied by $15 per metric ton of carbon. The researchers looked at how such a hypothetical tax would hit individual income groups, industries and different regions.

Kolstad said that price and substitution effects may somewhat dampen the regressive nature of such costs. For example, when prices change, people change what they do. If the price of heating oil goes up, people may use more electricity or natural gas to warm their homes.

The paper was published as a SIEPR policy brief and is based on detailed analysis by Kolstad and Corbett Grainger of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fairness issue

Their research points out that carbon regulation involves the question of who pays the most and the least – an issue with political and social consequences. Analyzing greenhouse cost burdens is important due to the urgency of coping with global warming, which may lead to sea-level rise, local temperature and precipitation changes, and increased frequency of extreme weather.

Kolstad said, “One of the most significant problems associated with passing any sort of legislation is perceived fairness. Although there are other issues, fairness in paying for the legislation and fairness in the benefits that the legislation generates can be key to passage. This work helps understand the extent to which paying for carbon legislation can be perceived as fair or unfair, with obvious remedies for correcting any unfairness.”

The poorest households spend a higher percentage of their income on fuels for heating and transportation, while higher income individuals spend proportionately a greater amount on services, which usually have lower than average carbon emissions per unit of output.

“Emissions increase more slowly as income increases. Thus, one would expect some regressivity in a carbon tax,” the study stated.

Kolstad expected the regressive nature of carbon regulations to be even more dramatic.

“I thought that a carbon regulation would be far more regressive, falling on the shoulders of the poor more than it does,” he said.

This expectation, he said, was based on the fact that lower income Americans often drive older, less fuel-efficient cars and frequently commute long distances to work to access lower cost housing. “Although that mental model may be correct, transportation fuel is only part of the picture,” he said.

Impacts on industry

While the costs of greenhouse gas regulations are broadly spread over the entire economy, some industries are hit harder, according to the study’s hypothetical carbon tax. These would include electric power, fertilizer, cement and coal-related industries like mining and transportation. Lime, a key ingredient in the manufacture of cement, would see the highest cost increase at 15 percent.

“The extent to which these industries are ultimately disadvantaged depends on the extent to which they are able to pass costs on to customers,” the research noted.

Still, these most highly affected industries contributed only 1 percent to the total gross output of the U.S. economy in 2011, according to the study.

“This suggests that the adverse incidence of such a tax can be ameliorated through highly targeted financial assistance, without reducing the incentive benefits of a carbon tax,” the paper stated.

Another question is which regions bear the most or least cost of carbon regulations. This is a bit more complicated to examine, as the coal mining companies operating in Wyoming may have owners in San Francisco or New York, Kolstad said.

Research shows that while the total out-of-the-pocket carbon tax costs may be similar across U.S. regions, the price of electricity may vary considerably. Thus, one could expect higher electrical costs in coal-dependent states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

As for whether the United States adopts greenhouse gas regulations, he is pessimistic in the short run – but optimistic in the long run.

“Policy windows happen in which the conditions are right for congressional action. We are not in one now, but I am confidant these will arise at some point in the future,” Kolstad said.

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141 thoughts on “Stanford research finds climate change regulation burden heaviest on poor

  1. Wow, takes a professor to figure this out? Does anyone really think a person like Trump or Buffett is even going to notice any increase in costs at all? Who does this professor think pays corporate taxes? The corporation? In order to keep profit margins, these costs are added on to product sold.

    • While adding it to the product cost is one option, in reality there are many places / persons who can have a “hit” from the cost. It isn’t as simple as just tack it onto the price and go. For example, consider anyone selling a global commodity, like, oh, Gold. The price of gold is set in London at the “fix” for the day. No company here can change that global price. Jack it up a dollar, folks buy from Hong Kong instead.

      What are the other choices?

      1) Profit can be reduced. (This is the goal of the ‘redistributors’). In the limit case, the company goes out of business (often happens, especially in Retail. Anyone remember Wards?). Stock holders can get reduced dividends (all pension funds and all anuities and all insurance companies ‘take the hit’ as dividend payouts drop. Stock price will then drop too, hitting retirement accounts and others.)

      2) Workers can be laid off, or automated out of a job. Wages may simply be reduced in a competitive market. In the limit case, the company packs up and moves the jobs to China or India. It happens… Now the company might have done this anyway to increase profits, but added costs accelerates the ‘when and how much’.

      3) Vendor squeeze. My costs go up a buck, I find a weak vendor to squeeze for a buck. And here, in the limit case, some vendors cut dividends, go out of business, move overseas, or the buyer just buys from a different company with a lower cost profile.

      4) Cheapen the product. Anyone think the $2000+ per car Chevy pays for retirement and other such costs isn’t part of why the cars are made from cheap materials? ( I once had the joy of working on a Diesel Suburban… the “cheap choices” under the hood were startling… no plastic over spade lug connectors so all connectors subject to dirt and corrosion – maybe a 1/10 cent each, transmission oil cooler line bolted into a pressed sheet metal screw fitting that came loose when bumped. Just cheap.)

      There are other potential places to cut too. Donations to charity. Spending on “perks” (that then hurts the vendor of said perks such as donuts and coffee on site, or training seminars for employee advancement, or maybe even exec jet vendors – though that one comes last…)

      In short, there are all sorts of places where this can damage the economy and hurt companies and people, and not all of them are the customer.

      • ““This suggests that the adverse incidence of such a tax can be ameliorated through highly targeted financial assistance, without reducing the incentive benefits of a carbon tax,” the paper stated.”

        Notice the hint at giving waivers from burdensome laws and financial subsidies to those chosen by environmentalists.

        This is a pattern of the environmental schemers. They plan to pass impossible regulatory mazes and complex, unnavigable tax laws, and then hand out waivers to those they choose.

        That is also what I view as the creation of caste system. Separate laws apply to separate castes. In fact I saw a Washington State law which even utilized the term “regardless of caste.”

      • …no plastic over spade lug connectors so all connectors subject to dirt and corrosion – maybe a 1/10 cent each, transmission oil cooler line bolted into a pressed sheet metal screw fitting that came loose when bumped. Just cheap.

        Beancounters trump good design. I suspect CAD may also play a role here. In some aspect, design automation is a good thing but in others not so much. When knowledge is built into the software, new people are not needed to perform routine tasks, thus reducing intake and training of next generations. Over reliance on standard details, unwillingness or inability to modify/improve work processes (sophisticated engineering software often handcuffs users’ flexibility in task execution), top-down centralized thinking…

        Sorry, went on an offtopic mini rant there for a minute.

      • Err …… in a Capitalist economic system, which I support, it is the nature of the system to seek lower input costs in order to boost the profit made from the output of the enterprise. The fact that Government introduces measures to redistribute the wealth created is the problem not the solution. And no I am not arguing for a license to pollute and ruin, I am arguing for a smaller less intrusive and politically motivated regulatory system.

      • Worth adding that, even after all the downsides that you mention, the CO₂ emissions that are reduced in the US by this policy will just be exported (with interest) so that net global emissions increase. Carbon tax might be more acceptable if we thought that it achieved what it set out to do.

      • @Zeke – “ARTICLE IX EDUCATION SECTION 1 PREAMBLE. It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.”

        Washington State Constitution.

        Of course, they’ll claim that this is just “equality” language. But it is an explicit recognition that “caste” actually exists in the US.

      • Reality Observer says, “Of course, they’ll claim that this is just “equality” language. But it is an explicit recognition that “caste” actually exists in the US.”

        The Wa State Constitution of 1889 appears to contain the use of that term. However, I am a lifelong resident of Washington, and up until now, we do not have separate laws for separated castes. It is impossible to have a caste system if there is one law for all people. Article 1, the declaration of rights, guarantees inidividual liberties to all of its citizens and equal protection before the law.

        Article 1 furthermore forbids the caste system here:

        Section 8 – Irrevocable Privilege, Franchise, or Immunity Prohibited
        No law granting irrevocably any privilege, franchise or immunity, shall be passed by the legislature.

        And here:

        Section 12 – Special Privileges and Immunities Prohibited
        No law shall be passed granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens, or corporations.

        And here:

        Section 28 – Hereditary Privileges Abolished
        No hereditary emoluments, privileges, or powers, shall be granted or conferred in this state.

        This is why Waivers from Obamacare and minimum wage laws, etc.. for certain groups is totally illegal. And I challenge you to find a caste system that is not hereditary and granting of special privileges.

      • I am sorry, I associated the term “caste” with a State Supreme Court decision which I was reading way back in December of 2014. I did not remember it was quoting “Art. IX: Education” of the Wa Constitution.

        In this court decision, called the McCleary education funding case, the state Supreme Court ruled that “the state (specifically, the Legislature) was not upholding its constitutional duty to adequately fund basic education.” So they are setting up an infinite funding machine for education, a truly carte blanche blank check for the public schools. My Rep said, “It has been suggested that the Legislature may have to appropriate an additional $2 billion or more for K-12 education to satisfy the court requirements.”

        The costs of implementing Common Core are a problem for all the states, so I believe everyone will find something like this slinking scheming decision in education if they look closely enough.

        So I appologize Reality Observer, because it is indeed found in the 1889 Constitution. However, as I showed, the term has no meaning or power when sections 8, 12, & 28 of Article I are examined. These Amendments prohibiting hereditary privileges, and prohibiting granting of privileges or immunities, are also found in the US Amendments, which is the supreme law of the land.

  2. We are carbon based lifeforms. So the more you weigh the more you pay?
    Is it based on the larger your “carbon footprint” is or the deeper?
    Why not tax time instead?

  3. Why even have a carbon tax when “carbon” is not causing global warming.
    That, to me, is fraudulent.

  4. We’ve known in the UK for a long time that the burden falls heaviest on the poor. For example, wealthy landowners receive hefty subsidies for hosting wind turbines; subsidies which are met from a levy on electricity bills. These bear down hardest on those least able to afford it. Similarly, the better off who can afford it will receive a generous feed in tariff payment if they install solar panels. The whole thing is a bit like the Robin Hood legend buthough in this case the money is being taken from the poor and given to the rich.

    • Exactly. Green policies regressive not progressive.
      Green is not a left-wing policy. It’s not even on the left / right spectrum.

      • Picking and choosing who gets waivers makes if more like facism (which would consider left wing).

  5. They state that when the price of one heating source in households goes up, people will switch to a cheaper alternative, such as electricity, heating oil or natural gas.

    Most all households have only one source of heating equipment…Heating oil, electricity, or natural gas. How are they going to just simply switch over. The cost of installing a new heating device can be prohibitive.

    Foolish study in that regard.

    • Switched over last winter—high end, bigass wood stove. No end to the falling wood here!

      • And the gov’t pays you 5 for every 1 you spend on biofuel! A real nice earner; virtually every mansion and estate now uses it, and never bothers to close its windows.

  6. To keep the population ‘in the loop’, consideration should be given to labelling all food with the total (actual) carbon content of each product. It’ll be interesting to see merchants marketing carbon-free food, along the lines of fat-free, gluten-free and sugar-free products. Since the POTUS has labelled carbon a poison, this seems to be the next obvious move and it should produce a dramatic decrease in the number of citizens classed as ‘poor’.

    • In truth this is a fantastic idea. There can’t be anything wrong with adding this truth in labeling to all other purported health considerations; no matter how false, misguided, or tangential to health.

      • Way ahead of you – these guys think they don’t have any carbon in their sugar.
        https://www.dominosugar.com/carbonfree/

        Here is the normal chemical structure of sugar (sucrose) C6H12O6 + C6H12O6 => C12H22O11 + H2O Apparently they just took out all the “C”! If they can do it anyone can. Any ideas how we can remove “C” from everything?

      • Onyabike: they didn’t take out the carbon.

        FAQ:
        Why is the Domino® Sugar bag green?

        The green bag was designed to let consumers know the product is certified CarbonFree®, which means it has a neutral carbon footprint. From the farming of the sugar cane to the milling, refining and packaging of the sugar to the product’s final delivery to store shelves, the result is net zero carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

        The only sugar brands in the country that have been certified CarbonFree® are Domino® Granulated Sugar in the specially marked GREEN packages and, our sister brands, Florida Crystals® Organic Sugar and Florida Crystals® Natural Cane Sugar.

        It’s about manufacture, nothing about removing molecular Carbon.

      • @ Greg, yeah I realise that. I obviously needed a BIG sarc tag for your benni. However, your need to provide a (very succinct) explanation does suggest that many uninformed consumers may be lead by Domino’s advertising to believe that the presence of carbon in living matter is some sort of problem which they can (and have) remedied.

        I agree with Lee – it’s a load of _RAP. I’ll try to be less ironic in future.

  7. really……..it’s fair to pick and choose who pays taxes?

    tax the rich and feed the poor

      • Twenty Years After

        Soho “No Hippy Chicks”

        It’s hard to tell you how I feel without hurting you
        So try to think about yourself the way that I see you
        Your life revolves around a force of oppression
        And I won’t deal with true blue devils of correction

        Got no flowers for your gun, no hippychick
        Won’t make love to change your mind, no hippychick
        No hippychick, no hip hip hip hip hip

        Today we’ll sit here drinking coffee in your incident room
        Tonight you’ll close the door and lock me in that bare bulb gloom
        Love, it ain’t something riding on a motorbike
        And love, I stopped loving you since the miners’ strike

        No hippychick, no hip hip hip hip hip
        No hippychick

    • @Latitude:

      Unfortunately, it is usually “tax all and feed the Govt Employee”. Look at the long history of failed socialisms and that’s what you see. Der Komissar has it good, everyone else not so much.

  8. “As an example, he suggests reducing the payroll tax for lower income groups as a way to make a carbon tax more fair.”

    Doesn’t Kolstad realize that lower income groups usually pay little or no income tax at all? In fact, many get the gift of the Earned Income Credit, essentially getting a “return” of money they never paid. The only fair carbon tax would be no carbon tax at all. That way everyone pays the same: $0

    • Low income workers may not pay income taxes, but all workers pat Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes at the same rate as higher income workers.

      • As they should. But whether it is a reduction of income taxes, SS or Medicare, it’s still just another free ride on the backs of other people.

      • Fixed-income, non-workers (the retired, for example) pay no payroll taxes so…bend over, I guess.

      • But whether it is a reduction of income taxes, SS or Medicare, it’s still just another free ride on the backs of other people.

        No it isn’t. Social Security taxes DO NOT pay for Social Security, contrary to what you’ve been told, or led to believe.

        Social Security payments are based on law, and these payments are determined by Congress. Has nothing to do with the fiction of collecting taxes for it. Social security taxes were raised significantly on the suggestion of the bank lobbyist Alan Greenspan in 1983 when he expected people earning under $110,000 to object, ditch SS, and give their money to his buddies on Wall Street. Didn’t work.

        Federal income taxes pay for nothing. All federal tax payments paid by check or wire go into a special Tax And Loan Account at your bank, and when they are ‘transferred’ to the federal government, the amounts are removed from a bank’s reserves, which removes that money from the real economy. In effect, your federal tax dollars are destroyed. All NEW money in the real economy comes from congressional spending (appropriation), and PRECEDES all taxation. The US federal government issues its own currency; it does not need taxation to spend.

        State and local taxes, on the other hand, DO pay for state and local services. State and local governments cannot issue their own currency. They have to get their revenue the way you and I do: earn it. The federal government DOES NOT have that restraint.

        I do not know the full state-by-state processes for Medicare, but the majority of the money comes from federal transfers to the states, if not all of it.

        All of this is tabulated and recorded in the Daily Treasury Statement issued by the US Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which has been available to the public since 1998. The Daily Treasury Statement is the federal government’s checkbook (accounts receivable/payable). Go to the last month of September (4th Quarter) of each year to see the amounts issued and redeemed for each year. (Remember that the amounts are listed in millions.) Table III-A.

        I can’t give you links. I’m writing this on an iPad, which is difficult enough. You should note, however, that the US federal government has issued over $730 TRILLION since 1998, and redeemed approx. $712 Trillion. Add it up yourself. I did. The difference is the “National Debt” and that money is in everyone’s bank accounts; pay it off, and everyone will be broke. The usage of the word “debt” at the federal level–NOT at the state or local level–is an accounting term used to record AFTER THE FACT the issuance of USD in a double-entry accounting system. It’s accounted for after it’s done. They stick it in the right column under “liabilities.” What the government is buying with its money goes in the left column under “assets.” It’s easier to call it federal money, because that’s what it is, and your children and grandchildren don’t have to pay it back.

  9. Really?

    Wow, who could ever have imagined that!

    In other news, bears are observed to defecate in sylvan environments.

  10. Dahlquist
    June 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm
    Most all households have only one source of heating equipment…Heating oil, electricity, or natural gas. How are they going to just simply switch over.

    ————————-

    Agreed.
    Also poorer people tend to rent and therefore have less choice about their fuel use. They can’t just install, say, gas in a property they don’t own.

    • artwest

      Having been working for a large natural gas utility for the last 28 years, I agree with you 100%. Most poor people are renters and depending on what area you live, there is usually little choice in the type of heating fuel. Also, if the area does supply various sources for heating, the original builder of the property chose which source of power or fuel the property would use. It is always electricity, of course, but heating, cooking, etc. can consist of just electricity or usually a combination.

      Here, where I live, heating and cooking is usually natural gas with the occasional all electric house/apartment. For a new gas installation / service to a property, the cost is very high, in the few hundreds to thousands of dollars, and also the cost of a new appliance and the running of any vent work or ducting…plumbing, etc. But as you stated, renters do not really have a choice. They are only able to use the source provided and do not have a choice.

      Some occasionally chose to use a charcoal BBQ inside for heat during cold spells in winter and the family winds up in the ER or dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. That is a tragedy and happens during winters regularly. Usually the poor who have had their utility turned off due to non payment or inability to afford it. At least the costs of natural gas are lowered during the winters, but for some, not enough.

  11. Taxing “carbon” output is a wonderful example of a simple idea based on no information that leads to huge unintended consequences. For example:

    Are they talking about taxing the weight of carbon molecules, or the weight of carbon-containing compounds like CO2 or CH4?

    CO2 is about 44g/mol, with the C being 27% of the atomic weight.

    CH4 is 16g/mol, with the C being 74% of the atomic weight.

    If you tax it by the molecular weight, it is far, far preferable to convert CO2 emission to CH4, which some bright lads will certainly do, or

    If you tax it by the weight of C, you can still emit 2.7 times as much CH4 as CO2 for the same tax.

    In other words, taxing “carbon” will inevitably lead to new technologies that emit methane instead of CO2. Personally, I’m buying futures in swamp gas generators.

    Did they really think through the statements that they are making? Didn’t think so…

    • Policy has consequences. The US government has created a new kind of pollution called “carbon pollution”, with a policy solution called a “carbon tax”. Nowhere do they talk about CO2 for the obvious policy and propaganda reasons. So the consequence is that the policy directly states Carbon (FW = 12), and explicitly not CH4 (FW = 16) of CO2 (FW = 44). But either way, they get the money. Also remember, taxes go up, never down.

  12. The opening picture suggests a topic of investigation. In the USA standard incandescent bulbs have been regulated out of existence, for practical purposes.The government’s much touted replacement is the compact fluorescent light or CFL. The very first thing we all noticed is the vastly higher price of the CFL. In my area, incandescent bulbs cost $0.30 – $0.50, while a CFL costs $12.00 – $15.00.

    I have considered that for any simple mass-produced product, the cost of the product is a rough proxy for the amount of energy used in the manufacture of that product. Extending, the cost of raw materials is just another proxy for the energy needed for the production of the raw materials.

    So the question is” How does the energy savings of a CFL during use compare to the extra energy needed for it’s manufacture?” And overall, is the CFL even energy neutral, especially considering the many reports that the CFL does not seem to have a working life anywhere near what is claimed.

    Has anyone seen any such analysis, anywhere? Such an analysis would be most interesting, but I, for one, would have no clue as to how to conduct an energy audit for a manufactured product.

    • Good point, my flood lights in the recreation room are just starting to go after about 29 years, normally on a dimmer. I like them because they help warm the room in the winter. the CFL’s I bought lasted about 4 years at our shore house where they get little use. the heat from the floods is not wasted in the winter1

      • For a while some German companies evaded the incandescent ban by calling them “heat globes” with a small amount of light by-product.

      • Catcracking,
        You pointed out something that I have noticed. CFL’s were sold with the assumption that they not only saved energy, but would also last much longer than incandescent bulbs. This has not been my experience. The CFL’s that I installed had a failure rate roughly equivalent to the incandescent bulbs that they replaced. the cost benefit of the switch from incandescent to CFL, was there for negative.

        I have had good experience with the even more expensive LED bulbs.I have not had LED bulbs installed for a long enough time to determine what the relative failure rate is, but it is certainly better than either incandescent or CFL bulbs.

    • I’d have to look it up – but electronics magazines have done the calculations and the savings from CFLs that last their rated life (the cheap ones I buy from Home Depot do) pay back their costs with a profit. We didn’t change over all at once. We bought a few at a time.

      LED lamps are not cost effective now except in industry where bulb changing can cost $50 an hour.

    • CFL’s are yet another example of greenies backing the wrong horse. CFL’s are expensive to manufacture, take time to warm up, produce poor quality light, create massive disposal problems and don’t save a whole ton of electricity.

      Fortunately, the manufacturing cost of LED lighting is falling fast.The lamps are instant on, contain less toxic material and are hugely more efficient. The quality of the light is vastly better and they’re simply superior in every respect.

      CFL’s were an unwelcome distraction that merely diverted resources away from LED development. Thank the environmental movement to sending us in the wrong direction.

      I have replaced all of my CFL’s with LED lamps and have made a start replacing my 4 foot fluorescent tubes with LED’s too.

      The sooner we stop making CFL’s the better.

      • Well spoken Mike,

        I recently bought a gaggle of LED floodlights, 50W(!) each, solid waterproof and vandal resistant housings complete for $25 each. For $20 you can buy an screw-in LED bulb that is Internet connected and can be controlled by your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Think security while you are on vacation. I will never install another CFL for any reason, ever.

        There are exactly two ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels:

        1) Efficiency – individuals investing in things like LED lighting for their own enlightened self interest, or

        2) An energy generation revolution comparable to the invention of the internal combustion engine. This is much harder, but will only come about as a result of investment and brainpower from corporations and smart individuals.

        Neither of the above will be accomplished by government fiat or punitive taxation. Period end.

      • The other Hoax, CFD cannot be dimmed with a normal dimmer switch and don’t dim well even with the special, expensive dimmer switch. The economics need to compare with the lights dimmed in a room and the fact that heat in the winter is not wasted as presumed in the false economics.
        Finally I took the failed Mercury filled switch to the recycle center and they did not know what to do with it and threw it out in the normal trash, polluting the environment with Mercury.

  13. Just look to Germany for your example of what is to come when the costs rise due to preferring low/no carbon electricity by law. They have what is called the “energy poor,” those that cannot afford to heat their homes. There are hundreds of thousands of them. And please recall that more people die from lack of heat than lack of air conditioning.

  14. This isn’t just dated.
    It’s been a known and tested fact for years.
    For example, the funding of “renewables” by increases in fuel bills has been disproportionately hitting the poor again and again and again, for years.

    • Financial Post Canada, April 1, 2015

      ‘Ontario’s Power Trip: Dear Minister, here’s how you can stop power price hikes’

      Ontario: 500,000 to 700,000 “low income” households in the province experiencing what is referred to as “energy poverty”.

      Can’t locate a direct link to this article so Google the article title.

  15. As an example, he suggests reducing the payroll tax for lower income groups as a way to make a carbon tax more fair.

    Poppy-cock! The poor ( lower income groups ) do not pay any taxes now as it is.

    Well I suppose they could be given a refund that they didn’t pay to begin with.

  16. In Australia our now (thankfully) defuct carbon tax merely kept the poor and elderly cold on winter and hot in summer.
    Our insane Greens party initially sought to have agriculture included in the payers list of the tax until farm representatives pointed out to this “pig ignorant” party that farming was carbon intense and farmers would face a blowout in costs with little chance to pass on cost.
    Unfortunately the advocates of carbon taxes usually have little or no experience in private business or the fine margins that keep a business afloat or send it to the wall. “It’s only a few dollars per day”, they would cluelessly say.
    A carbon tax is not a “market mechanism” but a poll tax of the worst kind.
    I enjoy reading the posts on WUWT. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you Farmer Gez: it’s nice to read some good sense and well written words.
      I agree with your comments, all of them.

      Speaking of “running a business”; Mr. Obama in North America has also never run a business.

      WL

  17. Another point often overlooked is that manufacturing along with the jobs move overseas (or just South) when regulations such as controlling CO 2, make it prohibitive to continue operation in the US. While we all want clean air, the EPA is constantly halving the amount of a so called “pollutant” permissible in the atmosphere even to levels that are difficult to measure. Currently they are doing everything in their power to eliminate fracking while they take credit for increased production of oil and gas without which we would be in a depression.
    Excessive or unwarranted regulation drives industry overseas with the consequence of eliminating jobs. I can remember when all the large valves and other hardware in the chemical and process industries were manufactured in the US, now all these companies moved their manufacturing facilities overseas.
    Did we not learn anything from history? Why tie our industries hands behind their back?

  18. with Ehrlich back in the news, to coincide with the Papal (Bull) Encyclical, Lloyds/Anglia Ruskin/Club of Rome/FCO add their bit to the cause:

    16 June: Lloyd’s: Food system shock: The insurance impacts of acute disruption to global food supply
    This report is intended to help underwriters operating in the Lloyd’s market identify previously unconsidered food security impacts on insurance and risk.
    LINK: Food system shock: The insurance impacts of acute disruption to global food supply (764.71 KB, pdf)
    The scenario – developed by experts in food security and sustainable development economics – was peer-reviewed by a diverse group of leading academics, before being presented to insurance industry practitioners for assessment at two workshops.
    The scenario described in this report is not a prediction; it is an exploration of what might happen based on past events and scientific, social and economic theory…
    (LINK: Executive Summary
    includes: Lloyd’s developed the scenario and its likely impacts with researchers from Anglia Ruskin University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in conjunction with members of the UK/US Task Force on Resilience of the Global Food Supply Chain to Extreme Events, supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.)
    http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/risk-insight/library/society-and-security/food-system-shock

    Anglia Ruskin University: Global Sustainability Institute (GSI)
    Global Resources & Risk
    Resource constraints
    In 1972 the Club of Rome produced a report the Limits to Growth. This used systems dynamics theory and computer modelling to analyze the long term causes and consequences of growth in the world’s population and material economy…
    See below for projects falling under this theme.
    Climate change, resource scarcity & conflict…
    LINK: Climate change, resource scarcity & conflict(798 Kb) http://ww2.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/microsites/global_sustainability_institute/our_research/resource_management.html

      • Joel D, What is meant by “in mine”?

        You can’t tell any difference between the woods behind my house and the woods across the street, except for the apparent lack of deadwood in mine.

      • Lee….the twigs and small branches stay behind. Heck, every autumn the entire floor of the forest gets covered with dead leaves. Plenty of material for coal.

      • Joel,
        I have 4 mature oaks and 1 sycamore (maple) growing in my tiny yard. One oak is dying back and has a stag horn top. This spring a spotted woodpecker raised its young in a hole that the bird had prepared in this tree. If you burn wood, even dead wood, you are stealing resources from from the natural woodland regeneration cycle of nutrient supply for the insects that the woodpeckers eat and stopping the mineral replenishment of the soil necessary for new trees to grow. If I had allowed the woodman to take down my senescent oak, the woodpeckers would have not had a drumming tree to nest in.
        The total amount of carbon available for life cannot be increased by burning wood. Burn coal however and you return to the life cycle of Mother Earth plant food that allows more trees to grow, without destroying any wood at all. I want more trees not less. We can achieve this by burning coal not wood. Join me in this noble endeavor to increase the world’s forests with new carbon.

    • Joel,
      Do you have any idea of how many years supply of coal we have in the US?
      What is the carbon footprint to ship wood chips from the US to the UK?
      Most of us are not so stupid to buy into the flawed concept of sustainable to sell very expensive energy.
      Even the EPA stated that the use of ethanol in lieu of gasoline would not have any impact for many decades.
      Worse yet, the leader who is pushing these restrictions/tax has such a huge carbon footprint relative to us peons. And the taxpayer is paying the bill for the huge consumption/waste of energy.
      Let the leaders first live the lifestyle they want to impose on us.

      • Catcracking….
        ….
        There are well over 20 acres of woods behind my house.
        .
        I’ve lived here for over 20 years.
        .
        I have removed over 4 cords of firewood each year for the past 20 years. (mostly standing deadwood, and fallen trees).
        ..
        You can’t tell any difference between the woods behind my house and the woods across the street, except for the apparent lack of deadwood in mine. The stand of live trees both areas are equivalent.
        .
        Please don’t tell me that sustainable energy is a flawed concept, as I have not burned ANY fossil fuels for heat in the past 20 years. It works well, and is actually less expensive than heating oil.

        .
        PS catalytic converters on wood stove flues increase their efficiency and decrease ambient pollution.

      • Joel D. Jackson – The USA was well on it’s way to losing all of its forest land just before coal started being mined with steam power to make it cheap enough for the masses who do NOT have 20 acres of deadwood in their back yard. Coal is what saved our forests. Whales were hunted almost to extinction for lamp oil until kerosene became readily available. IC engines freed horses, oxen and other beasts of burden from a life of misery. FF is what transformed our country into a modern industrial age to make our lives immensely better and longer. The latest USGS survey I saw was that the USA has over 200 years of coal to burn and that is allowing for a growing population. Crude oil is something only a little less than that.

        I trust free market capitalism to bring us alternative energy when FF starts to actually become scarce and more expensive – just as it has brought us practically everything else and done so at the lowest price and therefore benefiting the greatest number of people, something the government couldn’t care less about and has proven over and over and over again that it is incapable of doing anyway.

      • The Original Mike…
        Well put, the environmentalist apparently don’t have a clue of history. We are brainwashing our youth with the failure to report history accurately and the dramatic improvement fossil fuels made to our civilization

      • Joel,
        Do you have any scrubbers on the effluent from your wood burning stove? We know that wood burning emits many of the same nasty stuff as coal. does. This is a strange way to achieve sustainability, by polluting the atmosphere in a way no company would be allowed. CO 2 is not a pollutant unless it arises from dirty carbon combustion like wood without a clean up.

  19. Impacts on industry

    “While the costs of greenhouse gas regulations are broadly spread over the entire economy, some industries are hit harder, according to the study’s hypothetical carbon tax. These would include electric power, fertilizer, cement and coal-related industries like mining and transportation. Lime, a key ingredient in the manufacture of cement, would see the highest cost increase at 15 percent.”

    What he meant to say is that over 1400 new businesses and services will be added to include the new taxes, regs and fees.

    It is a NEW tax, not raising an old tax.

    This includes hospitals and would be a brutal new cow tax of over $100 per head. So it puts farms out of business and raises the cost of milk and cheese. Heartless cold environmental schemers know this.
    So I think these are extreme weasel words.

  20. ClickGreen on the Lloyd’s report:

    16 June: ClickGreenUK: Lloyd’s report finds global food system is threatened by climate change
    by ClickGreen staff
    Launched today at Expo Milano 2015, the study shows how three events – El Nino, the spread of windblown wheat rust in Russia and warmer temperatures in South America – could lead to wheat, maize, soybean and rice prices quadrupling, significant losses on European and US stock markets, food riots and wider political instability.
    The key findings of the report include:
    • A combination of just three catastrophic weather events could lead to …..
    http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/analysis/business-analysis/126166-lloyds-report-finds-global-food-system-is-threatened-by-climate-change.html

  21. Far as I know, nearly all food production and the transportation of food is dependent on burning fossil fuels. I haven’t seen any tractor trailers unloading at grocery stores powered by solar panels or windmills. If the crazy green policies don’t cause us to freeze, they will make us starve. Probably some of both.

  22. “Under a hypothetical carbon tax, households in the lowest income group would pay as a percent of income more than twice what households in the highest 10 percent of income distribution pay.”

    Under another hypothetical carbon tax, households in the lowest income group would be much better of regarding income (net positive) than households in the highest 10 percent of income distribution pay (net negative).

  23. A MUST-READ:

    20 June: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: The Pope joins the EU in a sad world of make-believe
    There are two great acts of political make-believe in our time, so all-pervasive that it is hard for us to grasp just how much effect they are having on our lives
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11688994/The-Pope-joins-the-EU-in-a-sad-world-of-make-believe.html

    20 June: UK Independent: Tom Bawden: Test-case wind turbine will ruin cathedral view, say Lincoln locals
    Lincoln Cathedral, an imposing building set on a hill in a county renowned for its lack of gradients, has defined the local landscape for hundreds of years. But plans for a wind farm on the nearby estate of vacuum-cleaner tycoon Sir James Dyson, with turbines twice as high as the cathedral, have raised fears that the area’s unique character could be destroyed.
    The proposed wind farm near the village of Nocton, eight miles south-east of Lincoln, would be one of the biggest in the country, made up of 20 turbines, each 149.5 metres high…
    Local people fear it would be noisy, damage property prices and threaten wildlife such as endangered lapwings and Marsh harriers. But their biggest concern, it seems, is the damage it could do to the view.
    “Lincoln Cathedral defines the landscape for miles in each direction,” said Melvin Grosvenor, who lives in the village of Baumber, 10 miles west of the proposed site. “This [wind farm] would spoil the long-distance view that has existed for a thousand years and change the character of the whole area.
    ***The development would also set back the cathedral’s campaign to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, he said…
    Lord Cormac, a life peer who lives next door to Lincoln Cathedral, is, if anything, even more strongly opposed to the development than Mr Grosvenor.
    “I believe onshore wind farms in general are unreliable, uneconomic and very unsightly. But this one, of 20 turbines roughly twice the height of Lincoln Cathedral, placed in an area of quiet natural beauty, is a ghastly and monstrous proposal,” he told The Independent on Sunday. “It would completely ruin centuries- old views of one of the most majestic buildings in Europe.”…
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/testcase-wind-turbine-will-ruin-cathedral-view-say-lincoln-locals-10334229.html

    • My next cleaner will not be a Dyson . What does it tell you about the financial status of his company if he needs the subsidy so much that he is willing to destroy the visual and natural environment of Lincolnshire.

  24. ‘As an example, he suggests reducing the payroll tax for lower income groups as a way to make a carbon tax more fair.’

    Ok. Now what’s he gonna’ do for people living on Social Security which I’m certain he doesn’t live on. Social Security benefits are not taxable unless there’s additional supplemental income. How’s he going to reduce an already nonexistent tax. And, don’t forget, in the Obama economy of the last six miserable years there’s a whole heap of people for whom their only option was to go for SS in whatever form they could get it. Yeah, it’s a real snazzy idea to banter on about increasing Carbon (the lazy man’s description for a molecule) costs in an economy that, in the last six years, has struggled to see one lousy quarter reach 4% growth and in the first quarter of this year was back to negative. These people live in La La Land.

  25. “Under a hypothetical tax, households in the lowest income group would pay as a percent of income more than twice what households in the highest 10 percent of income distribution pay.”

    Business as usual?

  26. “…climate change regulation burden (is) heaviest on poor…”
    Gee, somehow just by common sense and my self made BS detector, I have known this all along. You really need a study to demonstrate this??? Like I said, it is just common sense. Higher electricity prices, higher gasoline prices, higher energy prices overall affect the poor and low income the most…I know as I am in that category…

  27. “Emissions increase more slowly as income increases. Thus, one would expect some regressivity in a carbon tax,” the study stated.

    Yes, driving my old car to work produces so much more emissions than a rich person flying to his winter home in Florida while leaving the heat on in his New England home to make sure the pipes don’t freeze.

  28. Anyone, and that includes the dope in the White House, who uses the term “carbon pollution” simply proves that they’re a scientific imbecile. As far as the cost burden falling most heavily on the poor, that’s a bit like saying “water is wet” and “the Sun rises in the east each morning.” Duh!

  29. Joel D. Jackson
    June 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm said

    There are well over 20 acres of woods behind my house.
    .
    I’ve lived here for over 20 years.

    We have a hundred acre wood lot and have heated with wood for four generations and you are right it is sustainable.

    This would be a good point, if every household had access to a twenty acre wood lot. Using wood to fuel baseload power reminds me of what happened to the forests in my area a hundred years ago when they were stripped to supply the big city. There is not a single tree on our lot older than eighty years and it is still more bush than forest.

    • Yes peter, but the forests in your area have recovered. Oil wells and coal seams don’t regenerate as fast (if at all) . The problem in the past was the “stripping”….They used the forests back then the way we use fossil fuels today…..not thinking about depletion. With proper management, the forests can be very productive.

      • Your argument doesn’t hold up. First, with a population of about 300 million, at 20 acres per person, you’d need about 6 billion acres, almost 3 times the land area of the US. Even if you figure an average household is 4 people, that’s still almost all the land in the US and well over the amount that is suitable for growing forests in the first place, with less than nothing left over for things like food.

        But you’ve changed your argument as the thread progresses. Now you want to argue that forests can regenerate while fossil fuels can’t. Well, do the math from the first paragraph and you’ll discover that the only way for them to regenerate in the first place is to use fossil fuels instead/ Otherwise the forests get exterminated and then it is a race between starving to death and freezing to death, a race whose “winner” gets determined mostly by geography.

        But as to your second argument, the fact that fossil fuels don’t regenerate is a self regulating mechanism. As they become more scarce, the price rises, and the very reduction in use you are suggesting is a good thing becomes a natural outcome of the market, no intervention of any sort required.

      • ….and before I forget, all I’ve debunked from your evolving claims is the use of wood for heating. Add electricity, transportation, and industrial energy requirements to the picture, and your 20 acre lot becomes a recipe for joblessness, starvation, and freezing to death. Not even enough energy left over to flee to another country.

  30. “Stanford research reveals that it is ultimately people – not corporations – who would bear the costs of climate change regulation.” No $hit Sherlock. A corporation is a fictitious entity.

  31. “The research gives impetus to adopting a fairer approach to carbon regulation costs, Kolstad said.”
    ==================
    You say this like it is a given.

  32. Lost me at the first line. “Stanford research reveals that it is ultimately people – not corporations – who would bear the costs of climate change regulation.”

    Where the heck do you think corporations get their income from? Fairies at the bottom of the garden? Ultimately, all expenditure is traced back to the efforts of the individual. When you hear of corporations making record profits, that is good because they typically then use the money to employ more people for (hopefully) further productive enterprise.

    There is an abundance of communistic feeling about society just now, that hates the thought of corporations being wealthy. What do they think that corporations do with this wealth? Do they have swimming pools filled with coins for their Scrooge McDuck to swim in? Of course not. It is reinvested into society.

    What these little communistas hate is that corporations who control their reinvestment can do so freely, without the dreaded leaded hand of governments who try to dictate the course of all major spending. That’s how we got national economies like Pot Pol, China under Mao making steel instead of food, etc etc.

    Adopt the spirit of free enterprise, work hard and be proud. Work to maintain maximum control over the destination of every last penny you earn. Eschew regressive and excessive taxes and petition against your government spending your money on climate change junkets for people who assume they can spend even more of your money with pledges, imposts, taxes, levies, foreign aid …. IT IS YOUR MONEY, not theirs.

  33. As a business owner in BC Canada where there is a carbon tax, I can verify these taxes are added to the cost of goods and services all the way up the line until they’re purchased by the end consumer who carries the full burden. On top of higher prices, there is both a provincial sales tax of 7% and a federal goods and service tax of 5% charged on the final selling price. Tax on tax, an extra little dollop of revenue given to government.

    BC promised the carbon taxes would be tax neutral through lower income taxes. Back in 2008 when they first introduced the carbon tax, they lowered individual and corporate tax rates by a small amount. Since then income tax rates have remained flat while the carbon taxes have gone up year after year. While people below a certain income threshold receive an annual check for $100, it does not begin to touch the higher cost of living introduced by the carbon tax.

    • Hi Marlene,

      Where is the carbon tax revenue spent/allocated? Where was it promised to be utilized?

      • I have not dug into the government’s financial statements to see where the carbon tax revenue flows. My sense is there’s a great deal of attention paid to the optics of sticking to the script since it’s a matter of interest to a lot of people.

        I found this report by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation on BC’s supposed reduction of emissions due to the carbon tax. http://www.taxpayer.com/blog/bc–carbon-tax-no-success-story

        Seems to me this is an area ripe for investigation and a presentation of facts contradicting the Globe and Mail’s glowing article extolling the success of BC’s carbon tax as a program to be emulated to fix man-made global warming.

  34. “The research gives impetus to adopting a fairer approach to carbon regulation costs, Kolstad said.””

    Well, presuming there is a need for carbon regulation. There isn’t.

  35. U.S. Government’s rules, regulation and mandate compliance costs amount to almost $2 trillion/yr, or roughly $20,000/yr per household…. To put that into perspective, that’s almost the entire GDP of India, which has a population of over 1 billion people….

    $20,000/yr doesn’t affect the super rich (although compliance costs devastate their companies), but it’s crippling to the nation’s poor..

    Additional CO2 taxes and compliance costs will further erode the poor’s living standards and limit employment opportunities for them.

  36. So, professor von stanford says:

    1) It is proposed that carbon use/consumption will be taxed so as to reduce c02.

    2)The resulting negative impact on the poor obvious.

    3)We will therfore need to give breaks and credits of some sort to the poor.

    4)Given the tax credit/reimbursement, the poor people can now afford more c02 producing stuff.

    5)Professor von stanford projects that it will only cost the average family somewhere between $1,000 and $2000 per year … no big deal.

    What professorvonstanford doesn’t say:

    6)Poor people will then be dependent on the c02 credits, and it will be that much harder for them to make the change of state to being non-poor.

    7)The standard of living for the non-poor is reduced but it O.K. because they are non-poor. $2000 per year should not beconsidered a big hairy deal.

    8)And finally, the tax only goes away when hell freezes over and it is becomes apparent that it was not necessary to begin with.

    9)A portion of the tax revenue should be used to permenantly fund studies such his; the tax revenue should also be used to prove that it really is not cold, and the tax is still necessary.

    • It comes down to; more wage control, and more dependency.

      It also encourages graft and corruption by companies and individuals to circumvent the Tax. The more Tax you can avoid, the more money in your pocket. Oh, but then the government need more laws, enforcers of the laws, and of course ways to monitor corporations and individuals who might be thinking of circumventing the Tax. These will of course need to be funded out of your Taxes, and boy do they cost a lot.

      As you can see the law of unintended consequences goes far beyond the added cost of product.

    • I forgot …

      7a) The credit to the poor is paid for by the non-poor, causing the overall cost to the non-poor to be between $3000 and $4000

      A few more programs/schemes like this and I will be able to qualify for the “poor” status.

  37. The Left would probably “fix” this inequity by raising the minimum wage to $30/hr. This of course would throw millions of low and moderately skilled people out of work, which would be “fixed” by doubling the number on food stamps, and other welfare, which would be paid for by raising the income taxes on job creators (small business) which would cause more layoffs, which of course would be “addressed” by tripling the budget of the SBA, which would be paid for with money borrowed from China, with the interest paid for with newly printed money which would create inflation which would necessitate another increase in the minimum wage and so on and on and on.

  38. Ultimately, anti-carbon energy policies in whatever form they take are a huge drag on an economy. Switching from cheaper, more efficient forms of energy to “green” energy is like having a “jobs” program hiring some people to dig holes and others to fill them in, or like taking 700,000 perfectly-good vehicles and sending them to the crusher (like anyone in their right mind would do that!). The point is that people suffer from bad economic policies. Ultimately, it tends to destroy the middle class, putting more and more of them in the “poor” category.

  39. This research paper falls in the “well, duh” category.

    It has long been my opinion that this whole CAGW illusion will fall apart once Millennials can no longer afford to recharge their smart phones.

  40. “Lime, a key ingredient in the manufacture of cement, would see the highest cost increase at 15 percent.”

    Lime is a key ingredient in Key Lime Pie but not in cement! Lime is used in mortars, plasters, stucco and in chemical processes. For cement, they use cheap limestone, bulk quarried. This is the trouble when non technical people (economists here) make assumptions from what they read. The term lime is essentially a chemical term and it gets used by chemical engineers, geologists, etc. even in referring to limestone if the chemistry of the situation is what is important. Yeah, burning high calcium limestone to make a high quality lime product used in a host of industrial applications is both an energy user (energy gives off CO2) and a source of “fossil” CO2 of its own being a carbonate.

    Good thing this only accounts for 1% of GDP, or they would have to do the study over again!

  41. So, if the Stanford study suggested a better way of going about the solution that would not affect the poor, then what is the basis of opposition to that?

    • It is a huge unnecessary cost to society that is not a solution to anything. At least nothing has been demonstrated to be problematical and certainly all the forecasts of temperature over the past 30 years have proven to be totally wrong. There are lots of things we should do for the environment, for poverty at home and abroad. We have had no warming for 18yrs while CO2 has risen 10% or more and all the fuss about global warming was essentially balmy weather during a shorter period than the pause! There is nothing in the weather and its extremes that hasn’t happened before.

      Otter17, you seem like a smart, compassionate type. Do you see what is happening here? They are looking for ways to help the poor with the cost of a problem that doesn’t exist. I’m not against the poor getting some more money, just not for this. And the larger problem is the regulations prevent poor countries from getting aid to build cheap energy infrastructure without which they are doomed to poverty and early death – there is no wealth to distribute in the poor half of the world. Stop watching the cable news and buying newspapers for your education and dig a little into the topic with an open mind before even that is taken away.

  42. heaviest burden for climate change regulation falls on the poor

    Yet another miracle of the modern world. Research required in order to state the obvious. Next new research shows lack of food will result in weight loss. Of course the poor suffer more from vice taxes and other forms of regressive taxes. You think a someone driving around a 2015 Lexus is concerned if state tax on gas goes up? Or someone who lives in a pent house apartment is concerned when alcoholic beverages tax goes up?

    Vice taxes are the most regressive taxes, and in the end the carbon tax is is vice tax; carbon has been deemed “bad” for you so take it up the bun and be happy to be taxed on it.

    Even if you believe AGW is true and a great problem, a carbon tax having anywhere near a significant effect has been proven to be fantasy. So why go for it? Well because carbon is a vice, and those who are sinful must be punished. When ecological concerns can be twisted to support totalitarian moralistic fanaticism I feel most comfortable in stating it’s a crazy world.

  43. Why does the cult of CAGW push policies that are madness such as taxing ‘carbon dioxide’ emission or the forced conversion of food to biofuel?

    The cult of CAGW includes a propaganda campaign that you are either with the cult of CAGW or your are an evil cult of CAGW denier.

    The intentional consequences of the cult of CAGW’s ‘denier campaign’ is to stop policy analysis. The unintentional consequences of the cult of CAWG’s ‘denier campaign’, is the cult of CAGW’s policies are disconnected from logic and reason. That is bad thing, not a good thing.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a gas that is essential for life on this planet. It is a fact that CO2 is injected into commercial greenhouses to increase yield and reduce growing times. Plants ‘eat’ CO2. When atmospheric CO2 increases C3 plants – all plants, except for grasses, include all cereal crops – reduce the number of stomata on their leaves which reduces plant evaporation water loss (less stomata less water loss) which enables the plant enables to grow and thrive with less water. (Good thing not a bad thing.) Cereal crop yield increases by roughly 40% if CO2 is doubled. (Good thing not a bad thing.)

    There has been no warming for 18 years. There is now unequivocal observational evidence of cooling. There is no CAGW problem to solve. The planet is about to abruptly cool which is a different issue/discussion.

    It is surreal, that the cult of CAGW’s paradigm is to attack any questioning of the policies of CAGW as a hate crime. Why are there ‘environmental’ lobbying groups that are ‘fighting’ for policies that will increase the cost of energy (the cost of electricity in Germany is three times more than the cost of electricity in the US)?

    What will happen to poor people in the world when the cost of ‘energy’ increases worldwide? Is it a hate crime to question the tripling of electrical costs? What will the benefits be to offset the negative consequences of tripling of the cost electricity worldwide?

    The EU and the US have mandated the forced conversion of food to biofuel in direct response to the cult of CAGW’s lobbying. As there is a fixed amount of agricultural land in the world and a fixed amount of fresh water and fertilizer to grow food, the forced conversion of food to biofuel must increase the amount of virgin forest that is cut down and will cause an increase in the cost of food for people.

    The immediate consequence of this forced conversion of food to biofuel madness is a dramatic increase in the cost of basic food such as a 140% increase in the price of corn. The problems associate with this practice will become more acute as it is fact that the majority of the developed countries have mandated an increasing percentage of biofuel.

    Analysis of the total energy input to produce ethanol from corn shows that 29% more fossil fuel input energy is require to produce one energy unit of ethanol. Vacuum distillation improves the energy calculation to one to one, i.e. as much energy is required to produce ethanol as the energy in the ethanol however the vacuum distillation equipment is significantly more expensive and fossil energy is cheaper so that vacuum distillation is not used unless it is mandated.

    Comment:
    The energy input to harvest the corn, to produce the fertilizer, and to boil the water off to distill ethanol/water from 8% ethanol to 99.5% ethanol (three distillation processes) to produce 99.5% ethanol for use in an automobile, produces more green house gas (if ‘fossil’ fuel for all processes) than is produced than the production consumption of conventional gasoline. The cost of corn based ethanol is more than five times the production cost of gasoline, excluding taxes and subsides.

    Rather than subsiding the production of corn based ethanol the same money could be used to preserve and increase rainforest. The loss of rainforest is the largest biological cause of the increase in CO2.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1725975,00.html

    The Clean Energy Scam
    The U.S. quintupled its production of ethanol–ethyl alcohol, a fuel distilled from plant matter–in the past decade, and Washington has just mandated another fivefold increase in renewable fuels over the next decade. Europe has similarly aggressive biofuel mandates and subsidies, and Brazil’s filling stations no longer even offer plain gasoline. Worldwide investment in biofuels rose from $5 billion in 1995 to $38 billion in 2005 and is expected to top $100 billion by 2010, thanks to investors like Richard Branson and George Soros, GE and BP, Ford and Shell, Cargill and the Carlyle Group.

    But several new studies show the biofuel boom is doing exactly the opposite of what its proponents intended: it’s dramatically accelerating global warming, imperiling the planet in the name of saving it. Corn ethanol, always environmentally suspect, turns out to be environmentally disastrous. Even cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, which has been promoted by eco-activists and eco-investors as well as by President Bush as the fuel of the future, looks less green than oil-derived gasoline.

    Meanwhile, by diverting grain and oilseed crops from dinner plates to fuel tanks, biofuels are jacking up world food prices and endangering the hungry. The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year. Harvests are being plucked to fuel our cars instead of ourselves. The U.N.’s World Food Program says it needs $500 million in additional funding and supplies, calling the rising costs for food nothing less than a global emergency. Soaring corn prices have sparked tortilla riots in Mexico City, and skyrocketing flour prices have destabilized Pakistan, which wasn’t exactly tranquil when flour was affordable.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-14/biofuel-production-a-crime-against-humanity/2403402

    Biofuels ‘crime against humanity’
    Massive production of biofuels is “a crime against humanity” because of its impact on global food prices, a UN official has told German radio. “Producing biofuels today is a crime against humanity,” UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler told Bayerischer Runfunk radio. Many observers have warned that using arable land to produce crops for biofuels has reduced surfaces available to grow food. Mr Ziegler called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change its policies on agricultural subsidies and to stop supporting only programs aimed at debt reduction. He says agriculture should also be subsidised in regions where it ensures the survival of local populations. Meanwhile, in response to a call by the IMF and World Bank over the weekend to a food crisis that is stoking violence and political instability, German Foreign Minister Peer Steinbrueck gave his tacit backing.

    http://news.yahoo.com/prime-indonesian-jungle-cleared-palm-oil-065556710.html

    Prime Indonesian jungle to be cleared for palm oil
    Their former hero recently gave a palm oil company a permit to develop land in one of the few places on earth where orangutans, tigers and bears still can be found living side-by-side — violating Indonesia’s new moratorium on concessions in primary forests and peatlands.

  44. “Why does the cult of CAGW push policies that are madness such as taxing ‘carbon dioxide’ emission or the forced conversion of food to biofuel?”

    Because it is all about policy. CAGW is just a fable to get us to accept the unacceptable. We won’t accept a new tax, but we might accept a carbon tax. Which, of course, is just a tax.

  45. Science proves that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. The proof and identification of the two factors that do cause reported climate change are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com (now with 5-year running-average smoothing of measured average global temperature (AGT), the near-perfect explanation of AGT, R^2 = 0.97+ since before 1900)

  46. On May 25, 2015 veteran meteorologist Joe d’Aleo and I published our paper entitled “Winters not Summers Increase Mortality and Stress the Economy”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/24/winters-not-summers-increase-mortality-and-stress-the-economy/

    Our objective is to draw attention to the very serious issue of Excess Winter Deaths, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.

    It is hard to believe that anyone could be so foolish as to drive up the cost of energy AND also reduce the reliability of the electrical grid, which is what politicians have done by subsidizing grid-connected wind and solar power.

    When uninformed politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die.

    Cheap, reliable, abundant energy is the lifeblood of modern society. It IS that simple.

    Best wishes to all, Allan

  47. Every year, Excess Winter Deaths are shockingly high. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA, and about 10,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in Canada. About 50,000 Excess Winter Deaths occurred in the winter of 2012/13 in the UK. Even in warmer climates, cold temperatures are the greatest killer – death rates in Australian cities were up to 30 per cent higher in winter than summer. The recent Lancet study confirms this fact, even in very warm countries like Thailand.

  48. “Substitution.” Right…

    When I lived in the Northeast, I didn’t ever visit a single house that had an oil-fueled heating system, AND a gas-fueled heating system, AND an electrical heating system.

    “Substitution” only occurs when the cost of making the substitution is between zero and at least one cent less than the difference between the prices of the original product and the substituted product (and the amount of substitution declines as you approach the “no real difference” point).

    For a top of the line NG furnace – the cost of the unit alone is around $3,500. You’re looking at around $1,500 to $2,000 for a mid-priced one. Then add in the cost of installing it (easily $1,000), the cost of the permits and inspections (depends on the greed of the State – but at least $500 more). So, you had better be getting a savings of between $3,000 and $5,000 in amortized dollars just converting to NG from fuel oil.

    And just about the time you’ve installed it – guess what, the Greens will have found a way to skyrocket the price of NG (they’re working hard on it right now, in fact).

  49. This study is a good first start. Now move on to the 500X household impact difference represented by the tax credits of renewable energy systems. The credits are flowing to the upper income households almost exclusively.

  50. Reality Observer June 22, 2015 at 8:12 am says,
    “Substitution.” Right…For a top of the line NG furnace – the cost of the unit alone is around $3,500. You’re looking at around $1,500 to $2,000 for a mid-priced one. Then add in the cost of installing it (easily $1,000), the cost of the permits and inspections (depends on the greed of the State – but at least $500 more). So, you had better be getting a savings of between $3,000 and $5,000 in amortized dollars just converting to NG from fuel oil.

    I want to amplify what Reality Observer is saying by posting this old email from American Energy Alliance.

    “Dear Fellow American,
    We only have 3 days left to overwhelm the DOE with petitions to stop Obama’s furnace rule.
    If we don’t, Obama will use this as an opportunity to further restrict your energy choices and force Americans into costly decisions about how they heat their homes.

    In fact, according to the American Gas Association, this rule would effectively ban 58 percent of all natural gas furnaces currently on the market!

    And this means Americans may be forced to spend an additional $2,500 to purchase and install furnaces.”

    Mandates mean that the government is the customer, not you, and you purchase what they tell you to own, from electricity sources to types of specialty foods to furnaces. They also in this way spend your money for you. A lot of us in the middle class do not have the extra money to do this, and I think they know that very well. Mandates are the root of all evil with the scheming environmentalists. That and foreign interests, such as the World Empire (UN).

  51. From the policy over reach manual authored by Gruber, you first construct a very confusing system to hide the fact that a highly regressive carbon tax system has been enacted. Then you maximize political credit for claiming to redistribute wealth with a portion of the funds. You might also need a party leader to say that we will read what’s in the bill after passage.

  52. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    It’s the great irony of ‘climate change’ that the protagonists of the green faith, usually of leftist or progressive persuasion, lay claim to be the “champions of the poor”. When ultimately the radical “save the planet” climate policies and futile green schemes, dreamt up in ivory towers of the sanctimonious political elite and wealthy chattering class, ultimately end up hurting the poorest in society.

    Whether it be Carbon taxes, aimed to increase the cost of electricity to inhibit its use, expensive renewable energy, or even the World Bank’s no-coal decree, that would leave developing nations in the dark, radical climate policy does much for the political elite and very little for the impoverished majority …

  53. “Stanford research reveals that it is ultimately people – not corporations – who would bear the costs of climate change regulation. Under a hypothetical carbon tax, households in the lowest income group would pay as a percent of income more than twice what households in the highest 10 percent of income distribution pay.” ~Ivy League

    It appears to me that it wording of this study creates a false dichotomy between the most wealthy and the lowest income groups. The economic costs to the middle class and/or small business owners are not even mentioned, when in fact this may be the most significant change of all.

    Restaurants and cattle owners are would be unable to function in the CLIMATE created by these regs. He deflects from this fact by naming a few industries that would be “most” affected or “hardest hit” by this environmentalist scheming and engineering. By phrasing it this way, the other 1400 businesses that would be newly added to the reach of greenhouse gases regulations are left out of the discussion and are swept under the rug. It was a trump l’oei, not a statement of the obvious.

    • What do the poor think they are going to buy when all of the small businesses and restaurants fail?

      The real question is why are the environmentalist social engineers methodically and relentlessly destroying Purchasing Power here at home,
      and then using Purchasing Power to adjust up the incomes of the Chinese and others to show that they have higher incomes than they do?

      Our single family income stays the same, and environmentalist regulations eat quickly away at what that income will buy. Plus they use compulsion to make me purchase worthless, expensive, ineffective products from greens.

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