Washington Post: “Double or Triple” Fuel Prices to Solve the Climate Crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Washington Post Economics Columnist Robert J. Samuelson’s advice to solve the climate crisis is to double or triple the price of fuel and hope for a scientific breakthrough.

We’re on mission impossible to solve global warming

By Robert J. Samuelson
October 14 at 7:34 PM

If there were any doubt before, there should be none now. “Solving” the global climate change problem may be humankind’s mission impossible. That’s the gist of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N. group charged with monitoring global warming.

Unless we make dramatic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and others), warns the IPCC, we face a future of rapidly rising temperatures that will destroy virtually all the world’s coral reefs, intensify droughts and raise sea levels. We need to take action immediately, if not sooner.

It’s not clear how this would be done. The reality is that global carbon emissions are rising, not falling. Emissions today are about 60 percent higher than in 1990, according to the World Bank.

What is to be done?

My own preference is messier and subject to all the above shortcomings. I would gradually impose a stiff fossil-fuel tax (producing not a 10 or 15 percent price increase but a doubling or maybe a tripling of prices) to discourage fossil-fuel use and encourage new energy sources. In addition, some of the tax revenue could reduce budget deficits and simplify income taxes. With luck, a genuine breakthrough might occur: perhaps advances in electric batteries or storage. That would make wind and solar power more practical.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-on-mission-impossible-to-solve-global-warming/2018/10/14/518acff8-ce34-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html

Imposing indescribable economic pain, while hoping for a bit of luck, is the “preferred” option? Why not simply build a few nuclear reactors, and use known technology to put a massive dent in the global carbon footprint?

Obviously I don’t believe CO2 is a problem – but if it was a problem, imposing unimaginably painful, life destroying taxes on ordinary people in the hope that their agony might produce a scientific advance would not be my preferred option.

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Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 1:11 am

I am going to look into the possibility of converting diesel engines to run on food oil, that should cause some interesting taxation problems.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 1:43 am

In France fuel for heating and for trucks have different colors, because trucks are highly taxed. Because it’s the almost same product, some people try to use heating fuel for trucks, it’s called “rouler au rouge” (driving red). They risk a heavy fine!

Reply to  simple-touriste
October 15, 2018 2:26 am

The alleged trick is to run red diesel, that is diesel with a red dye in it to mark it out for agricultural use which is taxed less, through loves of bread as that takes most of the dye out.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  knr
October 15, 2018 8:26 am

In boarding school there were guys that did that to Aqua Velva Ice Blue After Shave and drink it. Guess it wasn’t that bad, but you burped it for hours afterward. :<)

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joe Crawford
October 15, 2018 9:29 am

Joe Crawford
I remember reading that the GIs in WWII developed different ways to produce drinkable ‘hooch.’

Reply to  simple-touriste
October 16, 2018 12:29 pm

It’s a $10,000 fine in the US to do that but lots of people do it anyway as they don’t often crack down. Non road diesel used to be a higher sulfur content so all they had to do was use a sniffer on your exhaust pipe. I know off road diesel has been mandated to be switched over to low sulfur but I don’t know where they are on that. Once switched over the only difference is road tax. At that point it will be much harder to tell what fuel is in the tank. Most manufacturers put anti siphon devices on fuel tanks these days to prevent fuel theft so pulling a sample will not be easy.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 2:16 am

Some bloke in Australia tried that he collected the old fish and chips oil from the shops to run his car. It worked a treat until one day the government began charging him excise tax.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 2:25 am

been done a fair amount in the UK – blending diesel with used chip fryer oil.

Makes the exhaust smell fishy, but it works.

Reply to  Leo Smith
October 15, 2018 5:42 am

Leo Smith

There is also a problem with low temperature engine contamination from any kind of oil used in DERV’s. Some clever bods have developed switches that start up with pure diesel then when the engine’s up to temperature it switches to chip fat/vegetable oil. But that means two fuel tanks.

My understanding is that Supermarkets use bio diesel, that is, mainly regular diesel fuel with cheap vegetable oils as a filler. Diesel has detergents in it to ensure engines stays clean.

The important thing is that DERV’s are roughly 25% more thermally efficient these days. That means 25% less fuel is required to be extracted from the ground, 25% smaller fuel tankers (or 25% fewer trips if you like) and, of course, 25% fewer emissions (although of a different mix) than highly refined petrol.

I also understand that the 40,000 or so deaths attributed to diesel in the UK were analysed and it was found, unsurprisingly, they were from inner city areas and, much more surprising, the life expectancy, subjectively judged by doctors, to be from a matter of days to a matter of hours extra.

Nor, do I believe, did the death certificates record the cause of death to be ‘contamination from diesel fumes’. The primary causes of death were serious conditions (which might have included asthma/bronchitis etc.) and the contribution of diesel particulates was never scientifically demonstrated.

The UK threw the baby out with the bathwater on that one. I would also add that whilst the deaths included in the vilification of diesel were in inner city areas, I know for a fact there is not one meaningful electricity power station in the London area (that being the area inside the M25 which encircles the London area) they are all located in rural area well outside London. So whilst the rest of the country is punished over diesel emissions in London, the surrounding area is also punished by having to endure the emissions from power stations that London enjoys without a speck of emissions.

Nor is there a single meaningful wind farm or solar array within the London area. Those are, of course, all reserved for the countryside or the oceans whilst London reaps the rewards.

Not that you’ll hear any of this from a Westminster politician as they spend a great deal of time in their second homes in London which are often worth £ Millions and nice clean London air means lots more value added to their homes.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 2:34 am

In the UK it’s called red diesel. Usually for agricultural machines. Don’t find yourself with red diesel in your tank on a UK road unless you are crossing to get to a farm. In NZ, the hubs of diesel vehicles have meters. Each year they are read and you have to pay tax on mileage.

If people want run used chip fat in a diesel, they should run it through a filter first and then with regular diesel for obvious reasons. Diesel vehicles running on chip fat smell like a chip wagon. Also, newer diesels won’t run it (Easily).

A diesel is a compression ignition engine, it will, in the right circumstances, run on any kind of “oil”, or fat! There is a situation with a diesel engine that it will start to fuel itself from it’s own oil sump. After a few minutes the engine destroys itself.

William Marsh
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 15, 2018 3:00 am

Should put a military ‘multi-fuel’ engine. Those run on anything from kerosene to perfume. I imagine the exhaust from a tank full of Channel #5 would smell pretty good

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  William Marsh
October 15, 2018 9:37 am

Exhaust from a tank full of fryer fat from a fried chicken place would smell better than that.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 3:20 am

My VW TDI guru refuses grease cars.

When I sold it at 13 y.o., it was still producing an honest 50 MPG. Now I have a BMW X5 diesel behemoth and still manage an occasional 30 MPG.

Reply to  Doug Huffman
October 17, 2018 10:33 pm

Are those US or Imperial gallons?

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 15, 2018 5:28 am

Is Robert J. Samuelson familiar with the Scientific Method?

Is he numerate?

This is far from clear, based on the above article.

October 15, 2018 9:02 am

Knowing what you are talking about is career impediment to journalists.

October 15, 2018 1:17 am

looks like this is the bargaining stage
throw on more grief!

Rich Davis
Reply to  gnomish
October 15, 2018 3:51 am

That’s a little over-the-top don’t you think Donald?

Yes, it’s an imbecilic plan, but gas prices in Europe have long been two-to-three times higher than in the US. None of your claimed outcomes happened there.

Why not focus on the fact that it’s an economic disaster that would not be mitigated by serving any useful purpose?

Reply to  Rich Davis
October 15, 2018 4:08 am

Distances in Europe are smaller. The biggest impact in the U.S. would be on the rural population who cannot sustain it and not big cities … inner city transport would be subsidized as usual …

Reply to  MikeP
October 15, 2018 2:26 pm

Farmers can use pink/red fuel to travel with. Only need farm license plates or rural area license plates in the U.S. and Canada has farm license plates.

The use of pink/red fuel dates back to WW2. Only a few people had fossil fuel vehicles during WW1.

Roger Knights
Reply to  gnomish
October 15, 2018 5:59 am

Mods, Anthony: Anything that even indirectly approves of violence should not be posted here.

Reply to  Roger Knights
October 15, 2018 6:08 am

I agree.

October 15, 2018 1:17 am

As the Warmistas see their scam unravelling and public scepticism increasing, they double down on their unreasonable and unrealistic demands for others to be punished.

Damon C. Poole, II
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
October 15, 2018 3:10 am

And that is why they fail!

steve case
October 15, 2018 1:26 am

Why not simply build a few nuclear reactors, and use known technology to put a massive dent in the global carbon footprint?

That line presupposes that there’s some sort of need to put a “…dent in the global carbon footprint …”

In simple terms, CO2 is NOT a Problem. Don’t go on in any manner that implies that it is.

Roger Knights
Reply to  steve case
October 15, 2018 6:02 am

“That line presupposes that there’s some sort of need to put a “…dent in the global carbon footprint …””

The greens insist that something must be done. This is the least destructive thing that can be done. It’s the least worst option.

John Endicott
Reply to  Roger Knights
October 15, 2018 8:58 am

And yet the greens are mostly (there are a very small minority of exceptions) against going nuclear. That tells you all you need to know about how much they truly believe the garbage they spew about CO2

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  John Endicott
October 15, 2018 8:10 pm

Indeed. The world will end if we don’t change. But not nuclear, we can’t have that stuff.

October 15, 2018 1:31 am

There’s something terribly wrong with Liberals (demoncrats).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Warren
October 15, 2018 4:41 am

The Democrats/Socialists live in an Alternate Universe. Why they can’t see reality when it is right in front of them is a question I have been asking myself all my life. I don’t have an answer. It’s not that they are all stupid, but they all, dumb and smart, seem to get caught up in a false reality that they can’t see through. One thing they have in common is they are herd creatures. They adopt the latest politically correct meme as soon as they hear it. They think Donald Trump truly is Hitler. People who believe that live in a very scary world, of their own creation. Divorced from reality. Let’s just hope they don’t outnumber us.

Don Perry
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 15, 2018 5:54 am

The leaders of the Democrat party are all about power and controlling others’ lives. Their supporters are all about “free stuff”. The supporters simply are too stupid to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch, that someone is paying for the “free stuff”. As they become more dependent on “free stuff”, they cede their freedom and power to the politicians. Controlling energy is just another major way of controlling people and “redistributing wealth” to pay for more “free stuff”.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Don Perry
October 15, 2018 7:24 am

All you have to do is see what Hillary said about “Republicans destroying” Democrat policies. That is a warlike comment. Same with becoming more civil when “we are back in power”. Democrats only see politics as a power/war scenario. They could care less about the common people or governing in a manner that is best for all. It’s all about powerful government bureaucrats telling people what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Hopefully their rhetoric will continue to manifest itself in more and more #justwalkaway liberals.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jim Gorman
October 15, 2018 8:32 am

Here are Hillary’s exact words: “”You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.”

What does Hillary Clinton stand for? What does she care about? Power and Control is the answer.

Yes, Repubicans *do* want to destroy the totalitarian powergrab of the American Left, and President Trump is doing a pretty good job of it so far. Keep up the good work, Donald. We certainly don’t want any of these Leftwing crazies getting control of our lives.

And while you are at it, would you please see that Hillary is prosecuted for her crimes and jailed. Maybe that will shut her up..

John Endicott
Reply to  Jim Gorman
October 15, 2018 9:03 am

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” -HRC

So Hillary is advocating the Republicans stop being civil with Democrats? because make no mistake, it’s the Democrats that have been and continue to want to destroy everything the conservative/Republicans stand for. And yet you don’t see Republicans putting on black masks and causing property damage and hitting people with bike locks, you don’t see Republicans harassing Democrats at restaurants, elevators, and their homes. etc.

Reply to  Don Perry
October 15, 2018 11:53 pm

“there is no such thing as a free lunch,”

OTOH, one thing is truly free lunch: the intellectual (non-)property of (old) culture. Old songs and also inventions. Even language.

At some point the progressive liberals were (pretending to be?) in the fight against “copyfraud”, the act of privatizing immaterial goods that aren’t covered by any valid copyright claim (with bogus “I scanned the paper myself so I own the copyright”-like imaginary intellectual property claims).

But then everything changed when they discovered that there was a new grievance minority group to defend: the culturally “exploited” groups: now the progressive liberals defend the groups who claim they are “intellectual property”-like owners of “culture”. To make it sound like a claim of victim-hood and not absurd copyright-like “right”, they called it “cultural appropriation” not privatization nor cultural copyfraud.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 15, 2018 9:34 am

Tom Abbott
I think that your observation about being divorced from reality is correct. That also explains why they are democrats.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
October 15, 2018 1:03 pm

It’s the Inverted Fortress Gambit. Leftwing academia paints the university as a ragtag rebel stronghold resisting the big bad anti-intellectual Oppressor just outside the campus, when it’s really the ivory-towered palace of the big bad power-hungry Elites, desiring to impose a neo-feudal serfdom on the rest of us.

It’s a clever ploy. Twisting the rebellious impulses of adolescence into a rigid intellectual conformity. They must all hang together, they must not let down the Cause, they must not let the Bad People win! A mental prison without walls and all the more impregnable for that.

Dr Deanster
Reply to  drednicolson
October 16, 2018 6:24 pm

It’s all made possible because the Left (I refuse to call them liberal or progressive) has 90% of the Media in their back pocket. Freedom of the Press was not meant to allow the press to publish lies in the interest of their favored political ideology. It was created to make sure that truth was not hindered by old English laws protecting the reputations of Kings and Governors.

Reply to  Warren
October 15, 2018 2:55 pm

There’s something terribly wrong with Liberals (demoncrats).

Cultural brainwashing. Same as in cults, but on a massive scale. Accomplished by an indoctrination-based education system and mass-media. Orwell would be astonished at its effectiveness.

Reply to  beng135
October 16, 2018 7:56 am

OTOH, they have been using mental AIDS brainwashing for the purpose of infecting themselves for so long, they have members of their one tribe (*) that fall for the most stupid hoaxes. And it’s in “peer reviewed” journals which is the (re)definition of (post)modern scientific process, so they own it.

(*) academia can only be one tribe, they cannot be divided because that validates the critics from the right

Had they not redefined Science, turning the Method into a gesticulation (with peer review, academic journals, and conferences), they could disown any article, any peer review, and journal, any conference. But the postmodern train has left the station, redefining Science for good. Science as a reproducible approach to determine empirical reality has been replaced with an academic show.

At that time, scientists and academics should have rejected the concept of “academia as a whole”, and publicly claim that while they worked in the same buildings, but they weren’t doing the same type of jobs. Having done that, they would have validated some attacks on “academia”. They couldn’t have claimed “the one academia thing is under attack” but some branches of what passes as academic are under attack, which is a lot less impressive.

When you choose unity above all, you HAVE to defend any member of the tribe, pretty much all the time (knowing others will have to defend you in any case). Although academics like the freedom of criticizing other people, they have inherently established the unit of academia by endorsing the defense of academia as a whole. This includes French social scientists, that is people who specialize in the study of social phenomenons in a country where BY LAW you cannot evaluate the impact of the most overwhelming social change, immigration from Africa and religious background.

They did not disown French social science even as law makes it punishable by prison to even study the only redefining social transformation of France, so they own that scam that you can study stuff despite not being allowed to. So French academia as a whole is undeniably a joke.

October 15, 2018 1:36 am

Why don’t the Greens just give up. They say its all too late, so lets see what happens next. If I were a betting man and going on all of their failed predictions, I would consider our chances of survival are quite good. So enjoy the world for what it is and stop worrying.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael
October 15, 2018 4:56 am

“Why don’t the Greens just give up. They say its all too late”

That is in effect what all the Alarmists/Greens are saying. The IPCC comes out with their claim that the only way to fix the climate is to raise the tax on gasonline by $240.00 per gallon and give the UN $122 Trillion!! for new green infrastructure. A completely unrealistic expectation and everyone knows it, witness the tone of this article, and of other articles and comments since the IPCC came out with its new report. The commenters on Twitter see the report and are despondent when they read it.

So it’s time for a new direction There is a solution that won’t backrupt everyone: Build as many new nuclear reactors as are required. Forget the windmills and solar and their numerous associated problems.

The solution is right in front of the Alarmist/Green’s eyes. It’s the only solution if you think CO2 is dangerous because windmills and solar will not be able to supply the power humanity needs. They just can’t do it. It’s not practical or feasible.

And the worst thing you can do for an economy is raise the price of gasoline. That is definitely not a solution. People won’t stand for it. Go find your money somewhere else.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 15, 2018 8:22 am

“And the worst thing you can do for an economy is raise the price of gasoline”. Pity the South African ANC government didn’t think of this when they added a huge extra tax on to petrol this month. Mind you, this bunch have no economic sense – they kept promising free goodies until the tax income hit the Laffer curve. And now, transport costs hit the price of EVERYTHING, and the poor (who are mostly unemployed and supported by handouts) are being hit by these price increases along with an increase in Value Added Tax. Add to this the fact that the ‘free goodies’ didn’t arrive, and the result is daily riots.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Russ Wood
October 15, 2018 10:00 am

The poor always get hit the hardest by these kinds of schemes.

Raising gasoline prices is a good way to throw cold water on an economy.

Al Miller
Reply to  Michael
October 15, 2018 6:54 am

The greens may well give up, but the enormous funds from greedy governments wanting to control all things will not end until all the people rise up and elect populist governments.
We all know it’s not about CO2- it’s about control, power and greed.
The UN has no other mission it cares about excepting global power for an unelected cabal.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Michael
October 15, 2018 12:15 pm

They will NEVER give up – see, we still have MONEY.

If the AGW scam ever finally breaks down worldwide, they’ll just dram up a new one.

October 15, 2018 1:36 am

” tax revenue could reduce budget deficits and simplify income taxes. ”

That won’t help much when half of the workforce is unemployed and probably have an armed revolution.

Reply to  Jeff
October 15, 2018 5:48 am


If anyone imagines another tax would simplify the taxation process they are certifiably insane.

The UK’s tax system is, I believe, the most complicated on the planet, that’s what Starbucks, Google and Amazon came in for so much stick for paying pennies in corporation tax (if any). It wasn’t their fault though, they were just playing the system the British public endorses.

More taxes means more complications and more loopholes.

Reply to  HotScot
October 15, 2018 11:43 am

France is starting to use source taxation on salary. France is still based on family units, so the taxation is function of total incomes. It means that a level of taxation is transmitted to the employer; but the employee can also choose a fixed level of employer taxation and pay the rest himself, and there is a third choice also. (Turning one thing into tree different choices is called simplification.)

Then there is the fact that one year of incomes will not be taxed, the previous and the next one will be. Except they will be under some conditions. I’m still not getting it – I believe nobody does.

We are hoping the computer system will work properly and people won’t be taxed twice.

Reply to  simple-touriste
October 15, 2018 1:37 pm

“We are hoping the computer system will work properly and people won’t be taxed twice.”

Don’t hold your breath on that one . . . .


AGW is not Science
Reply to  auto
October 16, 2018 8:30 am

Heh I’m sure it will be “working properly” – and that it will not tax you twice but THREE times, by design.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Jeff
October 15, 2018 8:23 am

-See my comment on South Africa above, and raise it by 35% unemployed…

George Lawson
October 15, 2018 1:48 am

The great sadness about all this is that newspapers like the Washington Post, and the British Guardian should be able to promote absolute stupidity, false information and lies to their tens of thousands of readers, without allowing any sensible and balanced reply to the contrary. Many readers who cannot think for themselves will take Samuelson’s ridiculous thinking on board, and the myth will again be successfully perpetuated. What a pity just one major news outlet in the Western world does not have the courage to take a stand and at least question the IPCCs outrageous statements and ridicule the left wing thinking of so called writers like Samuelson.

M Courtney
Reply to  George Lawson
October 15, 2018 2:33 am

As was pointed out by a commenter here last week, the Guardian readers don’t believe it either.

None of the Global Warming stories in the Guardian have made the Top 10 Most Viewed at the bottom of the page.

For the end of the world to be uninteresting is itself interesting.

Rich Davis
Reply to  George Lawson
October 15, 2018 3:41 am

Does anybody under the age of 50 still depend on a newspaper for their news?

I rely on realclearpolitics.com to highlight opposing viewpoints. I still see what the mainstream propaganda line is, but also see the alternative arguments. And of course, when it comes to climate issues, wattsupwiththat.com is indispensable.

Reply to  George Lawson
October 15, 2018 5:19 am

The answers to our planet’s survival are not from scientists … it’s now political columnists who lead the way.

But do 97% of them agree?

Reply to  Tim
October 15, 2018 1:40 pm

About 256.97% agree.
289.43% agree that their mathhs skills are awesome.

Mods – I know you are numerate, as well as literate; but, in case, /SARC.

Coeur de Lion
October 15, 2018 1:50 am

Perhaps the secret agenda of the warmest Left is a world revolution fuelled by starving 3rd World masses and first world unemployed?

John Endicott
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
October 15, 2018 9:24 am

The not so secret agenda of the warmest Left is to reduce the population by billions. starving the poorest of the energy they need to survive is just one means of getting there.

Phillip Bratby
October 15, 2018 1:51 am

There is no doubt that the insanity of the warmalarmists is reaching unprecedented levels, perhaps it has even reached a tipping point, but it is definitely unsustainable.

I think I’ve got all the PC bits in there.

October 15, 2018 1:52 am

I actually love seeing the Left destroy themselves with such INSANE proposals as tripling gas prices….

I hope they keep pumping out these crazy ideas, and are voted out of office.

IPCC’s great proposal last week was for global governments to waste $122 TRILLION to “fix” the CAGW hoax.

If Leftists were actually serious about CAGW, they’d propose global governments spending about $4 Trillion to completely replace grid-level fossil fuel power with LFTRs within 30 years, after commercial LFTRs become commercially viable in about 10 years…

Mo’ bedda, just let the market decide the form and timing of which power sources is best to replace fossil fuels in the future.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  SAMURAI
October 16, 2018 7:34 am

What are “LFTRs?” Kindly spell out all acronyms when first using them in a post!

Michael Carter
October 15, 2018 1:56 am

Excessive fuel costs would most probably plunge an economy into recession

and – getting China and India to play ball?


All this stuff is just lip service to an ideal. The global warming agenda is a great juggernaut created by themselves and over which they too now have no control. The “keep below 1.5 C” is a case of falling on ones sword if there ever was one.

They have painted themselves into a corner. There is no way that global emissions can be reduced to the levels they specify. If +1.5 is not breached in the given time-frame, then this is absolute proof that they have been wrong all along. We all know that the planet wont even sneeze if this happens anyway.

I am fairly sure that they fiddled with the 20th century data (or at very least cherry-picked it) but they wont get away with this in the 21st. There are too many informed parties watching, plus these wonderful things called satellites being analysed by honest people.

Its going to be quite a party 🙂



Tom Abbott
Reply to  Michael Carter
October 15, 2018 5:55 am

“Excessive fuel costs would most probably plunge an economy into recession”

I heard a couple of experts on CNBC one time say that every $0.80 rise in the price of a gallon of gasoline reduces U.S. GDP by one percent and every $0.80 reducton in the price of a gallon of gasoline increases U.S. GDP by one percent.

So a price increase of $4.00 per gallon would pretty much wipe out the current U.S. GDP of 4.2 percent, so you can imagine what raising the cost of a gallof of gasoline by $240.00 would do to the economy. It’s not going to happen.

Greg Woods
October 15, 2018 2:15 am

‘ With luck, a genuine breakthrough might occur: perhaps advances in electric batteries or storage. That would make wind and solar power more practical.’

On the other hand, we could just jump off of a cliff…

Reply to  Greg Woods
October 15, 2018 3:30 am

At least he’s pegged that current solar and wind generation are ‘impractical’ and I note more and more are beginning to speak heresy to the true believers-

Here’s another classic case in Oz as two of the major national power providers who are up to their armpits themselves in unreliables begin to panic about the plethora of ‘unfirm’ power providers jumping on the bandwagon and threatening to break the interconnected communal power grid-

With their tech guys they must know that cascading blackouts ever closer with peak summer demand will bring the wrath of consumers down on all their heads looking for answers as they’ve paid through the nose for all these fickle electrons with the promise they’ll save Gaia and be cheaper at the same time. It was always their lunar prescriptions that would bring the doomsdayers undone and anyone who hitches their star to them.

Reply to  Greg Woods
October 15, 2018 4:12 am

Greg Woods: an advance in electric batteries? One kilogram of gasoline contains 100 times the energy contained in a one kilogram, fully charged lithium ion battery. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that gap to be closed.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Trebla
October 15, 2018 6:22 am

More importantly, what difference would it make if “we” in the West made these cuts. The rest of the world won’t, unless we subsidize their extensive use of renewables—which our voters won’t stand for.

Reply to  Trebla
October 15, 2018 9:34 am

I could swear that a flock of flying pigs went over the house yesterday.
So anything is now possible…

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Greg Woods
October 16, 2018 7:38 am

Better yet, the people pushing this blatant propaganda and their “supporters” could just jump off a cliff. To, you know, “do their part” to “save” us from the, you know, NON-EXISTENT crisis.

Anything short of that, given their ridiculous rhetoric, is pure hypocrisy.

Chris Morrison
October 15, 2018 2:16 am

They have all gone completely mad. Robert J Samuelson is a financial hack of long standing, now trying his hand as a high priest of doom in the climate religion game. He suggests whacking the price of oil and gas up the wazoo to discourage use. Of course such a course would drastically lower tax revenue and throw millions out of work – as well he probably knows, but hey let’s not interrupt the lecture from the pulpit. Then “with luck” we can find new battery technology that will help drain the oceans of red ink currently submerging the so-called renewables industry.

We have a recognized medical condition called Trump Derangement Syndrome. Now we have a similar condition developing with the IPCC. Peter Frankopan, said to be a professor of “global history” at the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, warned that global warming would release deadly diseases that have been trapped in the ice caps. Reported in the London Times, he noted that the great plague was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, wiping out 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. “These are the things we should be hugely worried about”, he noted.

And the next lesson is taken from ………….

Reply to  Chris Morrison
October 15, 2018 3:42 am

“They have all gone completely mad.”

The madding of crowds as Lindzen nails them with their pampered Groupthink-

David Chappell
Reply to  Chris Morrison
October 15, 2018 4:57 am

“Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research”
A classic…

October 15, 2018 2:17 am

Yes the satillites. So can we just use the good data from the satillites, wether ballons and the Argo bouys. Using the ground based stations is probably what got us into this mess or hoex in the first place.


October 15, 2018 2:20 am

The madder the ideas they call for , the less chance there is of anyone taken notice of them , hence they should be encouraged to get ‘madder’

October 15, 2018 2:26 am

If CO2 really is such an existential threat to the planet, the solution is trivial… Replace old coal-fired power plants with natural gas-fired and nuclear power plants. Only build new coal-fired power plants with CCS, ideally use the CO2 for EOR. This would yield deep cuts in emissions very quickly and cost a lot less than “imposing indescribable economic pain, while hoping for a bit of luck.”

However, the greentards shun natural gas, abhor nuclear power and oppose CCS when it serves a useful purpose.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 15, 2018 3:25 am

What fraction of NPP have failed, and what fraction have failed by melting fuel? Meanwhile the USN has about SEVEN THOUSAND REACTOR-YEARS of safe operation. <<== that’s an eggcorn to inspire doubters to go and look into the actual number.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
October 15, 2018 3:43 am

The greens are stupid enough to believe that wind, solar, batteries and unicorn farts can replace fossil fuels and nuclear power.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  David Middleton
October 15, 2018 7:35 am

Its the pixie dust that will save us from climate change… that’s the key you are overlooking.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
October 15, 2018 9:39 am

Disney’s First Law: “Wish and it will come true.”

Reply to  David Middleton
October 15, 2018 9:40 am


Thanks for the shout-out to nuclear. It warms my cold little fissionable heart to hear it.

But, if greens think unicorn farts can reduce CO2 emissions, they’re really ignorant. Those cursed capitalists have done it again, and are already exploiting UFs for other purposes:



Leo Smith
October 15, 2018 2:28 am

Perfect solution.

The plebs pay more.

The government gets bigger.

The oil companies can hide profits in increased taxation.

Zero effect on the environment.

Massive virtue signal.

What’s not to like?

October 15, 2018 2:38 am

We already effectively a massive carbon tax on fuel in the UK. It’s called Fuel Duty nad effectively doubles the price of petrol.

I doubt whether it has had any impact at all on the miles we drive. After all, we all need to travel to work, holidays, shops etc. When petrol prices go up, we just grin and bear it!

Reply to  Paul Homewood
October 15, 2018 5:49 am

Or buy a motor scooter.

Richard Verney
October 15, 2018 2:45 am

Doubling or tripping fuel prices will not curb fossil fuel usage.

This is clear since the price of fuel (petrol/gasoline) is about 3 times as high in Europe as it is in the US, and car usage is at an all time high with roads in gridlock. High fuel prices has not forced people off the road, it has merely resulted in a push for smaller economical cars.

The same would happen in the US. There would be few 7 litre or 5 litre gas guzzlers sold, but rather the trend would be towards smaller and lighter cars with more efficient 2 to 3 litre engines.

George Lawson
Reply to  Richard Verney
October 15, 2018 7:50 am

….and like the current car industry in Britain that is showing a current 10 per cent reduction in sales due to some idiot saying that diesel fumes ‘might’ be injurious to our health, the US car industry will be changed for the worst. Greens have an awful lot to answer for. in the UK. In addition to trying to ruin the car industry They have been responsible for closing factories with the banning of plastic bag sales in supermarkets; they are now starting to cause havoc in the plastic packaging industry following that rather ridiculous statement by Sir David Attenborough, in his Blue Planet programme in which he said that plastic waste was having a disastrous effect on the oceans wildlife. And only today in the UK, fracking has started following a seven year delay caused by objections from the Greens and their negative band of warriors. Seven years of gas supply lost through a judge taking the side of these idiots.
And all this in addition to being responsible for a huge increase in energy costs through advocating the closing down of our power stations in favour of using very expensive renewables etc, etc, The Green movement should be culled, they are a massive boil on the arse of progress.

John in Oz
October 15, 2018 2:48 am

That would make wind and solar power more practical.

So, while admitting that the current green-frenzy for unreliables are impractical, he is doubling down and asking for more of the same.

The fool that calls this man an drongo is no idiot.

October 15, 2018 2:56 am

The guy is nuts.

Triple gas and oil prices will cause a greater calamity than the supposed global warming crisis.

Economics is my thing and I can tell you that to do such a stupid thing will kill millions from starvation.

What a way for civilization to end!

Reply to  Roger
October 15, 2018 8:31 am

Much bigger. Much much bigger, if done worldwide. There’s no risk though of that.

These madmen luckily have freefom of speech so weclearn what NOT to do.

October 15, 2018 2:57 am

“My own preference is messier and subject to all the above shortcomings.”

As you were scientific and economic folks as Bob was having a little joke with us and the punch line was ‘subject to all the above shortcomings.”

William Marsh
October 15, 2018 3:05 am

OT – did anyone see the 60 Minutes ‘interview’ (which was actually an attack) of Pres Trump last night? It was an attack interview because the reporter kept interrupting him to make counterarguments and he couldn’t even get a thought out before being attacked. In the first part of the interview the reporter attacked him over his AGW stance, spewing misinformation galore. I was especially impressed with her lack of knowledge, ” how can you deny climate change? Greenland is melting down and calving into the ocean, raising sea levels…”

Doug Huffman
Reply to  William Marsh
October 15, 2018 3:27 am

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

Reply to  William Marsh
October 15, 2018 5:11 am

William, I saw that interview as well. The ignorance of Lesli Stahl is truly stunning. Guess the news reports are going to be that Trump bullied the reporter. Why else would they keep cutting back to her stunned face as Trump takes her to the cleaners?

Trump made an ignorant statement, but he could have been pulling their chain. He was asked something like “What about climate change?” and he replied something like “I believe the climate changes. It has gotten warmer, but it’s always changing. It could get cooler.” Which put Lesli in a true tizzy, but she couldn’t even remember why they call it “Climate Change” meaning “Human Caused Climate Change”. That’s when she went into her pre-planned Greenland ice sheet melting equals sea level rise zinger which was supposed to throw him for a loop. He just rolled over it.

I think Trump has their number. They couldn’t resist showing his replies because they were a great performance. But they still think they won because the poor little female reporter got rolled. They will pick a bunch of clips out of context and make him look bad in their reporting, but if anyone watches the actual interview it will tell the tale. Just like the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin, they will try to make him look like an idiot in the clips. But it will only work with the ignorant New York Times readers who completely agree with the ignorant nonsense in Lesli’s head.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  William Marsh
October 15, 2018 6:08 am

“did anyone see the 60 Minutes ‘interview’ (which was actually an attack) of Pres Trump last night?”

I saw it. It is to be expected that 60 Minutes would attack President Trump. I thought Trump handled himself very well and was in control of the interview. Leslie Stahl tried her best to trip him up but was not successful.

On human-caused climate change Trump effectively said: The jury is still out. Which it is.

William Marsh
October 15, 2018 3:08 am

Punish the poor, make it so they have to choose between heating their homes or driving their cars. That’s the way to stop climate change. Drive them unto the government doll so they have no choice but to continue to vote for the people who drove them further into poverty.

October 15, 2018 3:31 am

Much of the rest of the world has been paying 3 or 4 times that for America for donkey’s years, and have come up with some steady improvements but no breakthrough in half a century. It is not for the want of scientists.

old construction worker
October 15, 2018 3:43 am

Washington Post Economics Columnist Robert J. Samuelson: There is a guy that may live in the city, may or may not own a car, makes over a $200,000,00 per year and wants the price of oil to increase to $150.00 per barrel or price of gasoline to reach $6.00 per gallon. I would like to do an economic experiment with him. cut his income down to nation average and increase the price of everything he buys by the added value tax (carbon tax) 15% from raw material, 15% from refinery and 15% retail sales and see if he enjoys it.

Johann Wundersamer
October 15, 2018 3:44 am

We’re on mission impossible to solve global warming

By Robert J. Samuelson
October 14 at 7:34 PM:

“With luck, a genuine breakthrough might occur.”

First genuine breakthrough for Washington Post Economics Columnist Robert J. Samuelson could be to leave Washington Post for the real world and make there a living on his own hands

without the help of “fossil fuels”.

Peta of Newark
October 15, 2018 3:54 am

Much better idea and the greenies, such as our man here today, cannot argue it.

Shut down the internet.

Just 3 example reasons why:
1. Bitcoin mining in Iceland has more than doubled electricity consumption in Iceland.

2. About 3 or 4 years ago, the BBC admitted that running servers *just* to maintain their iPlayer reaching less than 0.5 million people, used more electricity than their entire conventional broadcast network of huge mats, aerials and microwave links which covered 60+ million people.

3. An article recently I came upon suggested that watching a movie delivered by Netflix was using the same electricity as having 3 incandescent bulbs burning in your house. This was just the storage and delivery and *before* you count the PC or TV you’re actually watching.

Quick wits will realise major benefits to come out of that, even before Windows 10 bites the dust.

Any comment Samuelson……..

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 15, 2018 3:59 am

mats – haha. masts.
As a kid, I was always impressed by Radio Luxembourg.
10 Mega Watts of grunt.

I oft wondered why all the Luxonians weren’t fried to a crisp

October 15, 2018 3:59 am

Taxes seen by the population as too unfair or too burdensome destroy governments and regimes .
You might think that Americans, of all people, would realise that.

October 15, 2018 4:15 am

The WaPo and the whole left are showing with this monstrous IPCC power/money grab, how far they have moved from being the political representatives of poorer and working people. They turned their backs on blue collar workers living on marginal domestic budgets, preferring the social justice warrior agenda of urban elites – this shift is what handed Trump the last election. Now they have a climate plan to put most of the blue collar class on the streets.

This strategy lost them the last election. They’re doubling down, and will go on losing big time.

How extraordinary that climate skeptics are today the ones defending the working class and those less well off. Not everyone lives in LA or Palo Alto.

Chris H
October 15, 2018 4:32 am

The give away that none of the people promoting this scam actually believe in it is that none of them have changed their life styles one iota. If the situation was truly as desperate as they claim, they would have already made the changes they wish to enforce upon us. The day that they revert to a pre-industrial life style, renouncing all use of fossil fuels including synthetic fabrics, live in timber buildings eschewing cement, concrete and steel and forgo the benefits of electricity and modern medical care, I shall give their claims consideration. Until then, I shall completely ignore their ludicrous assertions.

Reply to  Chris H
October 15, 2018 5:06 am


Russ R.
Reply to  Chris H
October 15, 2018 12:30 pm

There is nothing stopping the author from implementing this “tax” on himself, and telling us all about it’s wonderful benefits. Keep your fuel receipts and calculate how much tax you owe. Send that money in with your income taxes.

The feds will ACCEPT your payment. Better add another 30% for the increased fuel cost of all the other non-fuel items that would be higher under your scheme.
After you experience it for a while, try to convince other watermelons that they should get on board. Let us know how committed you are to this cause, before you try to FORCE it on the rest of us.

October 15, 2018 4:55 am

Until they start calling for a large scale and rapid nuclear power program it is impossible to take this stuff seriously.

October 15, 2018 4:55 am

All of us need to respond to these sorts of things in the appropriate media outlets. Consensus climate science isn’t rigorous science and the public needs to know how bad it is.

My guess is that half the people out there don’t understand that the arctic freezes completely in the winter. They don’t understand that the oceans have 1000x the heat capacity of the atmosphere, so coral reefs can sleep through whatever minor warming has happened– if it’s even happened and if the temperature record is reliable!

It’s great to discuss things here but those clowns need some pushback. Eventually more and more people, we hope, will see that none of this makes any sense.

kent beuchert
October 15, 2018 5:07 am

It’s typical that the Wash Post would ask an economist to solve a problem he has no competence about. I love the idea that cheaper batteries will make solar and wind better (apparently the news that wind turbines cause warming hasn’t reached him yet). And the idea of a “breakthru” also displays considerable ignorance about future energy technologies, which basically reduces to molten salt small moduler nuclear reactors.
By my calculations, roughly $3 trillion worth of molten salt reactors could replace all of the electricity generation from CO2 sources and also replace all gasoline used for personal transportation.

October 15, 2018 5:14 am

The reality is that global carbon emissions are rising….

….in third world sh1tholes

So we’re going to tax the countries where it’s falling

October 15, 2018 5:46 am

Hey Washington Post, just send the bill to Amazon.

October 15, 2018 5:47 am

Notice the really important and striking point in this piece.

It is not the proposal to double or triple prices.

It is the use of ‘we’. ‘We’ should double or triple prices. Who is this ‘we’? Is he proposing that China and India, for instance, double or triple energy prices?

Don’t think so. He is proposing we, the USA, double or triple OUR energy prices.

Suppose we did. Suppose that reduced our transportation emissions by 50%. Right now we are doing about 5 billion tons a year. I guess one third or so is transport? So we reduce that one third by half, and we drop from 5 billion tons to 4 billion tons.

In the meantime, if it takes us a couple of years, China and India and developing world have raised their own emissions by several billion.

So lets hear it again. Why exactly are we supposed to double the prices? This is the usual American Green fantasy, that the US can single handedly by unilateral action lower global emissions. It just cannot. Its only doing 5 billion and falling out of 37 billion. No matter what America does unilaterally its not going to help. And yet, the Greens keep on demanding it make reductions while refusing to ask the other emitters of the other 32 billion to make any reductions.

As part of a concerted international action, in which everyone would make obligatory swingeing reductions, it might make sense. But this is not what is being proposed. What’s being proposed is make hugely expensive reductions which would substantially de-industrialize America, while everyone else carries on or increases emitting. Why?

Note by the way that his estimate of what would be required and effective is right at the bottom end of the recent IPCC estimates. The IPCC midpoint would probably be a ten times increase in prices. Worldwide, as well. Not just in America.

Go figure. To me this is yet another example of, lets make an impossible and useless demand, because it will not be met, and then we can use the failure to do it as something to organize around. This time not by some random agitator, but by a well respected economist writing in the Washington Post. Signs of the times.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  michel
October 15, 2018 7:29 am

The first step on return to sanity on these efforts is to understand its not about CO2 or any of its believed effects on Global Climate.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  michel
October 16, 2018 8:27 am

“As part of a concerted international action, in which everyone would make obligatory swingeing reductions, it might make sense. But this is not what is being proposed. What’s being proposed is make hugely expensive reductions which would substantially de-industrialize America, while everyone else carries on or increases emitting. Why?”

Good question. And to add to that, if the environmentalists/Climate Nazis are supposedly concerned about “pollution,” and the EXPORT of industry and jobs from first world countries (like the U.S.) to “developing” countries means those transferred industries will operate under LESS controls of ACTUAL “pollution,” their stupid proposed policies will INCREASE (REAL) pollution, all while doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about “climate change.”

The stupidity, it burns!!!

October 15, 2018 5:48 am

Let’s make the whole country look like Sears….in the final days.

October 15, 2018 5:49 am

I’m already paying USD 7 per gallon (not living in the US) and it did not bring a single scientific breakthrough and it did not stop global warming.

October 15, 2018 5:53 am

Ask not what crytpo miners can do for you, but what you can do for the cryptos.

Arno Arrak
October 15, 2018 5:57 am

Here we go again. Environmentalists. supported by that pseudo-scientist Hansen, wll do anything to keep CO2 out of the air, even if it means destroying our lifestyle and civilization. What if that CO2 is not made by humans but by natyre? And it is so unnecessary because we could easily switch over to nuclear power. I have not seen any reasoned objections to it, just distorted and overblown fears of accidents. A total waste was first allowing the Long Island Shoreham nuclear power station to be built, then tearing it down, and then sticking the ratepaters for the cost. I am still paing for it through my electric mills. It is well gidden in fine print so most people don’t even kno it. And then they wqnder why we have the highest electric rates in the nation.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Arno Arrak
October 15, 2018 6:35 am

“Environmentalists. supported by that pseudo-scientist Hansen, wll do anything to keep CO2 out of the air, even if it means destroying our lifestyle and civilization.”

Actually, Hansen (and Gore and a couple of other bigshot climatologists) support nuclear power. I predict that more will now join their faction.

Reply to  Arno Arrak
October 15, 2018 6:58 am

Environmentalists. supported by that pseudo-scientist Hansen, wll do anything to keep CO2 out of the air, even if it means destroying our lifestyle and civilization.

No, they will do anything to keep American CO2 out of the air. Chinese, Indian, Indonesian CO2 does not bother them in the least.

The only kind they want to reduce, at any cost, is the kind which is too small in amount to make any difference.

Ask yourself why.

Coach Springer
October 15, 2018 6:01 am

What crisis? And when tripling fuel tax leaves the climate changing, maybe double that tax again?

Roger Knights
October 15, 2018 6:04 am

“Join 49,990 other subscribers”

FINALLY that “odometer” is going to get over the 50,000 level! Three cheers!

Steven (back in KY)
October 15, 2018 6:21 am

Just ban all aircraft flights……..that will help. 😉

October 15, 2018 6:52 am

Well, you could double or triple prices with a Saudi shutdown and continued political dysfunction in Venezuela and Canada.

Joel O’Bryan
October 15, 2018 7:20 am

I wholeheartedly agree that every Democratic Party candidate should immediately get behind this commonsense proposal to increase fuel taxes so as to triple their current price. $10/ gallon gas should be their rallying cry to save the Earth.

Democrats need to make it part of their campaign platform to save the planet, it’s the least they can do if they really want to solve climate change. I could foresee climate change being solved in short order if they’d just publicly embrace this proposal.

Bruce Cobb
October 15, 2018 7:22 am

The Climate Cuckaloos sure are on a mission; to destroy the US economy, and create a world-wide depression which would kill millions of poor people, especially the old, the sick, and the very young, all in the name of “saving the planet”. They are pure evil, making Hitler himself look small-time.

michael hart
October 15, 2018 7:22 am

Something like this has already been tried in the UK. Back in the 90’s the government introduced “the fuel price escalator” for the usual bad reasons. When it became too much to bear there were significant protests by farmers and truck drivers, causing disruption of the nation’s fuel supply. The government eventually climbed down and the price escalator was dropped before the year 2000. It even has its own Wikipedia page.

It seems the lesson hasn’t been taken on board by the planet-savers. They are now expecting to get away with doing something far far worse.

Lee L
October 15, 2018 7:39 am

Not having read the latest IPCC screed, I could be mistaken here but …

What better things could you do with a small part of 122 Trillion and still get the result you are seeking ( assuming that is much lower CO2 emissions)?

It seems to me that the UN could spend, say, a TRILLION on actively promoting and supplying contraception to the places where the fossil burning populace is going to grow dramatically. ( India, China, Africa) as well as everywhere else since fossil fuels don’t mine, transport, refine or burn themselves without human intervention. Fewer humans makes fewer users makes less demand makes less CO2 and everything else the greens wring their hands about. But no. Nary a word.

Reply to  Lee L
October 15, 2018 9:25 am

Supplying contraceptives to poor places has never had an impact on the rate of child birth.
In third world countries they have kids because kids are an extra set of hands that makes the family richer.
Families don’t reduce the number of kids they have until kids become a burden, rather than an asset. The only way that ever happens is for the families to become richer.

Steve O
Reply to  Lee L
October 16, 2018 9:18 am

$122 Trillion isn’t a number, it’s a concept. It’s given in order to make all other alternatives sound inexpensive.

October 15, 2018 7:52 am

Society adjusts to tax, any tax. What’s really funny is that if the tax is applied planet wide, the people who will be hurt the most are the poor. Many products are made from fossil fuels. That puts a lot of the goods and services that result from those products out of reach. If the taxes aren’t planet wide, then all AGW is doing is determining where things are made.
How do you harvest the crops, process them, and move them to market? Think those combines, tractor trailers, refrigeration, cleaning and packaging are going to be done with electricity from wind and solar?
I’ve bought 3 as in THREE battery powered electric lawn mowers….. when I buy them, the very first question is ” Can I return it?”… All three died before the end of the season, and the season here is short.
$240/gal gas? Then everything else will be in proportion. Did society stop working because gas went from 10 cents/gal to $3/gal ? Wages won’t stagnant. For the $240/gal gas, wages will go to $80,000/week at least.
Evidently, AGW has no concept of market. There is no command economy that has ever been successful. EVER!
Let a ‘thousand gardens bloom’, might add to slightly, but if you rely solely on it, you will starve. NOKO anyone??

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  rishrac
October 15, 2018 9:43 am

You said, “Society adjusts to tax, any tax.” Including a 100% tax? I suspect that society can adjust to taxes up to the limit of disposable income. Beyond that, changes in life style and standard of living will be necessary.

October 15, 2018 8:07 am

I love these rich SOBs saying they want to triple the fuel cost. They don’t care how high the costs go, they’re income is in the six digits. Somehow, they totally ignore the single mom living outside of town who needs to drive to work. If her fuel cost triples, her kids don’t eat … but arrogant jerkwagons like Robert Samuelson overlook her needs entirely.

Grrrr …


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 15, 2018 8:24 am

So true.

Conservatives care, elites don’t. They should though. Tripling fuel price had severe effects on economy, including these people who get easily jobless in case the people needs to pay more for fuel. The economical illiteracy is as common is the scientific one.

Tripling fuel price would easily triple anything that depends on energy. That’s a lot of economy. After having a three-digit inflation with no dent on world CO2 emissons growth, they might think.

This age is gonna go in history books as the age on insanity and hysteria.

Reply to  Hugs
October 15, 2018 8:36 am

Typos unintentional. Sorry, getting angry.

Reply to  Hugs
October 15, 2018 9:28 am

Increasing energy costs can’t cause inflation. The reason for that is because the money that is being spent on energy is no longer spent on other things. As demand for those other things goes down, the price for those other things goes down as well.

Only inflating the money supply faster than the economy is growing can cause inflation.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 9:47 am

Yes and no. depends on the elasticity of price of the goods.

Non-essentials are very price elastic, so yes as you say, less demand will eventually result in price drops (or more likely businesses going out of business entirely as their costs will have increased but their revenues will have decreased – companies still need to cover costs in order to stay in business, they can’t drop prices below their costs and expect to remain a viable business.).

Essentials, on the other hand, are not very price elastic. You still need food, for example, so the demand for food will still be there regardless of price. But now the cost of shipping that food to your local store has gone up, resulting in the price to buy it going up.

The net result is that your dollar’s purchasing power decreases and you will be getting less for each dollar as the costs to make and ship the goods you still do buy will have gone up forcing the prices of those goods to go up in order to cover the added costs. And your choice of goods to purchase will also have decreased as makers of goods for which demand has dropped go out of business because, to reiterate, companies still need to cover costs in order to stay in business, they can’t drop prices below their costs and expect to remain a viable business.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 15, 2018 1:24 pm

It doesn’t matter how price inelastic a good is if the populace no longer has enough money to buy it.

The only thing price elasticity does is prolong the period of adjustment, it doesn’t eliminate the adjustment.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
October 16, 2018 5:32 am

The populace will shift it’s spending from the price elastic goods (ie the non-essentials) to the price inelastic goods (ie the essentials). Overall that will be bad news for the economy as the price of goods still being bought is inflated to cover the added costs and the goods that aren’t being bought will no longer be available for sale (as companies who can’t cover the costs go out of business, shrinking the economy).

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 10:07 am

Also, remember too that efficiencies of scale factor in as well. Let’s look at those businesses for whom demand decreases due to money being spent elsewhere.

Lets say at current demand, company A can make Widget B at $1.00 per unit cost because they can manufacture the widget in large enough numbers that the total cost per unit is $1.00. Now you add this crippling tax, and since fuel costs are a big part of company A’s manufacturing costs let’s say the cost per unit at that volume increases to $1.50 as a result. However, demand has dropped thanks to that tax diverting money elsewhere in the economy, so company A no longer can sell at that volume and thus won’t be manufacturing at that volume. At the lower volume, the cost per unit will also increase due to the decreased volume (it’s less efficient to make fewer at a time) so now it costs, say, another 5 cents per unit due to the smaller scale of operations. price per unit is now $1.55. Assuming the company’s profit margin was modest to begin with, while they could temporarily lower price in order to move previously manufactured inventory that suddenly became excess to demand, there, however, is no way they can continue to stay in business at a lower price – their costs have gone up too much to make continued operations viable at a lower price. Their prices have to rise or they have to go out of business. Even if you can somehow call the increased costs of the tax a wash, the increase in costs of scale due to lower demand is still an form of inflation.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 10:12 am

Bottom line, when you increase costs enough, prices will rise because companies need to cover costs in order to stay in business. so yes, increasing the cost to do business does inflate prices.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 15, 2018 1:26 pm

Yes companies can try to increase their prices, but that doesn’t mean the consumers have the money to buy at these new prices.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
October 15, 2018 6:46 pm

And if they can’t sell at a price that covers their costs, they go out of business. Enough businesses go out of business and the economy shrinks.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 15, 2018 10:20 am

Only inflating the money supply faster than the economy is growing can cause inflation.

conversely the money supply staying the same as the economy rapidly shrinks (due to economy crippling taxes) can have the same effect

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 15, 2018 1:25 pm

“jerkwagons” — I like it, except I would capitalize it and use it differently — Jerkwagons: Modes of transport used to avert erroneously conceived planetary warming, constructed to work using technology that casts people who are not affluent into dire survival straights, in order to support the delusions of those who insist on driving these vehicles.

October 15, 2018 8:24 am

“If there were any doubt before, there should be none now.” That statement is more a function of ratcheting up hysteria than reality.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

H. L. Mencken

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joey
October 15, 2018 10:09 am

A timely quote, Joey. 🙂

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Joey
October 16, 2018 8:45 am

One of my favorite quotes. Especially since it describes AGW/”Climate Change” to a tee, and did so long before anybody ever suggested such a thing. As I like to put it, it’s “the best description of so-called “climate change” you will ever hear.”

October 15, 2018 8:46 am

The Washington compost has a real, let them eat cake attitude. Someone should roll a guillotine up to their front door.

Charles Higley
October 15, 2018 9:41 am

“With luck, a genuine breakthrough might occur: perhaps advances in electric batteries or storage. That would make wind and solar power more practical.”

We know already that wind and solar are the least green power sources on the planet, with huge footprints, unrecyclable materials, huge infrastructure, shorter than projected lifetimes, and intermittent power production.

Batteries have the limits of chemistry unless you get into installations as large as solar farms. [Using supercpacitors is horrendously dangerous.] And then there is the lifetimes of batteries, which means they also have to replaced regularly and have high maintenance costs. Very simply, the available energy storage devices would easily double the costs of mind and solar, magnifying even more the infrastructure as well. It is a lost cause but is always pushed by the greenies as a possibility.

In the real world lithium hydride batteries have the highest energy density available as they include to two lightest useful elements. Batteries, such as sodium hydride, are much heavier but then they would be large immobile building installations. There remains the inherent energy losses of transportation to and from these batteries and energy conversion to and from the batteries, not to mention the investment and maintenance costs.


Reply to  Charles Higley
October 15, 2018 9:21 pm

The advantage, and nearly the whole point, of batteries is energy portability, not energy storage. Making a battery that’s too big to carry defeats the purpose…

D. Anderson
October 15, 2018 10:06 am

To paraphrase (not by much) Barry Obama –

So if somebody wants to drive a car, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that gas.”

John Endicott
Reply to  D. Anderson
October 15, 2018 10:15 am

To paraphrase (not by much) Barry Obama –

If you like you car you can keep your car (you just won’t be able to afford the fuel needed to drive it anywhere).

October 15, 2018 10:10 am

Okay, I think I have a workable plan for those who want to phase out fossil fuel.

Cow manure !

Raise some cows, collect their excrement, shape it into logs, and burn these for heat. Give up cars and all other means of fossil-fuel-powered transportation by centralizing communities where everything is within walking distance. Maybe some horse drawn wagons can also be used, and use the horse manure for heating fuel too.

Of course, this would require lots of grueling physical labor, all day, every day, all the years of one’s life, but, hey, this level of physical exertion would keep bodies fit and healthy. A life based on processing crap could become most fulfilling.

Yes, I am proposing a utopia based on animal crap. Put away those iPhones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. No more devices to express all the angst. It’s time to get to work on some real living.

Nothing is more real than real crap, … lots of it, … the practical kind, … the kind you can actually get some use out of. What? — you say you want to save some time on all this crap handling? Well, forget the step of shaping it into logs — just mound it into big piles, and, within these piles, build a dwelling. The natural decay process will generate enough heat to keep you warm on those cold nights. What’s that? — the smell? Well, nobody said it would be easy. Real work involves some discomfort, and, in this case, the benefits of a bit of discomfort are worth it.

If you are willing to impose brutal discomforts on people by raising the costs of conventional fuels beyond people’s abilities to purchase, then, surely, you can bear the discomforts of a life dedicated to processing crap, in the name of environmental justice.

William Astley
October 15, 2018 11:01 am

Nuclear is the only scheme that would enable large reductions in CO2 emissions. (Say 50%).

Germany has proven that forced spending on wind and sun gathering is an expensive waste of money.

Doubling or tripling the cost of gasoline is not going to change the above.

The cult of CAGW’s science is 100% incorrect and their wind and sun gathering ‘plan’ to reduce CO2 emissions by even 50% is not possible, regardless as how much is spent.

German CO2 Emissions, No Reduction in 10 years.


France has the lowest CO2 emission per unit of electrical power produced (25% less than Germany after Germany spent $550 billion on ‘green’ energy) as the French have the highest percentage of electricity produced from nuclear.

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Joel Snider
October 15, 2018 11:28 am

Again – AGAIN – I ask: What returns are we going to get from this?

Even anything measurable?

I can guarantee you the disaster if they did this would be measurable.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Joel Snider
October 16, 2018 9:24 am

As Bjorn Lomberg calculated, the effect of the “Paris Climate Deal” would, similar to the Kyoto Protocol before it, have the effect (ASSUMING the BS they call CAGW to be correct) of reducing the average temperature by an amount too small to accurately measure, for a period of time measured in WEEKS, a HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW.

Doesn’t that lofty goal sound worth squandering TRILLIONS to accomplish?!

John Hardy
October 15, 2018 11:35 am

Good job he is talking USA. At current exchange rates, an (Imperial) gallon is about US$8.00, so tripling our fuel costs would mean a $24 gallon.

I wonder if he has worked out the effect on emissions worldwide even of reducing US car fuel consumption to zero. I suspect even that would make only a small percentage contribution

Harry Passfield
October 15, 2018 12:04 pm

Samuelson needs to sponsor some research about what happened to the climate following the quadrupling of oil by Saudi Arabia in 1974. (Clue: nothing)

Anyone advocating taxing the 1st world away from fossil-fuels is more a socialist than a scientist. They (socialists) will take the money and, when MMCC is no more – ‘cos it wasn’t a problem anyway – they will take the credit, and keep the money.

October 15, 2018 3:00 pm

“some of the tax revenue could reduce budget deficits”

Which means that the middle class would be paying down the bulk of these deficits which gets the rich off the hook of using their wealth. In other words, a carbon tax will help preserve the rich’s wealth.

Remember the days when the dems wanted to tax, tax, and tax the rich. Today, crickets…

ANY carbon tax that gets implemented by any state or nation is a direct attack on the middle class and a way for the rich to preserve their wealth. I really believe we should start framing a carbon tax in this way, I think it would be an effective way to slow down or even stop it.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  kramer
October 15, 2018 5:58 pm

It’s the French revolution all over again. The elite taxed the poor beyond the brink of revolution.

October 15, 2018 3:51 pm

What more will it take to convince warmers that CO2 has little, if any, effect on average global temperature. The warming trend that started in about 1973 ended in about 2002. CO2 has increased since 2002 about 40% of the increase 1800 to 2002 while average global temperature now is about the same as it was in 2002.

Derek Colman
October 15, 2018 4:59 pm

The solution to climate change is so simple. Just make fuel so expensive that the poor and the elderly all die of hypothermia. It has the added benefits of solving the over population problem, and killing off energy intensive industries. The latter also helps deal with over population because all the unemployed industrial workers will die of malnutrition. It’s a win, win situation.

October 15, 2018 6:44 pm

“By Robert J. Samuelson Columnist October 14 at 7:34 PM

If there were any doubt before, there should be none now. “Solving” the global climate change problem may be humankind’s mission impossible. That’s the gist of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N. group charged with monitoring global warming.

Unless we make dramatic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and others), warns the IPCC, we face a future of rapidly rising temperatures that will destroy virtually all the world’s coral reefs, intensify droughts and raise sea levels. We need to take action immediately, if not sooner.

My own preference is messier and subject to all the above shortcomings. I would gradually impose a stiff fossil-fuel tax (producing not a 10 or 15 percent price increase but a doubling or maybe a tripling of prices) to discourage fossil-fuel use and encourage new energy sources. In addition, some of the tax revenue could reduce budget deficits and simplify income taxes. With luck, a genuine breakthrough might occur: perhaps advances in electric batteries or storage. That would make wind and solar power more practical.
Right there, his last two sentences frankly admit renewables are false energy sources.

If Samuelson had bothered to run the numbers on how much land is required for solar or wind, he might suddenly realize that the magical “perhaps advances in electric batteries or storage” that he dreams about would have to be improvements taken to a power, not a simple incremental.

Plus, Samuelson appears to ignore the problems with renewable energy for industry, technology, mining, transportation, smelting and refining, communications and computers, etc.

Looking back a few years, these articles by Samuelson are not new stuff. His song is the same, with Earth doomed by Samuelson’s alleged solutions. All for temperature claims from a pathetic temperature collection, analysis and adjustment systems that are now used by government entities and religious activists devoted to demonizing CO₂.

” ROBERT J. SAMUELSON | Orange County Register February 11, 2007 at 3:00 am
“Since 1850, global temperatures have increased almost 1 degree Celsius. Sea level has risen about 7 inches. So far, global warming has been a change, not a calamity. The IPCC projects wide ranges for the next century: temperature increases anywhere from 1.1 degrees Celsius to 6.4 degrees; sea level rises anywhere from 7 inches to almost 2 feet. People might easily adapt; or there might be costly disruptions (say, flooding of coastal cities resulting from melting polar ice caps).

What we really need is a more urgent program of research and development, focusing on nuclear power, electric batteries, alternative fuels and the capture of CO2. Naturally, there’s no guarantee that socially acceptable and cost-competitive new technologies will result. But without them, global warming is more or less on automatic pilot.

Meanwhile, we could temper our energy appetite. We might be better off shifting some of the tax burden from wages and profits to a broader tax on energy or carbon. That would favor more fuel-efficient light bulbs, appliances and industrial processes.

Sound familiar?
After 12 years, surely the lack of significant warming and utter lack of CAGW dangers would temper Samuelson’s fantasies and proposed solution(s).
Considering that 2007 was 19 years after Hansen’s infamous predictions that never even started, one wonders just what Samuelson has been doing all of these years.

From the web, Samuelson repeats his claims and predictions periodically.

Reply to  ATheoK
October 15, 2018 6:50 pm

My apologies.
It appears that I screwed up a closing bold just before the closing blockquote in my first blockquote above.
It should be:
“That would make wind and solar power more practical.”

Arno Arrak
October 15, 2018 7:29 pm

This Wahington Post guy says rhat :
:We’re on mission impossible to solve global warming”

If his means trying to turn back warming he is probably right. The sarliestcooling period in our temperature char ts in use started about q877. Temperature steadily declined until the year 1910, over a 30 year period. At that point temperature change reversed itself and for the next thirty years, from 1910 to 1940, te,perature steadily rose. At ts the point in 1940 still another temperature reversal tok place and the notorious;y cold World War II cooling period descended upon us. It It bottomed out betweej1955 amd 1965 and then dlowly started to rise again. This cold spell gave rise to several cold stories in magazines that we later made fun of. The warming that grew out of this upward temoerature move has been the lomgest and steadieat in history. If it does not break soon our grandchildren will inherit a very warm planet. It is already 45 plus tears old and is still going strong. I want to emphasize that none of these temperature changes can be attributed to any gteenhouse effect warming by carbon dioxide or otjer GH gases. In 1988 Hansen, who claimed then to know what climate would do during the following 30 years, made an attempt to pin down the greenhouse effect to current human activity. One of his test curves was named scenario B and he prevented the currently formed greenhouse gases from workimg with scenario B after the year 2000. To compare the greenhouse warming before and after human contributions of course. What happened? there was no observable difference between the two sections of his scenario B. And if this is true, there is no other human- caused greenhouse effect anywhere else on this planet. (And obviously coolimg was out even before this.) Needless to say, none of the temperature ups and downs I described above can seem to be human caused. But they are real and need to be explained. I have come to thefollowing conclusions about that. First, we need a physical process that can create gloal winds working for substantial periods of time and yet be capable of changing its aspects when force is applied. I can think of mothing more likely than global winds that xover continental areas and ocean basins with equal probability. Seing that gas a big part of it overing the oceans, it is likely that part their burden is to carrys water vapor. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and bringing it into this area will contribute to the strength of the greenhouse effect associated with temperature changes. In some cases temperature change is very abrupt, like im 1910 and 1940. Think of two large cloudiness areas over an ocean that slowly ritate to bring their influemce to bear as the temperature divisions change under the influence of the moving global cloud cover. Glonal winds are involved in temperature changes and no addirional greenhouse

Steve O
October 16, 2018 9:14 am

The conversation makes no progress.

Anything that is politically feasible, is inconsequential Anything that might be impactful, is not feasible. And whether the alarmists care to admit it or not, the proof is simply insufficient to justify radical, expensive courses of action anyway.

AGW is not Science
October 16, 2018 9:35 am

“And whether the alarmists care to admit it or not, the proof is simply insufficient to justify radical, expensive courses of action anyway.”


October 16, 2018 3:40 pm

It is not simply a matter of increased cost. The ENERGY consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables exceeds the energy they produce in their lifetime. Without the energy provided by other sources, renewables could not exist. They can only exist now because fossil fuels are still used to power the industry to manufacture and install them, heat/cool the homes, power nearly all vehicles, power farming, etc. in support of the people involved. Incorporating mandatory storage and/or standby CSGT makes it much worse.

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