Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to green fund manager Erik Kobayashi-Solomon a carbon tax is the free market solution to the climate crisis.
Carbon Tax: The Ultimate Free Market Solution To Climate Change
Jan 25, 2019, 11:52am
Unlike a lot of mush-minded Greenies, I am under no illusion that a tax on carbon emissions will discourage people from burning carbon-based fuel or will serve just retribution on wasteful capitalists. Nor do I think that the taxing authority will use the collected funds for anything other than a typically idiotic boondoggle. In fact, I do not even believe that a carbon tax will do anything to stop the near-term effects of climate change (there is plenty of heat stored in the ocean, and those chickens will take decades to come home to roost).
No. My reasoning is based completely on free market considerations.
Humans do one thing phenomenally well: adapt to obstacles. If there is a mountain in front of us, we’ll climb it, build a tunnel through it, construct a road around it, and throw up a scenic overlook on the side of it.
The pure expression of human adaptability is the free market system.
The fact is that a $10 / ton carbon tax will do nothing or next to nothing to end prices or to the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. However, it will release the adaptive creativity of engineers and business people trying to find ways to help companies extract as much profit after the tax is imposed as they did before.
Then, it will be time to raise that tax to $15 / ton so we can watch the same wealth creating process occur once again.
Some people might find it fascinating to poke an ant’s nest with a big stick, to watch the ants unleash their “adaptive creativity” to repair the damage. But being poked with a big stick is pretty hard on the ants.
Here’s a radical thought Erik – instead of trying to argue the virtues of persuading politicians to coerce the “free market”, instead of celebrating the sacrifice and adaptability people would employ to overcome your artificial carbon tax mountain, how about developing products which people would want to purchase of their own free will?