Harvard Economics Professor: Global Carbon Tax, Give the Money to China

Kenneth Rogoff
Harvard Economics Professor Kenneth Rogoff. By the International Monetary Fund

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Harvard Professor and Guardian author Kenneth Rogoff thinks the best way to tackle climate change is to impose a global carbon tax, then use the money to help China and other poor countries eliminate their energy poverty and dependency on coal.

We must tackle global energy inequality before it’s too late

Kenneth Rogoff

There should be a worldwide tax on emissions backed by help for developing countries to cut CO2

While denizens of the world’s wealthiest economies debate the fate and fortune of the middle class, more than 800 million people worldwide have no access to electricity. And more than 2 billion have no clean cooking facilities, forcing them to use toxic alternatives such as animal waste as their main cooking fuel. Furthermore, per capita carbon dioxide emissions in Europe and the US are still vastly higher than in China and India. What right do Americans, in particular, have to complain as China increases production in smokestack industries to counter the economic slowdown caused by its trade war with the US? To many in Asia, the inward-looking debate in the west often seems both tone deaf and beside the point.

Any solution to the problem requires two interconnected parts. The first and more important is a global tax on CO2 emissions, which would discourage activities that exacerbate global warming and encourage innovation. Equating the price of CO2 emissions globally would eliminate distortions whereby, say, a US-based firm might choose to relocate its most carbon-intensive production to China. Moreover, a worldwide carbon tax would achieve in one fell swoop what myriad command-and-control measures cannot easily replicate.

The second critical component is a mechanism that impels emerging and less-developed economies to buy in to emissions reduction, which can be very costly in terms of forgone growth. In recent years, the biggest contributor to the global increase in CO2 emissions has been fast-growing Asia, where roughly one new coal plant is being built every week. For advanced economies, where the average coal plant is 45 years old, phasing out such facilities is low-hanging fruit in terms of reducing CO2 emissions. But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.

Kenneth Rogoff is professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University. He was the chief economist of the IMF from 2001 to 2003.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/06/global-energy-inequality-tax-emissions-co2

The author, Professor Kenneth Rogoff, is a person of influence; as a former senior figure in the IMF, and as a senior economics professor at one of the USA’s most prestigious universities, his economic theories are helping to shape global policy and the economic ideas of America’s next generation of leaders.

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January 7, 2020 10:11 am

An economist says this, huh?

Well, they don’t cal it the dismal science for nothing.

Old England
Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 12:16 pm

He sounds like a dyed-in-the-wool communist.

Anyone pushing that agenda seems determined to bring democracy to a permanent halt. With serious talk and even proposals in Germany and elsewhere of limiting freedom of speech where it is sceptical of man made climate change and other proposals being put forwards to criminalise anyone who argues that climate change is not man-made, democracy is under serious threat.

It seems clear that the sole purpose of ‘Climate Change’ policy is to heavily promote the dominance of Chinese manufacturing on the world stage whilst damaging or closing down the developed world and implementing an anti-democratic form of marxist world government.

This political battle is not one that mankind can afford to lose – democracy must prevail.

Reply to  Old England
January 7, 2020 2:57 pm

I agree with you 100% Old England! The battle is so much more difficult for us when we have been shut out of MSM. Most people are to lazy to do any of their own research, it’s easier for them to ‘go with the flow’. They think it’s about Climate and saving the world, and since the mostly leftist journalists think it’s their god given right, indeed their duty to promote CAGW and their own personal opinions then what hope have we got?

Reply to  Old England
January 7, 2020 3:12 pm

Communist? He’s not even a Keynesian. Advocating a global carbon market is the opposite of communism, he’s proposing letting the market decide where the efficiencies should take place.

Reply to  Simon
January 7, 2020 3:52 pm

Seriously Simon, he’s suggesting sending manufacturing and such, basically anything that can’t be supported by wind and solar renewables to China! A communist country, a powerful communist country that is already taking over the world by stealth. He wants to gift it to them.

Reply to  Megs
January 7, 2020 5:22 pm

The rich want to complete the looting of the West, then move to China and loot them, too.

Reply to  Megs
January 9, 2020 8:47 am

China has never been communist. When Mao’s “communists” came to power they imposed socialism: the means of production and distribution were brought under the control of the State.

Now that they’ve allowed some private ownership of companies, they have gone from socialism to a form of mixed economy that – combined with the government’s authoritarianism – is probably best described as “fascism”.

Reply to  Simon
January 7, 2020 6:15 pm

How is that going to work? Are you saying that the carbon tax will be voluntary? LOL!

Reply to  Simon
January 7, 2020 6:21 pm

Well Simon,

He is not advocating a global carbon market … he is advocating a GLOBAL CARBON TAX. After which he, and people like you, would get to decide what to do with the tax revenue.

Depending on your definition of communism (a utopia where everyone contributes, supports each other, and taxes aren’t necessary?) it may well be the opposite.

BUT, in no reasonable way can it be considered as ‘letting the market decide’ efficiencies; the only thing the market would decide is how to get around (or make a profit from) the tax scheme, while the regulators would get their cut and the needy would get screwed.

Reply to  Simon
January 7, 2020 7:16 pm

By that logic, the income tax is capitalism. After all people can cut how much they pay by making less money each year.

Reply to  Simon
January 7, 2020 11:38 pm

“But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.”

So what’s wrong with the IPCC getting President Xi to tax them into oblivion? After all China has plenty of solar panel wind turbine and battery manufacturing capacity and he only has to command it. Lefty heaven.

Reply to  Old England
January 8, 2020 12:44 pm

We didn’t elect any of these people to rule over us, not the UN, the IMF, the WHO or the World Bank.
About time we reclaimed the soverignty of the United States of America and tell them all to get stuffed. They hold no power over our country’s business decisions but that we freely cede.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 12:48 pm

Ah, the IMF.

As PJ O’Rourke says: you could get rid most of the US government whose job it is to keep an eye on upcoming international strife…just see where the IMF and World Bank go and there will be food riots in 6 months.

How about this: Professor Dumblemumble here invests 100% of his pension in renewable energy like solar and wind farms…

Bob Hunter
Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 1:52 pm

So true. AND, you would think an economist would understand an approx $400 billion trade deficit with China should be more than sufficient.

Typical Academic, not comprehending all the data outside the narrow sphere of their so called expertise.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Bob Hunter
January 7, 2020 4:38 pm

From the University that gave us Fauxcahontas and Constitutional law professor Obama. It seems that only a Harvard man could be idiotic enough to both believe such a scheme and to have enough hubris to utter it out loud.

Thomas Ryan
Reply to  Mickey Reno
January 7, 2020 5:31 pm

You can always tell a Harvard man, you just can’t tell hm much.

Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 2:59 pm

Take a look at what Mark Carney has just declared.



Reply to  Sommer
January 8, 2020 8:16 am

Unbelievable. The big boyz are desperate for global control.
In your face unelected power grab by the banksters.
Makes the EU bureaucracy look like a kid’s toy in a sandbox.

Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 5:30 pm

Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff clearly knows little about the fundamental question – are increasing CO2 emissions causing or will they cause catastrophic global warming.

He assumes YES, and the obvious answer to scientifically competent individuals is NO.

So he starts marching on the wrong foot and ends up there too.

Jesus wept.

January 9, 2020 8:53 am

If you wish to maintain your Establishment-sanctioned status, you need to parrot Establishment-sanctioned narratives, of which CAGW is one.

January 7, 2020 10:13 am

Excuse me. China a POOR COUNTRY? Pullease!

Reply to  fxk
January 7, 2020 10:19 am

Yeah I do not know many countries the citizens would allow this brain fart.

Reply to  fxk
January 7, 2020 11:19 am

yeah, no kidding

..and China and developing countries have no climate scientists..and have never heard about it

….they don’t believe in global warming one bit….and no, they are not suicidal either

per capita…..as soon as you hear that…you know it’s a $c@m….no one increased DDT or freon because they had more people
…and if China increases CO2 ‘per capita’ what are CO2 levels going to be?…..2000ppm?…..5000ppm?

per capita is the biggest $c@m

Old England
Reply to  Latitude
January 7, 2020 12:24 pm

China currently has plans for a further 300 new coal fired power stations by 2025 – some 5 a month.
Under its Belts and Roads program it is set to build a further 300 in developing nations on a similar timescale.
By 2030 China will be emitting more than 50% of global CO2 emissions.
The Paris Climate Agreement agreed to China Doubling and India trebling their CO2 emissions between 2016 and 2030. An Increase in global CO2 emissions of ~ some 48% – so the IPCC at Paris weren’t particularly concerned about reducing glo0bal CO2 emissions – merely those of the developed world.
If the UK went Carbon Neutral tomorrow that would be replaced by the Growth in China’s emissions within 6 months – if the EU went CO2 Neutral it would take China 3-4 years to replace that.

It is fairly clear that the IPCC isn’t particularly worried about CO2 emissions, but is desperate to hamstring the developed world.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Old England
January 7, 2020 1:00 pm

And he calls that ‘Energy inequality’!! I’d say that we, in the West, with all those useless windfarts and solarfarts are lacking equality.

Reply to  Old England
January 7, 2020 1:29 pm

…and if the USA went carbon neutral tomorrow…it wouldn’t make one damn bit of difference either

China does not believe in global warming one bit…

But as long as we all sit back and let these lunatics get away with blaming us for it…
…start calling them one it…before it’s too late

Old England
Reply to  Latitude
January 7, 2020 1:43 pm

Chinese meteorological agency shows cooling over last 20-30 years so hardly surprising they aren’t concerned about CO2 emissions – as do the Japanese and Danish MAs when you look at their Raw Temperature Data as it has been recorded – as opposed to the data after it has been homogenised by GISS or CRU etc.

Only Climate Model that has performed anywhere near the actual temperature changes is the Russian one and they don’t believe in MM CC either.

Check out notrickszone.com – they publish some great papers translated from German.

Lee L
Reply to  Old England
January 7, 2020 1:36 pm

Yes…5 per month. Let that sink in…they bring a new coal fired plant onstream every 6 days. A modern coal plant emits 12-20 million tons CO2 per annum depending on its size.

Further.. this situation is not new. China was doing this before it built too many to use and those plants it built are running and emitting now.

Some perspective:
A modern motor vehicle on average emits about 4 tons CO2 per annum.

Here where I live we drive maybe 1.6 million motor vehicles based originally on data from the government monopoly motor vehicle insurance company’s website ( data has since been disappeared from the site).

If we imagine eliminating every single gas/diesel motor vehicle from the roads in and around this city (Vancouver BC) and replacing them with zero emissions unicorns, and with all the surrounding towns and suburbs included, it would equate to 1.6 million x 4 tons = 6.4 million tons CO2 emissions per annum … about 1/3 of ONE of a new coal plants’ annual C)2 emissions.

Put another way, China is bringing onstream the emissions equivalent of 3 sizeable north American cities EVERY 5 DAYS.

But that’s alright. China is a ‘developing country’ according to the UN. Ask the people in Hong Kong how they feel about outside agencies ( UN) sending trillions to Xi Jinping. Oh..and that would be in addition to the many billions in currency sent to Chinese manufacturers for solar panels.

Reply to  Lee L
January 7, 2020 6:54 pm

EVs reducing emissions is a myth right up there with unicorns.

* Date: 23/04/19


Reply to  fxk
January 7, 2020 3:42 pm

Yeah I don’t get how anyone could think that fxk.

China has the highest number of ‘billionaires’ in the world. I’ve been there, twice. The highway systems would be the envy of many large cities, certainly Australia.

They recently completed a whole city capable of housing one and a half million people in two years! Right down to the air conditioning units for every apartment. Most of these cities remain empty for long periods of time, wealthy Chinese buy many of the apartments as investments, remembering, until relatively recently they weren’t allowed to own property in China. On one occasion during our travels we saw fourteen apartment buildings all being built at the same time.

The Chinese have nuclear power and weaponry, they send rockets into space, they have bought up large areas of land in many countries throughout the world.

Why are they considered a third world country? They are already receiving money from the UN! They shouldn’t even be receiving that let alone receiving additional ‘global’ taxes.

What an absolute joke!

Reply to  Megs
January 8, 2020 11:01 am

Just a caveat to your post about housing and China. I watched reporting on this a few years back and there’s a couple reasons for these empty cities.

-There is now a middle class in China with money looking to invest.

-There are not many investment opportunities in China for the average citizen. Real estate is one of the few available and real estate industry has run an effective campaign about how it is the best investment to be made.

-Chinese limits its average citizens on what they can invest in outside the country (aka not much). Like any country, the elites have more choices. If Jack Ma wants to buy Ford Motor Co. I doubt China would say he couldn’t.

This is what has led to these vast, empty cities. China’s building frenzy is part of what has led to their booming economy but it’s a house of cards without business or people to occupy those buildings. The warning of reporting is China has a huge real estate bubble that’s going to burst one of these days then look out. Citizens who thought they were the equivalent of our millionaires are going to be paupers because the multiple homes they own will be worthless. Part of the problem is the Chinese government can’t admit there’s a problem because that cause the crash to happen. When the new middle class wakes up and finds they don’t have what they think they have Hong Kong will look like a frat party.

E J Zuiderwijk
January 7, 2020 10:14 am

Once you reached the line where the ‘trade war with the US’ is mentioned, you realise that it’s all the US’ and the West’s fault. And therefore that the ‘learned’ professor has lost the plot completely.

January 7, 2020 10:17 am

“Harvard Economics Professor: Global Carbon Tax, Give the Money to China”
Where did he say that?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 10:30 am

“But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.”

there you go nick

Reply to  cj
January 7, 2020 10:44 am

He’s just saying you can’t tax plants into oblivion there.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 11:15 am

So he’s admitting that the tax would obliterate the industries ability to do its job? Everyone lives in dirt huts and sings kumbaya, the end.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 11:25 am

No, he’s just saying that you can’t tax plants into oblivion there. In fact, he’s saying that while in the West, the old coal plants would not be viable with a carbon tax, the newer plants in Asia would continue.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 12:52 pm

no, he’s saying they don’t believe this cr@p for one second
..and they will all say go pound sand

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 7:17 pm

He’s saying that we should tax Americans in order to give the money to the Chinese and Indians.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 11:48 pm

To be straight down the line he said “poor and middle-income countries” but you would assume that is all countries listed as “developing” under the IPCC which would include India and China. If he means something different he probably needs to rephrase that.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 12:03 pm

Nick’s faith in the Commie way of life is heart-warming.

David Chappell
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 12:46 pm

Mr Stokes you obviously skipped a few words
“…virtually impossible without outside aid.”

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  David Chappell
January 7, 2020 1:50 pm

Stokes would make a good economist in China.
They could ask for aid without asking for it.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 5:09 pm

“…He’s just saying you can’t tax plants into oblivion there…”

Do you have some sort of disability that prevents you from reading the rest of the sentence? It was even spelled-out for you…and your reply suggests that you still can’t read it. Must be some sort of medical first. Let’s get you somewhere to be studied.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 7, 2020 5:24 pm

Nick specializes in trying to change the subject.
He does this by trying to obfuscate the clear points made by the author with his out of context to completely made up extracts.

michael hart
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
January 7, 2020 10:41 pm

Funny thing is, science already has a phenomenon known as the “Stokes Shift”.

Mike McHenry
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 10:34 am

Guardian- the link is at the bottom

Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 11:08 am

The professor includes all of Asia in his comments but everyone knows China is the main culprit. A carbon tax is all about wealth transfer to bring down Europe and the US while enriching Asia and Africa. China is quite capable of curtailing their coal plant footprint first by cancelling their construction plans for coal plants around the world and shifting to nuclear and renewables. Carbon is not the problem but air pollution is. If there were international standards for air pollution with associated taxes, the reverse of what the professor is proposing would occur. China and India have the greatest number of cities with unhealthy levels of particulate matter pollution in the world. The US has zero cities in the top 500 worst polluters. Forcing the worst polluters to change is the answer IMO.

Reply to  John
January 7, 2020 12:29 pm

And they think it’s unfair to ask them to stop polluting because we benefitted from polluting at the start of the industrial revolution and blame us for pollution when there’s is much worse and they don’t care.

Tom Jefferson
Reply to  Nick Stokes
January 7, 2020 1:43 pm

Reading Comprehension

Kevin McNeill
January 7, 2020 10:21 am

And who, perchance, who collect, regulate and disburse this global tax? The UN? Pull the other one!

Reply to  Kevin McNeill
January 7, 2020 8:16 pm

He wants to create a World Carbon Bank which will be owned by the UN obviously .. more money to get their snouts in.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  LdB
January 8, 2020 6:37 am

Would be simpler for me to just send some cash to that Nigerian guy’s Swiss bank account…

Mumbles McGuirck
January 7, 2020 10:25 am

Proof positive that “Harvard Economics Professor” is an oxymoron. And so is this guy.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 7, 2020 10:54 am

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

― George Orwell

J Mac
Reply to  tim maguire
January 7, 2020 12:16 pm

“There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”….. and Nick Stokes, apparently.

Reply to  J Mac
January 7, 2020 3:39 pm

Stokes isn’t an intellectual. He’s a troll.

Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 7, 2020 10:59 am

” oxymoron”
Someone who’s brain has been deprived of oxygen.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 8, 2020 5:08 pm

No need to put “oxy” in front of what he is.

Curious George
January 7, 2020 10:30 am

With professors like this, who needs enemies?

January 7, 2020 10:31 am

Please get him a spot at the podium of both conventions to show the next Grubber-style assault on Americans before it happens. They should not be kept in the shadows of the next over reach President.

January 7, 2020 10:31 am

But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.

there you go nick

Mumbles McGuirck
January 7, 2020 10:31 am

Besides he looks like Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley in “Dr. Strangeglove”

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
January 7, 2020 12:28 pm

WUWT visitors should look up “merkin” and “muff” in any urban dictionary.

Curious George
January 7, 2020 10:34 am

Harvard – is this the place with Professor Naomi Oreskes?

Reply to  Curious George
January 7, 2020 11:01 am

No idea, years ago I had a boss who was approachable and well liked and respected for his management skills, then he spent a year at Harvard business school, total metamorphosis, to our delight he was soon head hunted and became director general where else but the BBC.

Reply to  Curious George
January 7, 2020 12:01 pm

Another waste of DNA.

January 7, 2020 10:34 am

Shovel Ready 2.0 is almost ready for unveiling…the day after the election.

January 7, 2020 10:41 am

Of course you would need people to administer it and make sure the money was being used correctly , or rather claim it has.
Very nice number that with very serious expenses and of course a significant salary to ensure you get the right people . Now I wonder if Rogoff as anyone in mind for that very nice job , complete with classic UN no tax and diplomatic status ?

Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 10:44 am

“a former senior figure in the IMF, and as a senior economics professor at one of the USA’s most prestigious universities, his economic theories are helping to shape global policy and the economic ideas of America’s next generation of leaders.”

So he’s never had a real job then?

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 11:23 am

He was a good chess player back in the day !

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 11:27 am

Anyone that still thinks Ivy League is among America’s most prestigious universities has either never stepped foot into a real research university or has a journalist degree.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 4:50 pm

My youngest child is in the midst of the college admissions process. The Ivy League schools, along with others like Stanford, are very difficult to be accepted into them, and for that reason are still viewed as prestigious.

The very best of the disadvantaged poor minorities have an Ivy League chance. Politically connected rich kids can also get in, but most white kids, especially boys have to be extremely bright and have top entrance exam scores. Asian kids are generally discriminated against.

Stanford will take very talented and bright athletes for their teams regardless of background. Hooray for Leland.

Ron Long
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 11:36 am

Obama Protoge.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Ron Long
January 7, 2020 1:08 pm

Wetting his pants for Hillary.

Len Werner
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 11:47 am

I’ve now read his full biography and you’re dead right; a most intelligent man, but I found no evidence that he’s personally ever generated a penny of wealth in his life, not one. I’m always amazed at how those who never generate any wealth themselves seem to have all the ideas about what should be done with that generated by the sweat of others, plus the uncanny ability to accumulate a lot of it in their own jeans.

I might as well include Joe Biden in that list–how much better that coal miners teach Joe in the next election to learn to use a shovel rather than Joe give advice to miners. Sadly, Joe too has accumulated enough of the wealth generated by the like of coal miners that he’s insulated from ever learning what a D-handle is.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Len Werner
January 7, 2020 1:54 pm

In addition I’m not aware of any economist foreseeing the financial disaster of 2008 caused by the sub prime mortgage loans.

David A
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 8, 2020 6:36 am

Agreed. Every Ivy League MBA thought those loans and “bundles” were triple AAA. Insanity.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  David A
January 8, 2020 7:29 am

This kills me every time I watch it:


We need some of these for climate change…

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 8, 2020 2:45 pm

Caligula Jones January 8, 2020 at 7:29 am
“We need some of these for climate change…”
Right about now would be good.

nw sage
Reply to  Len Werner
January 7, 2020 6:39 pm

He doesn’t seem to understand the primary fundamental of economics – how wealth is created. Inexpensive and efficient energy is essential for any of the current economies and Carbon is the basis for most of these efficiencies. Tax Carbon to the degree necessary and all modern economies will grind to a halt. He does not take that fact into account at ALL.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  nw sage
January 8, 2020 9:26 am

There you go with logic and common sense.

Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 10:46 am

Not long ago I came to understand that 30% of retail profit at Heathrow came from 1% of passengers. The 1% were Chinese.

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
January 7, 2020 2:13 pm

Despite the fact that Chine has for number of months been offloading the US Treasury bills at rate of $20 billion/month, China still holds more than one trillion dollars worth.

Weylan McAnally
January 7, 2020 10:49 am

Economics and climate science share much in how they are practiced in the real world. Both rely on specious theories that are supported by highly questionable statistical models using tremendously manipulated data sets.

Both also have a DISMAL record in prediction.

Robert W Turner
Reply to  Weylan McAnally
January 7, 2020 11:25 am

The sad part is that economics was fully understood and objectively explained by 1776 when Adam Smith published his most famous books, and years later the founders of the US government used that as the basis for the world’s most successful economy.

Then Marxist ideology poisoned the minds of the gullible, inexperienced (professors), and hateful; their movement has sabotaged, hindered, and misdirected western societies ever since.

Reply to  Robert W Turner
January 7, 2020 1:19 pm

Then in 1913 a PROGRESSIVE congress and President , Wilson, began the schackling of the populous by creating the Federal Reserve, the same year that the constitution was amended to allow the Income Tax, to guarantee a method to pay the central bankers for the MONEY they create out of thin air. BTW, at that time the OINE PERCENT were the ONLY ones taxed.See what has happened since?

Both have been a BOON to progressives and statists and a BAIN for workers. The Federal Reserve is so good at managing the money supply that it created the Roaring 20s, a 10 year depression in the 30s and a 10 year no growth resession in the 2000s to 2010s. The only reason there was no continuance of the ECONOMISTS definition of a recession (negative growth) was because the Fed continued to pump out new MONEY through quantitive easing to keep “Grpwth” above 0% for Obama’s whole presidency. Then, when TRUMP! came in and started the economy to actually growing, the Fed tried to stop it by raising rates 4 times in one year. That year, 2018 showed an economy growing at over 3 %. Then 2019 was under 3% mostly due to the qumulative effects of the 2018 rate increases most clearly reflected in the first quarter of 2019. When TRUMP! started to go after the Fed, they backed down somewhat to allow the economy to function again. The global bankers DO NOT like TRUMP!. They are afraid of 4 more years of TRUMP!, but they are more afraid of him taking out the Fed. We will see if he gets re-elected, and if so, will he survive the complete term. The Fed may have already assassinated one president.

If he is re-elected, and IF republicans regain the House,, without Paul Ryan to block his agenda, we may see the beginning of a 1950’s style growth cycle that will lead to a level of prosperity even greater then our current economy. I think Mitch would finally pull the 60 vote threshold for the Senate and if, in the first year, much of the Great Society is dumped, and all those programs are left to the states as per the constitution and federalism. the people would see the MOST OF US do not need ANY of those programs and when we start paying down the debt, would understand it was PROGRESSIVE policies the allowd the debt to fester so long.

We would probably all get tired of winning so much, but hopefully continue electing small government Federalists, and let the individual states sink or swim on their own progressivism or conservatism.

Carl Friis-Hansen
January 7, 2020 10:51 am

But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.

Or is it so that Asia (China) regards new coal power plants most sensible, will continue this progress, but also like some free tax money from US and EU?
It begs the question how much money Professor Kenneth Rogoff receives from China’s government?

James R Clarke
January 7, 2020 10:53 am

The words of a mentally ill patient start to make perfect sense if you take into account the patient’s perception of reality. Apparently the same is true for Harvard professors.

Len Werner
Reply to  James R Clarke
January 7, 2020 12:16 pm

…and Greta.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  James R Clarke
January 7, 2020 12:44 pm

I have a relative who suffers from schizophrenia who is convinced he has been poisoned by lead from some source and, not being in good health in his late 50’s, attributes all manner of pains and discomfort to the lead in his bones. Once you consider his conviction regarding the lead it seems quite rational. So do ‘evil spirits’ and ‘demons’ causing chaos once you accept their existence.

In the case of university professors they can form a belief that some proposition is the correct explanation for how some portion of the world works fuelled by ego, academic exploitation potential and by the lure of some major award, Nobel Prize or otherwise. At that point their world view becomes as unhinged from reality as does a schizophrenics. The fact that they may have never left the academic world since starting kindergarten does not help, shall we say.

January 7, 2020 10:54 am

Harvard is a nasty metastatic carcinoma of marxism, has been for many decades. Long before Berkeley.

Shoki Kaneda
Reply to  beng135
January 7, 2020 11:27 am

America’s Oxford.

January 7, 2020 10:58 am

IF “restribution” = TRUE

Do I need to close the statement?

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
January 7, 2020 11:49 am


January 7, 2020 10:59 am

The “good” professor Rogoff has lost all credibility as an economist, and is not worthy of that title. Blooming idiot, or political eco-freak hack, maybe, not not “economist.”

Driving up the costs of production here by taxing, would certainly give China and other countries a competitive advantage, but let them duke it out in the ECONOMIC arena, NOT the political

Not to mention that such a tax will increase poverty here, both by making goods and services more expensive, and by destroying jobs. You would think an economist would give consideration to those facts.

Reply to  kenV
January 7, 2020 7:09 pm

An economist who doesn’t have a cushy job with tenure might. This guy lacks any need to worry about losing his job thus, it doesn’t occur to him that might be a problem for others. r, it does occur to him but since it’s not his job getting lost, he doesn’t care.

Willem post
January 7, 2020 11:04 am

All faculty members of Harvard, and top administrators, should pay 50% of their salary to China, India and other people-breeding countries to “wean” them off fossil fuel.

Of course, the fossil-fuel-based exports of the Chinese economy would become uncompetitive in World markets.

Another hare-brained scheme from elitist, careerist academia in pursuit of tenure, not worth the paper it is printed on.

The only rational approach is to have about 80% of the world’s primary energy from nuclear for 10-12 billion people, at a cost per kWh far less wind, solar, storage, grid augmentation, etc

It has to be implemented during this century, as FF are diminishing.

Shoki Kaneda
Reply to  Willem post
January 7, 2020 11:26 am

“It has to be implemented during this century, as FF are diminishing.”

I see new discoveries announced several times per year and recoverable reserves increased as technology advances. Why is it that you think fossil fuels are diminishing?

Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
January 7, 2020 1:24 pm

If it hadn’t been for the advances in horizontal drilling technology and the development of multi-interval hydraulic fracturing tools in tight shale in the US and Canada 10 years ago, you’d probably be thinking differently today. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say our current daily global consumption is running at around 100 mm/bbl/d https://www.statista.com/statistics/271823/daily-global-crude-oil-demand-since-2006/. Besides what’s out there and producing (eg: Ghawar in Saudi since 1948) some of the biggest discoveries in the last decade are Kashagan in Kazakhstan (38 billion bbl) Iran- Ferdows field, 31 billion barrels, Brazil- Santos/ Campos fields, 120 billion barrels. There haven’t been verifiable reserve records from Saudi since around 1975, and “provable” “recoverable” and “probable” are terms universally used when evaluating an oilfield’s reserves. There’s a lot of room for doubt with all of those terms. Assuming all the oil in the three mentioned fields / areas was 100% recoverable (and that’s not even close to possible) we would have 169 billion barrels / 100 mm bbl/d / 365= 4.63 years global supply.
Just a little perspective, and extraction from these fields is very difficult. There’s lots of heavy oil in Canada and Venezuela, but we’re not 200 years away from seeing the death of light conventional crude. I’m all for nuclear and hydro. No more windmills, please, and let’s start using that coal to protect our oil reserves.

Reply to  PeterT
January 7, 2020 1:43 pm

Meant as a reply to Shoki.

Reply to  PeterT
January 7, 2020 3:21 pm

Yep, hydrocarbons are hydrocarbons and can be changed in state by chemistry and energy with the suitable process.

Nuclear plant with excess heat turns coal into whatever hydrocarbon you want. Lot of coal out there.

Not economical at this time, but when needed, a hundred years from now perhaps, it is available.

If we were powering with nuclear, current natural gas use would be better for peaking electricity and chemical production Also for autos for those who want that, mostly for short commute type applications since widespread natural gas pumpig stations never caught on bigly, although they are out there nationwide where drives between cities are short enough in the US. I looked to converting a small 4 cylinder car to natural gas 25 years ago, and it probably would have been cost effective even at the btu price then, more so now, but the car got damaged in an accident so I dropped the idea. When you can fuel at home, every night, and leave in the morning with a full tank, and the tank never gets smaller, unlike the charge on batteries, and the engine last essentially forever, way better then an electric car. Nobody can make much for government subsidies from that, so no one is pushing it.

Reply to  PeterT
January 7, 2020 4:33 pm

That’s the way the mother (of invention) works.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Willem post
January 7, 2020 12:52 pm

The professor is also, it seems, a chess grand master.

Is it possible he has found away to checkmate himself?

Gordon Dressler
January 7, 2020 11:04 am

Since when have Harvard Economics professors had relevance to reality?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
January 8, 2020 12:21 am

Indeed, the Harvard professor asked,
“For advanced economies, where the average coal plant is 45 years old, phasing out such facilities is low-hanging fruit in terms of reducing CO2 emissions. But in Asia, where the average age of coal plants is only 12 years, the cost of taxing plants into oblivion makes doing so virtually impossible without outside aid.

Nick Stokes and others (in above comments) seem to be bogged-down with the question of giving money to China to phase-out its newer coal-fired power plants.

They all miss the point begging to be asked entirely.

The question begging to be asked for China and the energy for electricity:
Phase it (coal) out with what?

In the US it is fracked natural gas that is displacing coal. A supply of nat gas we now have in abundance at literally dirt cheap prices. For no other reason than this, wind and solar will die here in the US unless massive subsidies for wind and solar are continued at the taxpayers expense. That is a form of public welfare for wealthy Green investors. The thought of cheap nat gas and loss of subsidies is real threat to renewables. This has the GreenSlime very scared.
US energy dominance, vis-a-vis a fracked US nat gas supply, is an economic death blow to the climate scam if it is allowed to continue.

What does the GreenSlime do? They recruit Ivory Tower idiots like Rogoff (Harvard) and Mark Jacobson (Stanford) to spew nonsense claims about energy, that is whore their reputations to the Green Slime.

China does not have this huge domestic source of natural gas. It will have to import something. Wind and solar are jokes for a modern grid and everyone should know that by now. LNG will take another decade or more to ramp up just to begin to replace coal. Even if the sea-side part of the logistics is solved in a decade, getting it inland to generation plants deep inside China is an altogether different proposition.

You have to think intermodal. At the receiving end for coal: Ship to port, port to train, train to generating plant.
Transporting coal via ship, then train car is easy. The economics of coal will still be there 10-15 years from now, even with massive climate aid subsidies were given to China.

For LNG, intermodal means LNG tankers to the port, then pipelines from the port to the generating plants a thousand miles inland. China is not likely to do that when coal is cheap to them and they have no reduction requirement until post-2030. They have trains, rail lines, and capacity to store coal on-site at generating plants. Incentivizing them away from that with LNG would be ridiculously exopensive. They won’t do it.

Conclusion: Rogoff is an idiot who can’t think beyond some Ivory Tower idealism, and was probably bought by some GreenSlimer to spew nonsense claims about fossil fule energy, decarbonization, and where the realistic sources of replacement energy might come from.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 8, 2020 8:01 am

You have to think intermodal. At the receiving end for coal: Ship to port, port to train, train to generating plant. Transporting coal via ship, then train car is easy. The economics of coal will still be there 10-15 years from now, even with massive climate aid subsidies were given to China.

Interesting — hadn’t thought of that. Just have to build the coal-containers a bit stronger than the usual ones.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 8, 2020 3:14 pm

Joel, just excellent, thank you!

You identified a key point that is so often overlooked. As one of my mentors would say time and again: would you have learned to ask the exactly right question about any identified problem, you are more than halfway to the solution.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 7, 2020 11:05 am

Question: If a “global tax” is collected on all emissions and the money sent to China and India, who’s really paying the tax?

Answer: the developed countries whose emissions are already flat or declining and who have already invested in the newest technology.

Question: if you are effectively subsidizing national economies currently building coal power plants, doesn’t that just provide an incentive to announce plans to build more coal power plants?

Answer: yes it does.

So this scheme will tax the developed countries and then give the money to developing countries to replace coal plants with something else. Think about it, if they could build a lower-emitting plant for the same or less cost they would already do so. So whatever we pay to build to replace existing coal plants will be more expensive, and presumably better technology. The more coal plants they start building, the more money they get to changeover to something better. It’s like promising a free Lexus upgrade to everyone who buys a Corolla.

Meanwhile, electricity prices in developed countries will go up to pay the tax. Industries which are sensitive to electricity prices will be under pressure to relocate to those places where electricity is subsidized.

But that’s not even the worst case. The worst case is where the global tax goes to developing countries to replace coal plants with zero-emission “renewable” power. Assuming the developing countries a stupid enough to agree to it, we end up saddling them with an electric infrastructure which doesn’t work and results in disastrous failures requiring yet more aid to bail them out.

January 7, 2020 11:06 am

I graduated from the Kennedy School. We few conservatives clustered apart from the overweeningly arrogant professors and students who had ‘all the answers.’ We shuddered at the thought that these people might one day run the show. Many did, to disastrous effect. Ash Carter is a prime example.

These people don’t believe that China is competitor, a brutal dictatorship, and a threat to freedom. But it is, and we can’t talk China out of a drive to dominate the world at our expense. Time to stop the stupid climate change kabuki theater and wake up to the real danger.

Reply to  Adam
January 7, 2020 12:49 pm

I encourage the professor to learn about Mao’s United Front weapon and what the CCP is doing today. Also please look At what is happening in Hong Kong. Then rethink his suggestions

January 7, 2020 11:08 am

Honestly this is the stupidest thing ive tread this week, he wants to tax me, so china and india etc etc can have cleaner energy, even though those countries have the money to build nuclear generators and supply cheap electricity 😐

Reply to  Sunny
January 7, 2020 11:54 am

And he charges 50,400/yr to dispense it, plus fees and food, of course.

Reply to  Sunny
January 7, 2020 6:45 pm

Not to mention, they both had the money to build nuclear weapons, missiles to deliver them as well as submarines etc., as did Pakistan and as is Iran, assuming they don’t already have them, of course.

Something does not compute.
This Harvard “genius” wants the developed nations to give them money for “clean” energy (which renewables are not but I suspect that’s what he wants), even though they had the money to build nukes. Would it not make more sense to make them dismantle their nukes for the money first? There is no way CO2 is going to do nearly as much harm to Earth, even if you believe it is bad, as nukes being dropped on other nations and an all out nuclear war will do to the planet and all Mankind. (Apologies to Trudeau and the “woke” for term Mankind.)
If Earth is truly his concern, should nukes not be at the top of his list?

January 7, 2020 11:08 am

Not only is China given a pass on their emissions now they want us to pay the second largest economy the right to do so? Why aren’t more people paying attention?

Reply to  markl
January 7, 2020 4:09 pm

That would be because the MSM will only present leftist BS.

Tom Abbott
January 7, 2020 11:13 am

From the article: “Any solution to the problem requires two interconnected parts. The first and more important is a global tax on CO2 emissions”

It’s never going to happen. Some Western nations with stupid politicians may try to implement something like this, but you can bet the U.S. is not going to be a party to it.

The EU bureaucrats have made noises in the past about trying to enforce such a CO2 tax on nations that don’t go along. Let’s see what happens when they try to strong-arm Trump with such tactics. If they are smart, they won’t go there.

The Mad Mullahs are trying to strong-arm Trump, too, but that’s not going to do them any good because Trump fights back. Unfortunately for the Mad Mullahs, they are not smart, and will suffer as a result.

I’ve been hearing this phrase “cultural site” used by Trump in addressing the Iran problem and his critics are naturally taking the worst interpretation of the phrase and claiming Trump is going to destroy Iran’s “cultural sites”, which his critics claim would be a war crime. I’m not sure Iran has that many cultural sites, maybe they are thinking Trump is just going to bomb all the mosques in Iran.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this and Trump is a precise individual. He said “cultural site” for a reason. If one considers Trump a sane man, and I do, then about the only thing he can be talking about when he refers to “cultural sites” is there must be high-value Iranian military bases/sites located near or even in some religious site in Iran; put there in hopes the U.S. would not bomb that particular facility, and it looks to me like Trump is telling the Mad Mullahs that their tactic is not going to work.

I think the Trump administration is primed and ready to take out the Mad Mullah’s nuclear and rocket manufacturing facilities at the next major Iranian provocation. If another American is killed that can be linked directly to the Mad Mullahs, then it’s going to be “game on!”.

Taking out the Mad Mullah’s abilty to make nuclear weapons and deliver them is one of the most important things Trump can do as president. And after Trump takes them out he should tell the Iranians that if they rebuild he will hit them again.

After Trump hits Iran hard, they probably won’t be in much of a mood, or have the ability to rebuild. And there is a good chance the Mad Mullahs won’t be in power and the Iranian people can get back to living their lives under better conditions.

I saw a video this morning on tv of 52 F-35 Stealth Fighters taking off from a Utah air force base, one right behind the other. Trump is definitely a showman, even in war. It may be especially valuable in war.

And to Tucker Carlson: Don’t worry Tucker, Trump isn’t going to get us into a forever war. He can do all the damage he needs to do by air and when it’s over there will be no need to send in large numbers of American troops because Iran will have all it can handle just keeping their country together after their entire miiitary is destroyed.

Nothing is more important that preventing religious fanatics like the Mad Mullahs from acquiring nuclear weapons. The United States must do whatever it takes, including a forever war, to put a stop to these maniacs.

But it won’t take a forever war. What are the Iranians going to do after their military is destroyed? Terrorist actions are all they can manage. And the Iranian people may have something to say about them continuing to be a terrorist sponsor. The Iranian people may decide they would much rather join the community of nations in peaceful pursuits.

January 7, 2020 11:14 am

Whatcha bet China would take our money and build new coal fired power plants.

Shoki Kaneda
January 7, 2020 11:21 am

China and India should build as many coal plants as they need to satisfy domestic requirements. It would be great if they emitted similar pollutant levels as western plants, that would help their air quality problems.

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
January 7, 2020 12:02 pm

Applies to Africa too.

January 7, 2020 11:43 am

Planned China? Another wicked solution, albeit to a hard problem, is the fastest way to force sociopolitical progress.

January 7, 2020 11:45 am

I can’t say that Harvard Economics Professor Kenneth Rogoff is a Chinese asset, but I can’t exonerate him either.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Neo
January 7, 2020 12:57 pm

He certainly qualifies as a ‘useful idiot’ though which gets him over the ‘balance of probabilities’ threshold i.m.o. I don’t think it would take that much to get him up to ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 7, 2020 2:21 pm

Just find out how much the Chinese are paying him, or else section him.

January 7, 2020 11:47 am

OT USA should get out of Middle East Europe, Asia and the rest of the world and protect itself and the Americas as it always did before Rossevelt Viva North and South America we can survive much better alone

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Eliza
January 7, 2020 1:14 pm

I’ve said this for years: if the US moved its military to do nothing but secure its borders and tell the rest of the world “you’re on your own” it would serve us right…

…of course, that won’t happen. Some property owned by a big political donor in some country somewhere will be harmed and we can’t have that.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 8, 2020 8:28 am

A lot of good it would do us to hide in the United States if Iran or North Korea gets nuclear weapons. If we value our freedom and our lives we will need to deal with reality and the problems that exist there. Hiding behind our border won’t protect us from evil. We have to be pro-active against evil.

January 7, 2020 11:51 am

Climate Crisis/Tax/Money for Marxists. Nice scam.

William Astley
January 7, 2020 11:59 am

The Left’s knowledge of real-world issues (basic simple concepts and simple important facts that are constraints) appears to be limited to what they have learned from watching PBS and CNN.

The US has a $400 billion-dollar per year trade deficit with China that Trump is trying to deal with.

The US and the EU are financing China’s expansion now.

Is it possible that this guy is clueless about the US debt? Of I forget it is politically incorrect or the Left to talk about debt, as all they want to do is to spend more money.

US entitlement spending is growing faster than revenue which is not sustainable. Congress’s plan is to kick the can down the road until there is a crisis.

The Left’s ‘plan’ is a climate new deal where we waste trillions of dollars on sun and wind gathering in our country.

Germany has proven sun and wind gathering (28,000 wind turbines installed) cannot be used to get to carbon neutral. Sun and wind gathering tops reducing CO2 emission at the point where power storage is required.

Germany has reached that point now.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  William Astley
January 7, 2020 1:18 pm

“The Left’s knowledge of real-world issues (basic simple concepts and simple important facts that are constraints) appears to be limited to what they have learned from watching PBS and CNN.”

See: California’s new law against the “gig economy”.

See: Taleb’s “Skin in the Game”.


The Left’s main problem (other than they don’t have a main problem), is that they honestly believe in their credentials (obtained in academia which of course does not reflect the real world) and that they can outsmart natural science (i.e., supply and demand, human nature, etc.).

January 7, 2020 12:05 pm

How many more aircraft carriers could they build with that? and militarized islands in the South China Sea?

Caligula Jones
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2020 1:21 pm

Or moon shots?

Canada actually sends money to China for aid…I think there should probably be a “means test” for foreign aid: “Do you build aircraft carriers?”.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
January 7, 2020 2:26 pm

Or have nuclear weapons.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
January 7, 2020 5:47 pm

Or space stations. Or lunar rovers.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkG
January 8, 2020 6:38 am

Or concentration camps.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkG
January 10, 2020 9:31 am

Or one of the largest militaries in the world.

January 7, 2020 12:13 pm

I thought renewable energy projects created economic growth. And that this economic growth would finance more renewable energy projects.

You meant they don’t?

January 7, 2020 12:15 pm

Lots of red ink there. Oops, that’s a pun, my bad.

“impose a global carbon tax, then use the money to help China and other poor countries eliminate their energy poverty and dependency on coal.” In other words, impose energy poverty on ourselves (and we don’t get to use the coal), and with that energy poverty, we would also have regular poverty.

John the Econ
January 7, 2020 12:27 pm

Brilliant. Impose a carbon tax which will transfer capital to China, while simultaneously raising the cost of production in the west. What is left of high-carbon manufacturing in the west will then move to China for cheap capital and lower production costs.

Is this guy on the People’s Army payroll or something?

January 7, 2020 12:35 pm

Is Professor Kenneth Rogoff fluent in Mandarin Chinese? If not He had better start learning it. Hs brain farce would assure China was the world leader in years rather than decades. Yet he claims to be a Professor of Economics.

January 7, 2020 12:39 pm

… his economic theories are helping to shape global policy and the economic ideas of America’s next generation of leaders.

The Democrats have become the party of the professional class.

Washington is a city of professionals with advanced degrees, and Democrats look around them there and say, “We’re all intelligent people. We all went to good schools. We know what the problems are and we know what the answers are, and politics just get in the way.” link

These folks make their money bloviating. President Trump, on the other hand, takes risks. Taleb would say that Trump has skin in the game. We need more entrepreneurs like Trump. They know how the things actually work. The bloviating professional class don’t and they bear no consequences when their bloviations lead to other people’s ruin.

M__ S__
January 7, 2020 12:56 pm

…. so they can funnel even more money into their military . . .

What an .. well, I’ll leave that up you you to fill in

January 7, 2020 1:05 pm

this might be worth of attention
‘Arson is not caused by climate change’
Global warming isn’t warm enough for some, throw them to sharks.

January 7, 2020 1:07 pm

The simplest solution is for the USA, Russia, Qatar, Australia, India, China, Brazil and Canada to create a cartel which will cooperate with OPEC nations to control fossil fuel production rates and gradually increase prices. This will allow alternate technologies to compete with fossil fuels. Rich nations wishing to do so can give their money to the Chinese Fascist Empire if they wish, but it makes more sense for the USA to keep oil production steady at say 12 million barrels of oil per day and tax the higher profits as prices rise towards $150 per barrel over the next 20 years. And if that can’t make biofuels, nuclear, and other technology compete, then they may have to divert some funds to build more nuclear power plants.

Reply to  Fernando Leanme
January 7, 2020 7:21 pm

Why on earth would any sane person want to increase energy prices just so unreliable energy sources can be a little bit less cost inefficient?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Fernando Leanme
January 8, 2020 12:27 am

Fernando doesn’t seem to understand that the US government doesn’t own an oil company. At least not yet, while we still have a constitutional republic.
And what about Alberta and its huge tar sand deposits? The higher the oil price, the more incentive there is to extract and deliver oil from tar sands.

Robert of Texas
January 7, 2020 1:10 pm

OK, so he should show us all a great example and turn over all his property and money to China – today. And while he is at it, he should quit Harvard and go work in China for free.

I did not think my opinion of Harvard could go any lower, and then something like THIS comes out.

January 7, 2020 1:32 pm

The fact that Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University, was the Chief Economist of the IMF from 2001 to 2003 goes a long way to explaining the damaging effect that the policies of the IMF had, around this time, in all of the Third World Countries.

Rudolf Huber
January 7, 2020 1:38 pm

Great idea. Not only that a carbon tax will weaken industries in developed countries which already constitutes an indirect subsidy to China, but this guy also wants to make it open and obvious for all. And those people make public policy decisions. Any leader of a country that seriously contemplates this will have to face the wrath of the voters in short order.

Steve Z
January 7, 2020 1:44 pm

For practically his entire term, President Trump has been imposing tariffs on China in order to coerce the Chinese to negotiate fair trade deals with the USA which prevent the Chinese from stealing American intellectual property, where neither side has a built-in advantage.

So now the “brilliant” Professor Rogoff (or should he change his name to Ripoff?) proposes that CO2 emissions in low-emissions countries be taxed and the money given to China, so that the Chinese can continue to run their inefficient and dirty coal plants and steal American jobs, basically wiping out everything President Trump has achieved. China would probably use the money to build more islands off their coast to harass international shipping and steal fishing rights from the Philippines, Taiwan, and other neighboring countries. NO THANKS!!!

This may be news to the distinguished Professor, but all coal-fired power plants are not equally polluting. Those in America have had to install baghouses to control particulate emissions and scrubbers to control SO2 emissions since the 1970’s (with efficiencies above 95%), and emissions of those pollutants in the USA have decreased while the total power produced has increased, according to the EPA.

There are no such environmental laws in China, and smog over major Chinese cities is much worse now than it was over the most polluted American cities back in the 1960’s. If the Chinese government is content to let its own people choke and gag on ash and acid rain, it’s not our responsibility to pay them to clean it up. For the people of China, CO2 is the least of their worries. Most of that pollution is washed by rainfall into the Pacific Ocean long before it is blown over our west coast.

Clarky of Oz
January 7, 2020 2:07 pm

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

January 7, 2020 2:17 pm

In economics, the assumption of ceteris paribus, a Latin phrase meaning “with other things the same” or “other things being equal or held constant,” is used in determining causation. It supposedly helps isolate multiple independent variables affecting a dependent variable. But in reality nothing remains the same in the world of finance, supply and demand and all the non quantifiable influences on the economies of countries. Hence modelling becomes a surreal pursuit. It is very similar to climate “scientists” doing all their calculations based on the assumption that the Sun emits a constant stream of energy but this is false because it is a star and subject to constant gaseous eruptions that confound prediction.

January 7, 2020 2:35 pm

F China . . .


January 7, 2020 2:59 pm

@ Kenneth Rogoff,

It’s not Carbon Monoxide we are talking about here. It’s Carbon Dioxide – which is good for the planet – Kenneth Rogoff tell me where I am wrong Professor. Are you looking at the facts ???

Steve Oregon
January 7, 2020 3:01 pm

…..and democracies must surrender to the wisdom of tyranny needed to save us all.

Progressives must have all of the power and money so the planet will survive.
Small price to pay?

January 7, 2020 3:01 pm

Oh, I’m probably 100 years late in this comment, but to the Good Professor:

• Who collects the tax?
• Who decides how to reallocate it?
• How much “collection graft” will be tolerated?
• How much “distribution graft” will be tolerated?

To me, this seems the problem.

After all, as several posters here have cited, by 2030, China … all by herself … will be emitting 50% of all CO₂ on the planet. One advanced, progressing country, with faux-aggrandized systemic poverty to remain a Third World country, will be emitting 50% or more of all CO₂.

AND TO THE POINT, not 50% of today’s CO₂!!!

But 50% of the CO₂, which will have grown by over 50% from today by 2030.

Just wow.

So what I see is a China that nominally “buys into the CO₂ world tax”; she, ostensibly being the largest CO₂ cracker, will fight tooth-and-nail to KEEP ALL of the CO₂ tax raised. And it’ll not go to much of anything CO₂ mitigating. It’ll get wrangled into collection-graft, general-fund black-box accounting redistribution, and distribution graft. Plenty of it.

Moreover, as a perpetual Third World country, she’ll be endlessly whining about NOT GETTING ENOUGH of the rest of the world’s contribution, considering she, nearly alone (and ironically, as we’ve allowed her to, by our lack-of-chagrin) making all the goods for the rest of the world. So, she should get more!

Oh, the humanity.


I’m quite a practical old goat, and I say definitely not. Not a chance. China’s fabric of geopolitical economics is woven from cheating, graft, human rights abuse, pollution-without-control, and basically use-it-or-lose-it self-serving policy.

It is this which I believe we all should be alarmed.

Just saying,
⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

January 7, 2020 3:59 pm

Sad! Rogoff should have kept playing chess. He was good at that.

I propose a tax on Harvard’s endowment fund, and those of the other Ivy League schools, to buy F-22 fighters and hyper-velocity missile defense systems. And a Space Force. And Seawolf submarines. And airdropped Liberator pistols for the Chinese people. And the Venezuelan people.

January 7, 2020 4:27 pm

We will need a massive expansion of the govt to handle this tax, to be sure.
That seems to be the answer to most problems.
Not impressed by his chess background. Bobby Fischer was a good player, too.
I like how he dismisses concerns about the US Middle class being squeezed out of existence when people somewhere don’t have electricity and somehow that is our problem. If he had any common sense, he would realized that it is govt corruption which keeps people in poverty these days. Look at Liberia. (Huh?) Or, the history of Communist China.
It is like they are all trying to get Trump re-elected.

January 7, 2020 5:11 pm

The developed world is not in any way responsible for the explosive population growth which was the policy of several underdeveloped countries. That is why “per capita” measures are worthless. Only emissions per square mile of the country are meaningful because that takes into account ALL factors. But of course, that way, trillions of dollars can’t be sent to China. This “economist” is a Marxist….not an economist.

Reply to  Joey
January 7, 2020 6:09 pm

The Marxist’s unfettered capitalism (e.g. redistributive change), also monopolies and practices, that are first-order forcings of progressive prices.

January 7, 2020 5:34 pm

“SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes received backing from Citigroup and the Obama Energy Department but couldn’t keep pace with technological advances.”

Bloomberg Business had a story yesterday about this one billion dollar boondoggle in the Nevada desert. As someone else said, ” a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money”.

January 7, 2020 5:42 pm

How about a 25% levy on academics salaries to give to china. ”If they want to be so generous with our money, how about they make a small gesture FIRST.

January 7, 2020 7:17 pm

Hello Comrade Rogoff

And what agency has a global legal authority to impose, enforce, and collect a global tax? The UN? That’s where this is going isn’t it? An even better idea is to get rid of this rogue organization and start over.


Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Chaamjamal
January 20, 2020 8:15 pm


David S
January 7, 2020 8:46 pm

This is why no one should go to Harvard,

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  David S
January 20, 2020 8:15 pm


David E Long
January 7, 2020 11:49 pm

The big surprise to me is the claim that you can fight economic slowdown by increasing production.
I guess I’ll just never be a good economist, or communist, or whatever.

John Endicott
Reply to  David E Long
January 8, 2020 6:46 am

Well, when you consider the fact that the economy is usually measured by GDP, increasing production increases GDP. So, it would “fight an economic slowdown” in the sense that it treats the symptoms of a slowdown (declining GDP) rather than the actual cause. It’s like cleaning the floor by tossing a clean rug overtop the dirty floor. It give the appearance of fixing the problem without actually getting at the root of the problem.

January 8, 2020 3:36 am

You may as well cede all political power to China at the same time, because that is what will happen if you give them carbon tax money.

January 8, 2020 5:14 am

This proposal can’t be taken at face value. He likely doesn’t even believe that his “solution” would solve anything because this “problem” is only an excuse. This isn’t about reducing carbon emissions or helping developing countries, this is about inching ever closer to world government…which is the entire purpose of the whole “global warming catastrophe” hoax in the first place.

This guy isn’t stupid. He knows full well that this plan could never accomplish its stated goal. Giving money to corrupt governments is only going to further enrich the corrupt governments, not cause them to see the error of their ways.

So, if he knows that his proposal will fail at its stated goal, what is he really trying to accomplish here? Enough said.

old white guy
January 8, 2020 5:57 am

Harvard, ha, ha, ha.

January 8, 2020 5:57 am

Why not give the money to the EU, which has a per capita income about that of China. That way they could stop emitting too. Or maybe give it to both the EU AND China.

Oh…. wait a minute….. I just realized….. that was going to be tax the EU among others and give the money to….China.

Oh. Let me think about that for a minute. I need to really think about that. I know it makes sense but somehow it doesn’t feel right….

January 8, 2020 7:08 am

“former Chief Economist for the IMF” amazing but not surprising.

Old Soviet joke

Brezhnev is standing with an important foreign head of state on Lenin’s tomb reviewing a military parade. As larger and larger missiles roll by he describes their power in terms of “this one can destroy a town, that one can destroy a city, that one can destroy a region” at the end of the parade the visitor sees a group of middle-aged men in rumpled suits wandering almost aimlessly. He asks Brezhnev who they are. Brezhnev responds “these are economists. They can destroy an entire country”

Patrick MJD
January 8, 2020 9:18 pm

He got publicity didn’t he? I think that was the point.

January 9, 2020 1:24 pm

There are so many ways to fling cash when it’s not yours.


Johann Wundersamer
January 20, 2020 7:58 pm

“The author, Professor Kenneth Rogoff, is a person of influence;

as a former senior figure in the IMF, and as a senior economics professor at one of the USA’s most prestigious universities, his economic theories are helping to shape global policy and the economic ideas of America’s next generation of leaders.”

Nevertheless “The author, Professor Kenneth Rogoff,” is telling utter drivel.

Without a proof for CO₂ being a harmful pollutant that “economics professor at one of the USA’s most prestigious universities”

sledgehammers along about missing duties by the developed West / more money distributed to the less developed parts of the world.

That kinda good doing didn’t work for 70+ years – why should it work NOW.

– may be he’s up to weaken reality. OK, but not with OPM – that’s undemocratic!

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