Scientists push small carbon tax

by William Yeatman on October 26, 2004

in Blog

Venturing into economics once more, the journal Science published a study October 15 by two atmospheric scientists and one economist that called for a carbon tax of 5 cents per gallon, to be gradually increased over the next thirty years.

Michael Schlesinger and Natalia Andronova of the University of Illinois and economist Gary Yohe of Wesleyan called their suggestion, a low-cost insurance policy that protects against climate change.

Schlesinger argues that the current uncertainty surrounding climate change was the main reason for adopting such a proposal as a hedge against the uncertainty.  Hanging his argument on the basis of studies that suggest much greater climate sensitivity than the IPCC finds, Schlesinger concludes that without immediate action it may be impossible to keep the temperature rise below 3 C.

The proposal calls for a carbon tax of $10 per ton of carbon (roughly 5 cents per gallon of gasoline), rising to $33 per ton in thirty years time.

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