Hansen belittles models, carbon trading, Kyoto; calls for coal-destroying carbon tax

by Marlo Lewis on March 3, 2009

in Blog

Last week’s House Ways & Means Committee hearing on “scientific objectives for climate change legislation” contained much grist for skeptical mills.

Dr. James Hansen did not challenge any of Dr. John Christy’s specific arguments that UN climate models overestimate climate sensitivity. Instead, he advised Congress to ask the National Academy of Sciences for an “authoritative” assessment, because the science is “crystal clear.”

Hansen was quite harsh in criticizing Kyoto (an “abject failure”) and carbon trading (a politically unsustainable hidden tax for the benefit of special interests). He outlined a proposal for what he calls carbon “Tax & Dividend,” whereby 100% of the revenues would be refunded to the American people via monthly deposits to their bank accounts.

As I discuss here, Hansen’s beguiling proposal could decimate coal-based power in a decade or two, pushing electricity prices up faster than dividend payments increase, and saddling the economy with a growth-chilling energy crisis.

Ben Blankenship March 6, 2009 at 10:16 am

Hansen and Gore keep yelling fire, fire out of habit and aren't aware that most people in the theater have already gone home to put another log on the fire. The audience now believes, according to survey data, that global warming is nowhere near the most compelling problem we face today. Other agendas have crowded out warming, which will have to take a back seat at least until banks work again, the stock market finds a bottom, and unemployment stops growing. By then, we'll have at least one more year of global cooling under our belt to add to the 21st century's nonwarming persistence. We'll get over global warming disease before you know it, despite the death rattles from Gore and company.

jeff johnson March 8, 2009 at 4:43 am

The notion that fossil fuel is cheap should have become a fossilized myth by now. Unfortunately, the carcbon industry and their hired guns have perpetuated this distortion of the facts. The external costs of fossil fuel, paid for by the taxpayers, are an essential part of the voodoo energy economy this country has been running on for too long. The cheap energy at the pump, does not include the costs of climate change, air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, ecosytem destruction caused by oil spills and drilling, increased rates asthma, displacement of indigenous peoples, resource wars (Iraq), etc.. Privatizing profit while socilaizng risk is chimeric capitalism at best. jeff johnosn

Ben Blankenship March 8, 2009 at 6:17 am

"…the costs of climate change…" are…what? I am all for making the world cleaner and safer. The air around here is much healthier since fall leaf-burning was banned. Climate change is beside the point, even if we could do something about it. People generally prosper in milder times historically, and the onset of a colder climate (is that really what we want?) is much more dangerous to lives, history teaches.

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