Former Republican Treasury Secretaries James Baker and Hank Paulson were at the White House Wednesday, hucking a carbon tax at president Trump’s administration and insisting that it is a “conservative free market approach” to the “problem of climate change.” Mitt Romney, who epitomizes establishment politics in the Republican Party and instituted a proto-form of ObamaCare in his own state of Massachusetts while governor, tweeted his approval of the axiomatically un-conservative proposal.
Thought-provoking plan from highly respected conservatives to both strengthen the economy & confront climate risks: https://t.co/U6kmrQTPth
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) February 8, 2017
Unfortunately, Orwellian double-speak like this has become the norm in American political discourse (i.e. “war is peace,””freedom is slavery,” and the points really don’t matter). A carbon tax is not a “free-market” solution in any traditional sense or meaning of the phrase; it is in fact the opposite — a direct government intervention into the market. A 2015 study by the libertarian Cato Institute agrees:
A growing drumbeat of media reports on the dangers of human‐caused climate change, in conjunction with the rejection of “science deniers” from polite company, has led some Americans to believe that aggressive U.S. government action to slow carbon dioxide emissions is a self‐evidently justified policy. Furthermore, a handful of vocal intellectuals and political officials have begun warming libertarians and conservatives up to the possibility of a “win‐win” tax swap deal, which would give them desired reductions in other taxes and regulations in exchange for conceding to a carbon tax. This study has shown just how dubious this popular narrative is. Indeed, many proponents of a carbon tax are “denying” a growing body of low‐sensitivity findings, as well as a large and growing discrepancy between climate model predictions and temperature observations in the lower atmosphere. Furthermore, relying on standard results in the economics of climate change literature, we have shown that there are serious problems in the estimation of the “social cost of carbon,” and that even if we knew it, other considerations would imply that an “optimal” carbon tax should be significantly lower than the estimated “social cost of carbon.”
Climate doomsayers of the last 40 years have consistently over-predicted the actual warming curve at an average of 5 times greater than the trend being observed — causing many to wonder if there might be some other motivation behind what looks to be scaremongering. In a recent expose, retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist John Bates alleged that then director of the federal bureau Thomas Karl’s oft-cited study on behalf of government climate intervention was “rushed to publication before underlying data issues were resolved to help influence public debate about the so-called Clean Power Plan and upcoming Paris climate conference …” and that Karl himself was “insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation… in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”
Take a look at this chart from the Cato study that shows just how badly the average climate predictions have overstated the warming pattern over the last 40 years.
What do you think? Is this another scheme by big government social architects to increase tax revenue for their misguided utopian planning? Or is the climate really headed toward an unmitigated future disaster? Watch the video below detailing the latest Climate-Gate scandal and let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.