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Mike Matessa

Aug 23, 2011
11:07

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The use of carbon fees does seem to get to the heart of carbon emissions. What methods do you see being used to get corporations to agree to the fees? Top-down laws? Bottom-up product boycotts?

Travis Franck

Sep 10, 2011
06:44

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While this proposal combines some great policy mechanisms and overall ideas, it would help to clarify who it works together. What is put forth as a simpler plan than Cap and Trade seems to have trading mechanism, a tax, and provides a weak initial target. Working outside of the UN process is both good and bad. Actions need to be taken now so working in regional agreements might be the fastest way to move forward. I like that aspect. There also needs to be global push though, so the system should allow for that in some fashion (for example, the EU Emissions Trading System allows for linkages to other markets, should they exist). I’m wondering why the plan isn’t just called tax and dividend. PC terminology? Also, including sequestration offsets/permits introduces trading. You now have a carbon tax/fee and a trading mechanisms that needs additional monitoring and verification. The simplicity of the tax is now lost. The 650ppm target may appear politically feasible, but not to many countries. And geoengineering doesn’t solve ocean acidification at those ppm concentrations. And ice caps will be irreversibly melted/lost. 650ppm is a sad world. Might try to at least stick with the 2 degree C target that the UN has already affirmed.

Dennis Peterson

Sep 28, 2011
10:15

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"Fee and dividend" is James Hansen's term. The idea here is that the revenue is distributed to citizens, equal amount per capita, rather than going into general government revenue. Sometimes, it will be cheaper to absorb ambient CO2 than to avoid emissions. Either way reduces net emissions, so for a given cost we get greater reduction by allowing both. The plan only allows permits for actual absorption of ambient CO2, avoiding offsets for things like building wind turbines instead of coal plants. Agree that 650ppm would be grim. The idea there was to start with a modest initial target, then build upon success with stricter targets. A similar approach worked for CFC reduction. I'm finishing up a National proposal but I'll try to add some clarification in this one before the deadline.

2011 Judges

Oct 11, 2011
06:22

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Overall assessment: Interesting ideas; could be fleshed out in more detail. Specific comments and suggestions for improvement: - This is a reasonable and well thought out proposal that can lead to progress. Implementation would be not be easy, as the carbon tax rate still has to be decided by some approach that is agreeable to most people. - Good ideas (since 2010 judges already approved them), but could seek more originality in combining them.

Terry Floyd

Nov 9, 2011
05:55

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Who ever said you can use the air and streams as garbage dumps? Why is this a freebee? Responsibility is taking care of your own garbage, not dumping it downstream! Modernity Ethics go way beyond just carbon emissions.

Dennis Peterson

Nov 9, 2011
06:20

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Yep that's pretty much my point.

Giovanni Macchia

Nov 12, 2011
05:01

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This remains, in may opinion, the best proposal of the three. It is also feasible..

Dennis Peterson

Nov 13, 2011
09:51

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I just found out that Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz argues that a common fee on emissions would be much easier to negotiate internationally than a set of caps. http://stoft.com/p/138.html#1319 He devotes about 25 pages to the argument in his book Making Globalization Work.

Gary Olson

Nov 15, 2011
06:16

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Interesting observation by Stiglitz.
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