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Carbon pricing rises as world's weapon of choice in climate fight

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By Susanna Twidale and Kate Abnett

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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In the future, everything will be priced in carbon units.

Our governments will issue us carbon credits every week as our UBI.

Everything, including the CO2 output of your breathing, will be measured.

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Burning Bush: That’s quiet the conspiracy you have a theory about.

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Here in California, we get less than 1% of our electricity from burning coal.

In China, in 2019, the percentage was 57% of their electrical generation was from coal, and in India in 2019, the percentage was 72%. On the one hand, I applaud all efforts to make things better, but on the other hand, let us not ignore the enormous work that is needed to achieve our goals.

On a related issue, may I point out that while China manufactures and uses more electrical vehicles than all the rest of the countries on Earth combined, using EVs does little to help the atmosphere if the electricity used to power the EVs comes from the burning of coal.

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Here in California, we get less than 1% of our electricity from burning coal.

Maybe not. LADWP owns a big coal fired power plant outside Delta Utah that is a major supplier of power to the city. There are also coal fired plants in Arizona that sell to So Cal Edison. California itself has only one or two small coal fired power plants such as the one in Trona that belongs to Searls Valley Minerals but California utilities still buy quite a bit of power from coal fired power plants.

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A carbon tax is one of the methods economists prefer to price carbon into goods and services that generate CO and CO2 pollution. It's not a grand conspiracy. It's an attempt to put a market price on what is not not priced into the production of certain goods and services that generate greenhouse gasses. Pollution credits are another, older idea that economists like. That one was the brain child of two Reagan Administration lawyers John B. Henry and C. Boyden Gray. This was circa 1980 and at the time was called "Pay to Pollute". Environmentalists back then were aghast at the idea but economists loved it. It took three decades for economists to bring environmentalists along to their side but by then the Republicans who are really the authors of pay to pollute or pollution credits were dismissing the concept as some grand left wing plot. That is the true story, a case of the truth being stranger than fiction.

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