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Some governments are thinking of imposing a carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas emissions. What do you think?

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Too many implementation questions and issues to answer this with a degree of certainty.

What about size of the tax? How soon it should be imposed?

How large would a carbon tax need to be to reduce carbon emissions by a percent or degree mandated by international treaty?

If implemented, what other more stringent regulations would be placed on energy production and use? At the same time as the tax, or later on if the tax doesn't get the country to the promised land of emissions reduction?

What about inflationary pressures? Have they been factored in already? More inflation uncertainty?

Please come back with more information, if you want an informed answer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Elected governments are avoiding taxes like this as they don't really work and make them unpopular. Instead they are artificially crimping supply chains to create shortages, which make things much more expensive or unavailable. It works more effectively and deflects blame. Instead of looking bad for raising prices, they pretend to be trying to limiting the increases and reducing the shortages a little. To do unpopular things as an elected regime, yet stay in power, you have to manipulate society through such covert interventions.

If they want to protect fragile ecosystems they will need to supply soldiers to take down the loggers and poachers. Sending cash won't do this - it will just get diverted into well-connected pockets.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I say NO.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I say YES.

Carbon taxes are the simplest and least costly policy that governments can implement to reduce CO2 emissions. They don't require the creation of specialized agencies, they don't require complex regulation, they don't require massive government spending programs.

And they work.

The way things work without a carbon tax is that emitting industries get away with a business model that hoists the costs - in the form of the damage from climate change that they are imposing on society as a whole both now and in the future - onto everyone else. A well designed carbon tax will force those industries to absorb the costs of their own actions instead of making the rest of us pay and, ultimately, force them to eliminate those costs by switching to renewable energy sources.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Extortion dressed up as "carbon tax".

5 ( +10 / -5 )

When a government seeks to tax the people instead of addressing problems, we know they don't have a clue what to do, but would like some of our money in the meantime.

Cattle farmers for example provide food for national and international consumption, forcing them to pay more tax won't decrease the number of cattle needed to feed our people, it'll only make it harder on farmers and inflate the prices for us.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

When a government seeks to tax the people instead of addressing problems we know they don't have a clue what to do, but would like some of our money in the meantime.

But the tax itself is the means of addressing the problem in this case. The purpose is not to raise money per se but to force industries to incorporate the cost of the harm their business causes into the price.

Cattle farmers for example provide food for national and international consumption, forcing them to pay more tax won't decrease the number of cattle needed to feed our people, it'll only make it harder on farmers and inflate the prices for us.

I'm not sure if cattle are actually subject to any carbon taxes, but lets run with that example anyway because its possible they might in the future in some places.

If raising cattle is CO2 intensive (which it is) then that fact needs to somehow be reflected in the price of beef, which it isn't without a carbon pricing mechanism that forces producers to incorporate those costs into their prices.

If beef falls under a carbon tax of some sort, then the price of beef will go up. Consumer habits will change in response to that and people will probably start eating more pork and chicken, the production of which is way less CO2 intensive. Some people who like hamburgers and steaks will still eat beef, but they'll pay more because frankly they should be paying more in order to incorporate the actual costs to society of beef production. Until now the rest of society has been effectively subsidizing the production of beef by taking on the present and future effects of climate change that it will cause, without the consumers of beef having to pay for that. When beef consumption falls, farmers who raise cattle will shift some of their production to pigs and chickens, the consumption of which will go up. They will incur costs in making that switch and an equitable system should ensure that part of the revenues raised go towards compensating them.

This logic applies not just to cattle but to pretty much everything - oil, coal, etc. If you make the cost of one thing higher, consumers will switch to consuming lower cost alternatives that produce less CO2. This is actually a good thing.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It's about time! The SDG's have to be achieved by 2030. The Covid-19 Pandemic is already helping it to be achieved. We have already sacrificed so many lives for this, so the SDG's must be attained in order to have a sustainable earth.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If such taxes are introduced, please call them carbon dioxide taxes (or carbon gas taxes if methane emissions are also to be covered). The expression "carbon tax" gives carbon a bad name. Yet if some genius could devise a practical way to produce carbon from the atmosphere, they'd be considered the savior of the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, do that. lol Then even more will oppose your new eco dictatorship. If that is what you want, go ahead.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I'm pretty sure they're just using carbon-related issues as a good front to regain lost government revenue due to the pandemic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The organic gasses emitted from cattle/livestock could be taxed and it would raise a ton of cash in meat eating countries.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

ToshihiroToday  04:34 pm JST

I'm pretty sure they're just using carbon-related issues as a good front to regain lost government revenue due to the pandemic.

They're going to have to try a lot harder than that, then. Just a cavalcade of deceit. And adding another tax won't solve any problems, just create more.

"Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

One of the most terrifying sentences in the English language.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

One of the most terrifying sentences in the English language.

So when you are the victim of a crime, you are terrified of police help, when your house is on fire you are terrified of firefighter help, when you have kids you are terrified of teachers helping them, when you get into an accident you are terrified of paramedic help, etc etc???

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

rainydayToday  06:18 pm JST

Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

One of the most terrifying sentences in the English language.

So when you are the victim of a crime, you are terrified of police help, when your house is on fire you are terrified of firefighter help, when you have kids you are terrified of teachers helping them, when you get into an accident you are terrified of paramedic help, etc etc???

Nice try at a red herring. I'm not talking about essential services and you know it. In any case, police forces in Australia haven't shown themselves to be apolitical in the last couple years. And government schools with falling educational standards. But I digress.

I'm talking about governments claiming they can solve big problems instead of making them worse. Like lockdowns, or in the case of environmental projects, boondoggle subsidy farms that provide healthy contracts for rent-seekers at massive expense to the public. Carbon taxes are mostly going to fund additional levels of bureaucracy and increase the cost of living for those who can least afford it thanks to inefficient allocation of resources to inefficient and unreliable energy sources.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Like lockdowns,

So just letting Covid infect and kill more people would have been better?

or in the case of environmental projects, boondoggle subsidy farms that provide healthy contracts for rent-seekers at massive expense to the public. 

Yup, lots of governments do stuff like that. Which is why a carbon tax, which doesn’t involve additional subsidies, government programs, agencies, regulations or other “bad” government stuff, is probably a better policy option.

Carbon taxes are mostly going to fund additional levels of bureaucracy and increase the cost of living for those who can least afford it thanks to inefficient allocation of resources to inefficient and unreliable energy sources.

Not necessarily. Some are by law required to be revenue neutral to avoid that problem, so every dollar raised by the carbon tax has to be offset by tax cuts elsewhere.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Yes, it is actually essential imo.

Though everyone (country) must implement it, else consumers will just substitute local beef for foreign beef as an example, and in the end emit more CO2 not less.

Currently there is a carbon tax in some nations such as Canada, but at what rate or state of it (effect) I am unsure so it's not that wild of an idea. The more dire the situation, the higher the rate should be to promote alternatives.

Since everything we consume emitted some CO2 in one way or another, understandably people would be against taxing it or increasing the tax on it as that would increase the price of everything we consume. But as it stands the costs are hidden and not easily comparable between alternatives, neither is anyone rewarded for their contribution. There's also the fact that some items just don't have realistic alternatives. Taxing would provide companies an incentive and metric by which to try to contribute. In the absence of it, hope is all we have.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"carbon tax to curb greenhouse gas emissions" - it's not about climate "change" or "warming". It's more about resource scarcity. Of course, I am aware that a person who suggested that CO2 increases global temperatures got 1/4 of No-bel prize this year. But, climate warming theories are as doubtful as they were before.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

carbon tax won't solve this

we need a global push to promote green energy and renewables

we need to provide companies with incentives to go green

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Carbon tax, also known as the latest means devised by globalists to gain near-total control over the economies of the world.

In the end, any such tax would effectively just be a massive wealth transfer from the poor to the rich, technologically elite oligarchs.

And, think about it—supposing the tax were wildly successful at cutting carbon dioxide emissions, what would happen? Governments will have become reliant on a dying revenue stream, at which point they will shift to a new tax, probably one that will just tax all energy consumption directly.

Look at what is happening with electric cars. Governments lost revenue from gasoline taxes, and so now they are trying to substitute per-mile or per-kilometer taxes instead. Meanwhile, those same government leaders fail to build enough energy plants to fuel the new electric boom. The globalist elites are intentionally creating shortages, and they are finding every way possible to profit from it, all at our expense.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Kind of a vague question, really needs to reference specific policy as to whether it is worthwhile or not.

On the individual level, not really all that useful. While it is obviously nice for individuals to lower their carbon footprint, that is a drop in the bucket compared to the emissions produced by large corporate entities.

A carbon tax on those large corporate entities is a better move, but it would have to be prohibitively expensive to be remotely worthwhile. Anything less and the larger companies will just shrug and pay the fee as part of operating costs, rather than actually decrease carbon emissions.

Overall, not sold on the idea of a tax alone. The idea behind it is good but I feel like it won't have the intended result. We need much more strict government oversight of companies to get to the level that it would actually matter.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I love how Japan is going to tax itself into oblivion...for "the environment", when right next door, the Chinese are MASSIVELY RAMPING UP COAL-BASED ENERGY USE, in spite of their eternal promises to the world to do just the opposite?

The fools in California put "green" before "sanity"...and created for themselves crippling "brownouts" for the first time in decades? But hey, those with a one-track "State will solve everything" mentality have always been infamous for putting their pie-in-the-sly goals into practice before ever worrying about what such punitive policies will actually bring to Reality. (China, stupidly, put foreign policy goals ahead of rational policies...and they now face a bleak winter of, you guessed it, massive power outages and forced closing of factories! But don't worry....COAL will save them? lol. Will these Statists ever learn?)

Tax Taro Japanese out of existence...while a single energy inefficient Chinese factory (Japanese owned or otherwise) use in a single day what Taro can't consume in 100 lifetimes. But yeah, Government, it's the little guy, as usual, who will suffer the brunt of your utopian fantasies.

By the way, the entire world economy SHUT DOWN at an unprecedented level (never seen before in modern history and hopefully never to be seen again!), due to COVID. GDP crash. No planes or "wasteful" tourists. Lockdowns. Rationing. So...what happened to the "climate change" because of it? (nothing? no change at all? Yet here you are, asking for "carbon taxes" on a recovering society to "stop" climate change?)

lol. Does anyone else see the problem encapsulated in the dismal results the 2020 economic shutdown had for these "governments can solve it" people's environmental arguments? Because they certainly cannot!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many developed countries have been reducing their carbon footprints for a while now. Meanwhile, China and India have become major polluters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"So long as you pay your carbon tax you can pollute as much as you want". That's basically what a carbon tax is. Like hell will any of the money go back into developing green energy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"So long as you pay your carbon tax you can pollute as much as you want". That's basically what a carbon tax is.

So in the absence of a carbon tax they won't pollute as much as they want?

carbon tax won't solve this

I don't think the solution is simply a carbon tax but it is part of the solution rather than we need to avoid it like the plague.

By the way, the entire world economy SHUT DOWN at an unprecedented level

If the shutdown did solve climate change, does it mean we want to continue to be shutdown or find a better solution? But in reality since everything we consume emits carbon, without alternatives, it would be tied to GDP relatively speaking.

If it wasn't obvious, a carbon tax is taxed at the corporate level as it would be silly to do it elsewhere, but they doesn't mean the consumer won't feel the cost of it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And what do corporations do when they are taxed on products produced?

Thats right…

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Huuuuge tax on use on concrete in Japan, please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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