I agree with Leonard and Stavins: A price on carbon is the only honest way of dealing with climate change

David Leonard:
....The most efficient way to begin attacking the global swelter is no mystery. It involves raising the price of carbon emissions, which are warming the planet, and then letting the private sector find innovative ways to use less dirty energy. Conservative economists, like Gregory Mankiw, support this approach. So do liberals, like Joseph Stiglitz.
But taxing carbon has never had much of a political chance. It’s too honest. 
....Robert Stavins, the Harvard economist, told me he would actually prefer a bill that cut emissions less in the short term but created a template for much bigger cuts in the future. “Success, to me, would be the beginning of political acceptance of carbon pricing,” he said.
Read the whole article.

If you're worried about distributional issues associated with a carbon tax (and I might be too), then deal with those separately with appropriate transfers and safety nets.

This isn't that hard.  It's not that costly.


  1. I look at a carbon tax like this: if we're going to get taxed for something, it might as well be a bad (emitting carbon) rather than a good (earning income). Good post. This point needs to be hammered home until more people start listening.


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