[A] growing body of research by Oregon State University suggests snow-challenged years are already becoming more common and are likely to increase in decades to come....Last year, it was interesting that after the piece about changes in subalpine meadows, the SJ ran an op-ed piece in favor of a carbon tax written by a Crater Lake Park Ranger.
"We're eyewitnesses to climate change - it's real and it's costing us."
The online commenting went nuts, accusing proponents of carbon pricing of being socialists and fans of redistribution.
But fans of carbon pricing are about as far from socialists as you can get!
How about the conservative and libertarian Cato Institute? They're something of a fan of carbon pricing:
One of the most effective ways of reducing carbon emissions is simply to price them using a revenue-neutral carbon tax whose income is offset by reductions in income or other taxes...That's exactly what the Ranger suggested.
And it makes sense. It's a market-based, free-enterprise solution that preserves personal choice as opposed to a regulatory scheme that eliminates choices.
Or how about conservative economist Gregory Mankiw, advisor to George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, and no friend of socialism? Back in 2007 he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times:
IN the debate over global climate change, there is a yawning gap that needs to be bridged. The gap is not between environmentalists and industrialists, or between Democrats and Republicans. It is between policy wonks and political consultants.Even more, it's not theoretical, the lofty idea of wonks. There's an increasing body of evidence that suggests it works.
Among policy wonks like me, there is a broad consensus. The scientists tell us that world temperatures are rising because humans are emitting carbon into the atmosphere. Basic economics tells us that when you tax something, you normally get less of it. So if we want to reduce global emissions of carbon, we need a global carbon tax. Q.E.D.
In a recent Atlantic piece, "How British Columbia Enacted the Most Effective Carbon Tax in North America," the writer notes
[G]asoline use in British Columbia has plummeted, declining seven times as much as might be expected from an equivalent rise in the market price of gas, according to a recent study by two researchers at the University of Ottawa. That's apparently because the tax hasn't just had an economic effect: It has also helped change the culture of energy use in BC. "I think it really increased the awareness about climate change and the need for carbon reduction, just because it was a daily, weekly thing that you saw," says Merran Smith, the head of Clean Energy Canada. "It made climate action real to people."Business people and fans of free markets everywhere should agree: A revenue-neutral carbon tax is necessary and best!
It also saved many of them a lot of money. Sure, the tax may cost you if you drive your car a great deal, or if you have high home gas heating costs. But it also gives you the opportunity to save a lot of money if you change your habits, for instance by driving less or buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. That's because the tax is designed to be "revenue neutral"—the money it raises goes right back to citizens in the form of tax breaks.
Update, April 19th