Washington State’s Proposed CO2 Tax Would Lower Temps By Zero Degrees

With respect to Washington governor Jay Inslee’s renewed proposal for a “carbon” tax on that state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a number to keep closely in mind is: 2/1000 of a degree.

That would be the global temperature effect in the year 2100 if Washington were to reduce its GHG emissions to zero immediately. That figure comes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate model, under a set of assumptions that exaggerate the effects of emissions reductions.

Obviously, the effect of the governor’s proposed tax would be vastly smaller. And by the way, the governor’s proposal would not apply to jet fuel, as Boeing is the state’s largest private employer.

Even with that glaring concession to political reality, Inslee apparently still believes that the state should make itself a moral example and “mark the way.” Sorry, but the federal bureaucracy until Donald Trump assumed the presidency was way ahead of him.

Implementation of the Obama administration’s entire package of climate policies would have reduced temperatures by 25/1000 of a degree, while the Paris agreement if implemented fully, would yield a reduction of 17/100 of a degree. Those effects, by the way, would be too small to be measured reliably.

And so Inslee’s claim that his proposed tax would “save our children” from droughts, flooding, fires, and other “existential threats” is preposterous.

Inslee seems implicit to recognize this, and so he reverted to a justification based upon the employment that will be created by an expansion of “clean energy” production.

That, too, is deeply dubious. His tax on energy would shift employment away from energy-intensive sectors toward others, and in the aggregate would reduce employment by making the economy smaller. (U.S. data show that energy consumption and employment move together closely. The same is true for energy consumption and GDP growth, household income, and reductions in the poverty rate.)

And about that “clean energy”: There is nothing “clean” about it. There is heavy-metal pollution created by the production process for wind turbines. There are noise and flicker effects of wind turbines. There is the large problem of solar-panel waste. There is wildlife destruction caused by the production of renewable power. There is massive and unsightly land use made necessary by the unconcentrated nature of renewable energy.

And above all, there is the increase in emissions of conventional effluents caused by the up-and-down cycling of the backup conventional-generation units, which are needed to avoid blackouts caused by the unreliability of wind and solar power — a reality curiously underreported in the popular discussion.

With respect to the “existential threats” asserted by Inslee: There is no question that increasing GHG concentrations are having measurable effects. But they are far smaller than the climate models would lead one to believe.

The degree to which recent warming has been anthropogenic is unsettled in the scientific literature, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its fifth assessment report (AR5) has reduced its estimated range of the effect in 2100 of a doubling of GHG concentrations from 2.0–4.5 to 1.5–4.5 degrees C.

Moreover, there is little evidence of strong climate effects attendant upon increasing GHG concentrations, in terms of sea levels; Arctic and Antarctic sea ice; tornado activity; tropical cyclones; U.S. wildfires; drought; and flooding.

IPCC in the AR5 is deeply dubious (Table 12.4) about the various severe effects often hypothesized (or asserted) as future impacts of increasing GHG concentrations. Climate change caused by GHG emissions might prove to be a serious problem. It might prove to be a minor problem, and it might prove to be beneficial on net.

We simply do not know, and the argument that very large costs ought to be imposed by climate policies upon the economy — that is, upon actual people — with trivial or unmeasurable benefits is deeply problematic. More research, more technological advance, and adaptation over time are likely to prove far wiser.

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    How about a Hot Air Tax to be paid by Al Bore,Leonardo DiCaprio,Bill Nye,David Suzuki,Laurie David,Robert Kennedy Jr,Barack Obama the Useless Nations and all those various Eco-Wackos celebrating their idiotic Earth Day Celebrations and Greenpeace from their fossil fueled ships Arctic Sunrise and Rainbow Warrior II and those annoying little zodiacs

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Here’s what green policy has done to me.
    My latest electricity bill would have been $380 dollars. The Ontario Liberals conjured up something they christened as the “Ontario Fair Hydro Plan” that reduced my bill by $150 to $230 .
    Translation is I reimburse that $150 reduction to my government with taxes that I pay to Ontario. Oh, plus I get to pay for other Ontarians’ electricity bill reductions, those that don’t pay taxes.
    Income redistribution, 2018.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Russell Johnson

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    It’s unconstitutional to establish a state religion, even in Washington. Don’t the citizens of Washington realize 96.5% of all greenhouse gases is WATER VAPOR,which is absolutely uncontrollable? No problem can be eliminated by reducing a PORTION of 3.5% of the cause. That’s why no carbon tax has an effect on climate–It simply thievery pure and simple!

    Reply

    • Avatar

      David Lewis

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      Many of us in Washington State do realize that water vapor is the dominate green house gas. I also realize that only 0.5 to 2 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions a year is from man, the rest is from natural sources.

      Unfortunately we are out voted by Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma. I was at the Fremont parade and there was a large continent marching in favor of renewable energy. It appears the typical person there just believes with the liberal new media and educational system has told them.

      Washington State as a whole is schizophrenic. In a general election the state votes against taxes when on the state wide ballot, but in the same election will send representatives to Olympia who vote for new taxes and to increase existing ones.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    G

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    It’s simply incredible how leftists manage to get elected by offering nothing for something.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Of course it won’t have any decernible effect on the earths temperature . That isn’t the point . It’s a convenient lie
    to fleece tax payers with a new source of revenue which
    will expedite the hollowing out of the middle class and make the poor poorer .
    The politicians are lying to the public because they are incapable of
    doing anything else but spend money and it is far easier to tax people than manage spending .
    Hollowing out the middle class is accelerating reducing people back to feudal serfs . Color neutral of course . Well other than the top 1 % consisting of the smartest white guys in the room .

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sonnyhill

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      I just read something from Joe Bastardi that resonated with my take on climate activism.
      The Warmist genesis was central government. Socialism versus capitalism.
      Climate is a red herring, a trick.
      Defend incentive, it benefits society.
      But nowhere near the benefits of the carbon cycle.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Gerry

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    Washington governor Jay Inslee. Action please.

    Stop telling us what. Show us how. If 50% of the states governmental facilities and operations are running on free sustainable power (non-carbon) within 2 years I’ll personally apologize for thinking the whole thing was a dumb arse scam and campaign for you in any future run for any elected office.

    Reply

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