Entirely Reasonable Warmist Has No Idea What The Climate Will Do, But We Should Go With Carbon Taxes Anyhow

I love when Warmists sound reasonable, then expose themselves. In this case, Tim Worstall, who starts out by showing a picture of steam venting from what looks like a nuclear power plant, but is supposed to represent Evil CO2. After reasonableness and kumbya, we get

The cumulative effect of all of these feedbacks is something we simply do not know. We don’t even know what all the feedbacks are; and of those we do know about, we’re not sure in which direction they move. While there are some reasonable guesses about what the total number and direction of them all added together, we’re not certain whether that total effect is positive or negative. (snip)

It is this “we don’t know” that leads to needing to do something. Economists call this uncertainty, and the correct and reasonable reaction to uncertainty is insurance. It can sound a little odd: the idea is that the less we know about the effects of climate change, the more we ought to do about it. But consider insurance against your house burning down. If you know the chance is 1 in a million then you’ll not be willing to pay (much) more than one millionth of its worth to insure it. If the risk is 1 in 10,000, then perhaps one ten-thousandth of the value. But if you are uncertain what the risk is then you are willing to pay much more of the value in order to gain insurance.

OK, so, we have no clue, but, since we have no clue (note to Tim: science is about facts, not guesses), we should Do Something. Preferably with Other People’s money (2nd note to Tim: you’re free to guess with your own money, champ)

Except for one little point: we in the UK are already paying that carbon tax. With emissions around the 500-million-ton mark, that $80 per tonne tax works out at about £25 billion or so that should be paid in tax to solve the problem, entirely and absolutely. And in the UK, when you add up fuel duty, Air Passenger Duty and all the rest, we already pay that and more in carbon or greenhouse taxes. We’re not paying it in all the right places, this is true: fuel duty and APD are too high, while diesel for farmers and trains is too low. But given that the total amount is already being levied, all we need to do is shift around what is already being charged to solve the climate change problem.

We’ve then got to go and convince everyone else: but think how much easier that will be once we show quite how cheap and simple the solution is. No more of the mantra that we’ve got to end industrial civilisation: three squares a day has become something of a habit for many of us. And no more of the shouts that nothing needs to be done.

Those monetary values don’t seem cheap to the rest of us. Especially since we “don’t know.” Try again, Tim.

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One Response to “Entirely Reasonable Warmist Has No Idea What The Climate Will Do, But We Should Go With Carbon Taxes Anyhow”

  1. Fred Z says:

    Go easy on Timmy. He’s incredibly rational on economics almost all of the time, quite libertarian-free market.

    He’s just a little nuts on AGW. He swallowed the central thesis some time ago and has not yet vomited it up. But he will.

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