- Climate scientists are very polite to political leaders, restrain alarmism, and permit reciprocal politeness from politicians, while maintaining business as usual policies.
- There is a 4C real target, with a 2C promise "that cannot be explicitly acknowledged as impossible".
- He, naively, criticizes climate report language that claims economic prosperity while cutting emissions, and favours planned economic recession... or more misguidedly, wait until low carbon energy is in place to remove recessionary forces.
- Climate reporters/IPCC all offer insufficient and miniscule emmission reduction rates, under pressure by politicians for economic growth. (economic growth is possible with 0 fossil fuels, but unknown to lecturer)
- Climate reporters/IPCC/lecturer make poor assumptions about non-OECD emmissions eventually exceeding OECD emmissions. (it will be shown that it is easiest to limit non-OECD emmissions). Easiest to prevent emmissions from energy plants that have not been built yet.
- All technology solutions must be given adequate ramp up time (often in error by IPCC), and some problems/projects require unprecedented scale.
- target emmission rates by date are not a real goal. Cummulative emmissions over next decades/centuries is what will determine global temperatures.
- The top (20) percent of energy users are the ones that need make the largest reductions, but some misplaced expectation of shaming or internalizing his lecture is assumed to be the catalyst for behaviour change.
- 70% decarbonization needed by 2025
- Electrify transportation and heating
- Renewable electricity generation, including decentralized rooftop solar.
- Use amonia, produced by electrolysis, for heating and ICE transportation fuel.
- energy storage such as liquid air, hydrogen/amonia production, including decentralized storage solutions. Batteries.
- Intercontinental UHVDC transmission lines allow 1100kv transmission halfway accross the world (20000km) of 2c/kwh solar energy at under 50% transmission losses, and so 3c/kwh delivered cost. 14000km length (about halfway at 42* lattitude) has only 33% transmission losses.
- use building materials that capture co2, such as alternative cement.
- Canada: 18.62T co2. 20.5T ghg. Export adjustment 5T ghg. = 15.5T ghg
- USA; 15.56T co2. 19.5T ghg = 19.5T ghg
- Germany: 9.47T co2. 12T ghg
- China: 7.45T co2. 8.8T ghg. Export adjustment 0.8T ghg = 8T ghg
- World: 4.8T co2. 6.5T ghg.
The carbon taxes collected to fund carbon dividends must come entirely from consumers. Producers in a jurisdiction should not pay carbon taxes. Instead, their products accrue carbon content, and the tax associated to their production gets paid in the jurisdiction that holds the consumer, and that helps the consumer afford the product with dividends paid to them.
- Cap and Trade: Hand out carbon credits to incumbent businesses and let them pollute more and buy from those who pollute less than their allotment. In addition to the problems of lobbying for higher caps, and lobbying for their share of credits, it only addresses the commercial sector. It does nothing to influence consumer transportation, electric, heating spending. Unlike carbon taxes, there is no way to affect jurisdictions that don't want to participate in the carbon credit market.
- Carbon tax to fund discretionary spending: Even when it includes a portion of the funds to help the poor deal with carbon taxes, it is an action that rewards the poor only if they stay poor. An anti-UBI position is entirely a pro-slavery position. One that structures a harsh world to facilitate military, police, prison opportunities for the right, but also the politics of hate, fear, and divisiveness that place undue importance on politicians power to increase harshness and reduce freedom. A variation of this plan is "revenue neutral carbon tax": An estimate of carbon tax revenue is used to reduce other revenue. The problem with this approach is that there are necessarily inaccuracies in helping those affected compared to the mathematically ideal of giving the tax revenue as a consumer dividend, and there is a credibility problem that the promise will be kept long term. Any discretionary assessment is a vulnerability ready to be politically exploited.
Large vs medium carbon tax and dividend
Scott Santens writes a good article on the basic economics of a carbon tax with focus on UBI. He is too polite towards revenue neutral policy proposals, and proposes a modest carbon tax that grows by $0.015/kg/year, that if carbon use remained unchanged, would grant $300/month in dividends in 2040. Scott is influenced by my previous thinking of using a carbon tax just large enough to supplement program cuts that can fund a high UBI level with minimal disruptions to the tax code.
A high carbon tax and dividend costs the same nothing to society ('s public budget) as a small one. Though it is critical that the carbon tax be entirely consumer driven, and that the carbon liabilities concept (expanded upon later) is applied so that businesses do not mark up carbon tax costs, and face no competitive disadvantage from imports or to export markets. Advantages of large over small carbon tax
- Quicker behaviour change: No business uncertainty over efficiency and adaptation/conversion measures. No uncertainty for investment in massive capacity for emissionless alternatives. Better incentives to avoid useless consumption of some goods. High demand for solar panels may firm up prices, which removes the incentive to "wait till next year" when prices might drop even further.
- Some extermination of fossil fuel use is only possible with high carbon tax: Converting planes to run on ammonia requires a large tax. The alternative of a $100/flight tax is less impactful than a $300/flight tax, when ammonia conversion might increase flight costs $80-$200. Renting spare space in a house to improve density may only be incentivized by high carbon taxes, but also the reliability of a renter that receives high carbon dividends.
- A higher carbon dividend is more progressive. High spenders are taxed more than low spenders, though its only high spenders that have the freedom to choose low spending.
- A high carbon dividend gives everyone the power to make lifestyle choices: If everyone is paid $6400 to not drive a gasoline powered car, everyone can use the money to make car payments on an electric car if they wish. This is not possible with a small carbon dividend. The rich can always afford any efficiency/alternative investment that provides a timely payback. A high carbon dividend gives everyone that power.
- Quicker behaviour change is needed to mitigate feedback risks and variance in climate models. Climate models approved by governments err on the conservative rather than alarmist side, and don't account for feedback effects we know are and will continue to happen, but cannot confidently quantify in unified models. Acting as soon and as fast as possible gives us a buffer for further adaptive and mitigation measures over the next decades, and the buffer is absolutely essential if we hold any attachment to a future just 20 or 30 years away.
- A high carbon dividend (UBI) makes us all more adaptable to change in dominant industries and more easily capable of moving where the work is.
- A high carbon tax and dividend ends distracting discussion on revenue neutral alternatives. Corruption from the ideal fair distribution of carbon tax revenue is more visible when the amounts involved are larger.
- A high carbon tax justifies the expense of auditing processes in agriculture and fossil fuel extraction and burning activities that, if carried out, significantly reduce emissions, and so can have their products' "imputed" carbon taxes reduced, and gain competitive advantage.
- A high carbon tax and dividend allows fully-private sector adjustments to the economy. This frees the public sector from finding use/projects to fund with the carbon tax, and also prevents them from reducing the carbon tax if they run out of project ideas in the future. Project funding can be pursued independently of carbon taxes as they are now.
Protect my empire of dirt
An important reason to take an exterminating/disruptive stance against dead-ender energy is that they will block any competition, and any progress towards cheaper energy of any kind regardless of pollution or climate impacts. Cheaper/better energy is an important humanist and tribal competitive advantage.
A carbon tax expands renewable energy capacity
Traditional economic thinking puts a cap on solar capacity to 20% of our electicity demand, and wind at 40%. This is because during peak generation, more is produced than is needed to meet demand, and so generators must pay users or other utilities to accept the extra power. Fossil fuels also have an edge in producing high heat (though solar heat is viable), even if they are more expensive for producing electricity. Another major issue with any power generation is producing power close to where it is consumed.
A high carbon tax's main effect in disrupting renewable power generation ceilings is in opening up storage and long distance transmission as also cheaper than dead-ender energy. Short distance transmission is made to places likely equally sunny or windy. At current prices, wind and solar costs 3c/kwh during generation, and an extra 10c/kwh from storage. Selling needed/generated solar at 5-6c/kwh during day, and dumping excess for 3c/kwh into storage provides a model that offers 13c/kwh for night/emergency power, and will shift consumer use during day. With a high carbon tax, storage still offer better energy prices even at night and even for heat generation.
Yet building capacity for use during the cloudiest winter days will eventually fill any electric storage size. Wind is a little different. The reason for the traditional 40% capacity factor is that it bubbles up to over 100% of demand on windy days. Any sized storage fills up even more quickly with higher wind capacity.
Intercontinental transmission is mostly useful for solar energy, and allows 500%+ of local daytime demand capacity. Balancing energy at noon to everywhere else that is not noon. The northern transoceanic connections also happen to be areas capable of hosting 100s of TW of wind generation, and include sites that already need ultra high voltage transmission to reach populated areas.
The most important "storage" solution is industrial processes. Hydrogen and ammonia make good heating and transportation fuel that can use legacy infrastructure to transport from remote production areas to populated areas. Variable (based on power surplus) industrial production can take advantage of abundant surplus energy. Industrial processes that can better use mechanical energy (compressing air used as stage in air liquification) instead of electric could be powered by wind. Industrial processes that take advantage of the cold (where ample wind capacity is available) such as liquid air production or IT farms can be setup north next to wind generators. Industrial processes that benefit from heat can be next to solar furnaces or other solar energy. Liquid air can be shipped south to warm areas for better electric output than the input to create it.
The ultimate storage sink though is hydrogen/amonia. Unlimited renewables makes unlimited fuel, driving down the cost of both, and permitting a high-energy-use rich global economy with 0 fossil fuel use.
1kg of hydrogen electrolyzed from water in 2014 industrial processes (optimized for volume throughput) used 50kwh of electricity. Equivalent to the btu content of 134 CF (4 cubic meteres) of natural gas. This NG can cost as little as $1/delivered today (though many places are close to $2), and $6 in extra carbon taxes are proposed. The breakeven electric cost from 2c-4c/kwh (or after carbon tax: 14c-26c/kwh), and at an expected surplus electricity price of 3c/kwh or less from renewables, causes no material change in heating prices in populated areas.
IPCC conservatism, and potential climate change effects over the next 10 years
Banking firms either needs to be at the forefront of exterminating dead-ender energy, or at the forefront of crashing the coastal land value market by withdrawing mortgage approvals on properties that will default due to devaluation from rising insurance premiums and sea levels and other banks' refusal to lend to neighbouring properties.
Housing values will face tipping points well before 2100. The 2017 hurricane season was catastrophic for the carribean, but strong storms made near misses to heavily populated mainland US areas as a strong jet stream luckily sheared and weakened the storms at the last minute. Chronically strong hurricane, drought and forest fire seasons will strain insurance prices and taxpayer patience in coming years, along with property values. Even without an arctic blue ocean event, 300k+ and accelerating square kilometer summer losses will bring high visibility/clarity to near term inch plus annual sea level rise, and a temperature shock for drought/forest fire amplification. The visibility of the tipping point(s) will crash property prices. The mistake in climate models and climate planning is not accounting for the acceleration that has happened, and that will continue to accelerate.
A high carbon tax and dividend policy implemented ASAP may not prevent the personal and humanitarian tragedy of the tipping point to property values. But it will perhaps delay the tipping point to 2050, and having 200 or 300 gigatonnes less co2 in the atmosphere, and a near 50% lower annual emissions level will/may make projects that reduce emissions further, geoengineer the planet, and capture and sequester carbon a conceivable solution to restoring land livability/value, and preventing a humanist and institutional (banking) catastrophe.
Focusing on institutional/banking concerns, there is far more benefit to exterminating energy dead enders and the dotards financing/legislating for them than in risking the irreversible wealth and property decline that will bring down the banks that align with the dead enders beyond any conceivability of bailouts.
A carbon tax and dividend structure makes banker decisions simple: Support the obvious market winning investments that offer clearly better value, and which consumers can obviously afford. Though there might be a temptation to corrupt support for energy dead-enders by political interference of a carbon tax and dividend implementation, but that temptation results in destruction of global wealth and population with collapse of the banking sector leading the way, and even with the slow (or slower) decline of the energy dead-enders committed to by the Paris accord, there will still be a devastation of dead-ender investments value, and devastation to the institutions that hold them. Banker support for dead-ender energy ensures those banks to be dead-enders too. Better to support global wealth and land values.
Every other sector of the economy
All wealth and business depends on high population and high wealth. There is no strategic depopulation (extermination) scenario that improves the wealth/lifestyle of the survivors. Small depopulation harms all businesses proportionally to the population decline, and drastic depopulation leads to hunter gatherer lifestyles. As romantically simple as hunter-gathering would be, you might as well have started poor to aspire to it. Those manufacturing and surviving a strategic depopulation won't be poor.
A carbon tax and dividend regime may increase wages paid and other business expenses, but it diverts spending away from dead-ender energy and towards other sectors. Massive projects and vehicle/appliance/window replacement also generate substantial jobs and income available to spend in other sectors of the economy.
Not supporting or tolerating politicians that protect dead-ender-energy and militarist businesses and implementing a high carbon tax and dividend is a benefit to every other sectors' businesses and workers. Exterminating the dead-ender energy sector will free talented people and equipment to do non-parasitic work, and help increase global prosperity.
Tipping point visibility part 2: denial and doubt
Harm to your nieghbours children, grandchildren and the poor is a sacrifice willing to be made by baby boomers and oil industry, if it means an extra dollar today. Denial is a convenient way to mask evil, but liberal politicians need do little more than show concern to appear less evil while avoiding any effective policy or programs. Implementation of Paris accord targets or better involves the extermination of the dead-ender energy sector.
The tipping point for climate action, if continued inaction, will come from the financial and insurance industry. When Warren Buffet pleads for us to buy stocks on the assurance that they will be higher 10 years from now, will the dead end energy sector be higher too? Their financers? Will global wealth levels tied to land be insurable and mortgageable? and will lower wealth values lower the whole market?
We've known since the 19th century that the planet is 40C degrees warmer than a rock would be at this distance from the sun, and that GHGs in our atmosphere are responsible for this. Still, seeing temperature charts confirming warming is convincing to the layperson in a simpler way than it is for the layperson to distinguish bs from real science arguments. From this page:
This chart both supported climate denialism, and confirms an accelerating trend. It created doubt prior to 2014 because you could draw a line from 1998 to 2013/14 that was fairly flat, and claim a warming pause. The chart obviously supports 1C of warming over the last 42 years, and acceleration can be seen either by noticing the 1942 or 1960 smoothed tops connecting to 2017 has a curved path below it, or noticing that a top and bottom narrow channels between 1975 and 2015 highs and lows has been broken out of from 2016 on. When adjusting out el-nino la-nina effects, channels and temperature variance get narrower, and the breakout in 2016 is still there. Data for 2017 and later is missing in that link, but the trend for stronger strong el-ninos and weaker weak la-ninas has 2017 and so far 2018 beat the 2016 record adjusting for el-nino.
While there are adverse effects of climate change on fisheries, agriculture and forest fires, its unclear how where and when they will get worse. Yet the first tipping point for a financial system reaction to global warming will be the arctic's sea ice disappearance, and the inevitability of very rapid sea rise 20 years out. That 2018 has had record low artic ice extent in a la-nina year for 90%+ of the winter, and ice previously thought to be 5m thick north of greenland (which has persisted in every summer low ice extent since satellites) vanished in February This may not be THE tipping point, but its of concern, and doesn't take much more to confirm an ice free arctic well before the IPCC projections. Arctic winter ice levels have been dropping/deteriorating from 2016 record low despite the fact that the northern hemisphere's temperature has not been as warm as 2016. Planetary warming will accelerate after this, including more heat moving to the south pole, and rapid sea rise thereafter.
I do not consider it alarmist to suggest that the US gulf and eastern seaboard will be unable to get mortgages or insurance on coastal property in 2030, and its categorically impossible to pretend that those properties will be habitable in 2100, if the oil and coal sectors are not exterminated through a high carbon tax.
Wyoming, West Virginia, and Kentucky
Wyoming has a tax on wind energy, and proposes to increase it. The dotarded logic is that they love and want to protect coal because they have coal. Though they also have a lot of wind, the dilemma is that politicians can only protect incumbents, because incumbents already have money with which to purchase them.
The political/democratic process works to fleece the sheep citizens by having single issue politicians representing coal mines or coal burning plants trade votes for other politicians' concerns. Its beyond the scope of this paper to offer a fix this system, and we can resign ourselves to its continuation. There can be a calculation that if local resources are burned, that the energy is free. Yet, the nearly free calculation only works if the resources and burning are socially owned, and with high tax rates on the workers. Coal in fact benefits a minority paid for by a majority.
These states can still join a carbon tax and dividend alliance/association despite the fact that its sheep would push for policies to use less coal, and may use black market energy. But carbon dividends would be very popular in a state that tries to maximize carbon production. Accepting a carbon tax would mean receiving recognition/credit for efficiency measures when exporting energy, thereby making it possible to export coal derived energy. Clean coal with sequestration costs an extra $0.05/kwh. For people not controlled by coal interests that makes it worth avoiding, but under a carbon tax of $0.36/kwh, and 90% saved emissions, the voluntary implementation of CCS by utilities would price its energy over $0.27/kwh less than if it did not implement clean coal tech. It makes energy exports possible, uses more coal per energy produced, and creates more work at the utility plants, in a political environment committed to loving coal and coal workers.
If coal (and NG) retains a use as emergency power worldwide, CCS gets implemented privately and voluntarily with a high carbon tax. Though CCS implementation requires guaranteed energy price/volume purchases over a long period, and/or, capital cost upgrade reimbursement (by taxpayers) if CCS coal energy gets abandoned. But for societies committed to loving coal, committing to long term expense of CCS purchase agreements is committing to that love.
"Trade wars are easy to win"
US led trade tariffs on steel are a reaction to global overcapacity, yet tariffs only increase global overcapacity. Carbon taxes on the other hand not only would use high local steel and aluminium capacity to make replacement vehicles and appliances, but high global metals capacity is essential to global security and building the generation, storage and transmission infrastructure needed to fight climate change.
The dotardedness behind the US instigating trade wars would also contort in agony over adopting solar energy if solar tech and development is controlled by China. US Tariffs on solar panels earlier this year is one of the world's greatest setbacks in ramping up production capacity. This ties back into the politics of keeping energy prices high for the benefit of utility centralization models, and the dead ender energy sector, and is behind oppressive policies for selected middle east countries and Venezuela.
If a country offered the US cheaper oil or other energy, should they be punished for dumping? The dotards would even if cheaper and efficient energy is a direct benefit to people and businesses.
High carbon taxes improving local metal fabrication output, would have the same benefit for local solar production. There are much more jobs in deployment of solar energy than there are in production as well.
A trade war is easy to lose when the instigator loses sight of its significant weaknesses. Reliance on sovereign creditors and the global banking system's support for dubious fiscal and monetary policy. And where reelection of the nazi regime with approval ratings below 40% depends on retaliations not timed for voters to see more optimistic alternatives. But a perfectly valid alternative to tariff retaliations is ignoring the US. A world made poorer by tariffs is more competitive trading with each other and less concerned with keeping the US solvent, including US corporate crown jewels moving additional production away. Tariffs don't just make foreign goods more expensive. Its an excuse for domestic suppliers to raise prices.
"Carbon liabilities" and variable carbon taxes accross jurisdictions
For business to business sales, the carbon tax does not get paid by the purchasor in cash. Instead, it is paid by taking a (deferred) liability to the government at a tax rate based on the product sold.
The liability is to a "generic" government. As the product moves accross jurisdictional borders the "owed to" counterparty government of the liability changes in full if the tax rates are the same. If the liability is not transferred to a customer, then it is owed (say) 1 year (or tax filing deadline 1 year after upcomming) after it was first issued.
Either a blockchain or accounting software upgrades needs to be in place to ease tracking. A carbon liability record includes carbon amount, tax rate, government owed, liability holder, and date due.
When a sale takes place in another jurisdiction with a different carbon tax rate, if the tax rate is higher or lower, the full liability is owed at the new tax rate to the new jurisdiction. This is to offer a level playing field in the consumption market between low and high carbon tax source markets. When a source country does not follow the carbon tax accounting rules, the destination country may use any prejudice of the source country's environmental care to impute an amount of carbon in the product, and attach a carbon liability accordingly.
This means that there is no profit margin built on top of carbon costs (and so prices to end consumer not driven up by the presence of middle men), and there is no cost disadvantage from carbon taxes for exporters. Large exporters would be able to satisfy regulators that inputs are traceable to exported goods. So, not only is there no cost to consumers and local economy from carbon tax and dividend, with the carbon liabilities system there is no cost to exporters, and so no valid objection for unilateral adoption of carbon tax and dividends. Without being a consumer only tax with escape for exporters, even small $0.01/kg carbon tax have dead ender energy politicize their lamentations over carbon taxes.
Some other details include the philosophy that carbon dividends are for residents. Air travel between 2 jurisdictions would likely split the carbon tax paid between the two, though goods shipping would pay the destination's carbon tax. People travelling away from home, might forfeit main residency carbon dividend, but receive one locally for the period they are staying. This accounting can simply be done between jurisdictions based on time of entry/exit, where the amount received from principal residence jurisdiction is adjusted up or down by the jurisdictional transfer payments that take place.
Evading carbon taxes
The streets of Philadelphia might be filled with the particulates of the homeless if they are allowed to cut and burn trees for warmth to avoid paying carbon taxes. This concern is non-existent with a high carbon dividend and/or UBI supplement because it allows the homeless to escape homelessness, and conform to social norms. Wood stoves probably should be taxed based on the implied wood fuel use. Store bought firewood would have carbon taxes. It would remain illegal to chop down city trees. Again, high carbon dividends would lead to a universal dignity level that doesn't make pilfering city trees for firewood a practical problem
A main evasion strategy is black market goods. This is impractical for oil which needs to be refined (at large traceable scale), and natural gas which is useful because of the distribution infrastructure, though propane/methane tanks might be a hassle endured with high carbon taxes. Meat can be sold on black market. Grain not so much. Campers will be able to get away with burning kindle without paying tax. The large industrial scale economy will be taxed and unable to avoid these. "Larger small businesses" would fail to cause significant impact (or avoid trying) if the activities were policed.
Vertical integration is a means to avoid paying carbon taxes. Dig your own coal to make your own steel to make oil rigs to get your own oil to power your steel making too make tractors to grow your own grain to feed your own cows. Doing this at large scale involves large conglomerate corporations, and policed rules to not let large corporations use black market/back door transfers can effectively prevent carbon tax evasion. At a small scale, there is no tax applied on the food you grow for yourself.
Some vertical integration avoidance is feasible. The grain and cattle integration could be combated with beef raised in Nebraska (where comparative advantage would recommend using all land for grain instead of cattle), might have an implied minimum carbon liabilities based on implied grain feed.
But some "cheating" behaviour can be beneficial. Generic app-driven multi task robots that would drive larger scale vertical/multi-application automation is needed/helpful for building out the mega projects needed for renewable electricity infrastructure. Capturing methane emissions from cows, and then using that as carbon tax free energy creates less harmful atmospheric emissions than letting cows belch directly to the atmosphere.
High intensity carbon capture and sequestration projects not realistic
The Paris climate accord targets propose meeting carbon budget needs by modestly slow reductions in emissions in the next 3 decades followed by gigantic large scale carbon capture and sequestration projects relying on technology, carbon sucking fairy godmothers, we are unlikely to develop. Projects need to remove 10 gigatons of carbon per year, and the IPCC's favorite (possibly because it has mistakenly assessed a partial economic return far below the cost, while other alternatives have no economic return) is burning biomass for energy and capturing the emissions. Unless the IPCC is implying strategic depopuplation, one of the major problems with this scheme is the competition with food production.
A major reason to implement high carbon tax and dividend is speeding up emission reductions such that any capture and sequestration effort is a backup plan used to restore climate to more ideal conditions after likely overshoot, to rely on just modest and feasible carbon capture programs, and to extend the time frame for extreme capture strategies, if they are needed, by several decades.
A promising (on paper) high intensity carbon dioxide sequestration possibility is placing it in peridotite rock formations. The described process would also use discarded dead-ender energy equipment.
Ways to enhance moderate private and public carbon sequestration
While the price paid for captured carbon delivered to the government cannot be as high as the carbon tax due to the cost of burying it, a more important reason to not pay a high price for "random" carbon is that it provides an incentive to produce it just to sell it.
Government monitored capture systems primarily in the energy sector can offer the full tax price of carbon if the sequestration process is also audited. The trade of carbon liabilities can also play a prominent role in audited private sector assistance for carbon capture and sequestration.
I have high hopes for liquid air as a mass energy storage method. The process of liquifying air to -190C passes through the process of making dry ice (frozen co2) at -76C, and all relies on 18th century technology, and abundant materials. Encapsulating dry ice in plastic is a perfectly reasonable practice in a high carbon tax world, and one that with a carbon price, may make such energy storage of greater overall efficiency/profitability/benefit than alternatives.
Paying a price for "discharging carbon liabilities" equal to the carbon tax less disposal/burial and auditing costs is a perfectly reasonable approach to helping meet climate goals, but a small issue is who pays. "Retiring" a carbon liability reduces the carbon dividend for the society administered by the retiring jurisdiction. For energy (production/storage) related capture, its easy to take the emission offsets (carbon liabilities) from traceable consumers. The consumers avoided carbon tax, and so don't have their carbon dividend increased.
One relatively low scale carbon capture method involves crushing basalt rock, and then spreading it out on the ground. Usefully, this can be spread on farm land. But the work of crushing it is unrelated to the farmer. Giving a farmer sandbags of crushed basalt does not spread it out for them. He may use the bags to make a fort if they are free. If an auditable agency spreads the basalt on fields, paying for the entire process, even with high carbon tax, may have higher costs than the carbon it captures. If the entire process cost the same as emitting the carbon, and paid by the farmer, the net food price is the same as if they emitted the same as before, but their customers don't receive the equivalent carbon dividend. A project even more removed from consumers is fracking special rocks in shallow oceans to prep them for rapid carbonization.
Paying for general carbon capture programs should come from the global beneficiaries to carbon limits. This can be proportional with property values and banking relationships at risk, where risk is proportional to mid latitude farmland, and ocean frontage. The projects should also be considered qualified charities, and the concept of "strategic charity" could consider extra tax credits for financially supporting these charities. Basically, the funding should come outside of the carbon tax regime when no significant direct benefit to consumers' carbon tax bill is realized by carbon reduction actions.
Fudged carbon pricing
Undertaxing the carbon emissions of the food sector makes sense on the basis that everyone needs to eat and be healthy, and so undertaxing food makes the carbon tax more progressive (less stressful on poor), that there are no easy immediate paths to reducing such emissions, and that food security is enhanced by allowing for overproduction. Managed/socialized food industry practices might be more appropriate to manage that sector's impact on carbon balance, though rewarded by lower carbon pricing of their food for good practices is still an essential tool in shaping those practices.
Overtaxing jet travel might be justifiable in that it is a service for the relatively rich, but not overtaxing it, in some circumstances, is justifiable in that there are few alternatives for transoceanic travel (until ammonia economy). On net, overtaxing would have the benefit of reducing use and better funding carbon dividends.
Under/Over taxing refers to an adjustment to the base carbon emissions tax. At the beginning of this paper, I offered an annual carbon tax increase schedule based on adaptability timing. Each product category can have their own tax rate schedule. Another reason to undertax food, or use a slow schedule is that an auditing infrastructure to permit accounting for lower emission practices will take time to develop.
The carbon dividend is still total carbon taxes collected divided by people receiving it. Counting children as "half a person" is fair.
Carbon dividend and basic income
Another major reason for a high carbon tax proposal that grants a dividend of USD$10000 to residents is that the dividend is sufficient, by itself, to end homelessness, even if that dividend is not compeletely equal to a tax funded UBI since there are some cost of living (carbon tax) related offsets.
I used to advocate for a $4000 carbon tax/dividend, as that amount was sufficient with minimal tax reform, to support program eliminations permitted by (and funding) total cash distributions of $16k/year in Canada. While $10k is significantly more, carbon tax revenue will/should drop drastically each year. Removing welfare, unemployment insurance, public pensions, retirement support, post secondary student support, use clawbacks to fund public affordable housing, can consider public-private partnerships for children's education, and use life loans to further support students, business creation, and lower tax rates. A high carbon tax will reduce singe occupant gas-powered vehicles on the road. A benefit to both rich drivers and tax payer funded road expansion budgets. The economic growth from UBI and removal of programs would pay for it, even as carbon tax revenue drops.
An important benefit of carbon dividends and UBI are the health and criminal management budgetary savings, and as important, the avoidance of victimization and stress directly related to the misery and desperation associated with poverty. Reduction in suicide, terrorism, and rampages has significant human value, and a direct result of creating a less stressful world.
The only valid objection to UBI is a personal value in the structures (public and private) that grant permission to survive being empowered by a harsh society made desperate for those permissions. UBI instead creates wealth, and offers more opportunities that are easier to pursue through fair labour markets and an environment enabling permissionless creation of our own work.
Yet despite my recommendations, societies will choose their own carbon dividend and UBI rates. One advantage of some supplemental UBI amount is providing a fixed carbon dividend (including UBI) for budgetary certainty of citizens. ie. carbon taxes contribute part of the funding for UBI that is higher than just the collected carbon taxes.
The most important reason for a high carbon tax and dividend of those listed in the high vs medium section above is #4: That the poor can make the same lifestyle adaptations as the rich. This in fact may appear to be reason to accelerate the ramp up schedule for carbon taxes, but its really a reason to accelerate the ramp up of the dividend portion ahead of the tax portion... with UBI.
The friction to universal adoption among nations for high carbon taxes
Lets assume that carbon tax and dividend is not an equally easy sell for every nation. That dotarded blindness could come from these sources:
- Climate stress will provide an environment rich for weapons sales to suppress/oppress those harmed by climate stress.
- Resources owned/controlled by a society "should be" seen as free, and those profiting from their exploitation "should be" protected ahead of both consumer preferences for cheaper energy, and social harm caused by climate stress
- Freeloading off the rest of the world's climate harm reduction efforts while denying/delaying/studying what to do instead of a carbon tax and dividend.
- Freeloading by adopting a low carbon tax to minimize local disruption and adaptation.
There is plenty of energy in renewables, and the production and distribution infrastructure to exploit it will make the world rich, as well as everyone who contributes to the needed projects. Geopolitics should worry less about controlling and limiting others' energy, and assuring that they have an early role in maintaining a habitable and prosperous planet. Land, money, technology, engineering are all great assets to contribute and obtain returns.
Turnkey solutions for ammonia production could replace bitcoin miners. But these require large scale production capacity, and are not as easy to sell or move if "real" supply sinks come on board for the produced energy... though they can be a permanent part of any energy project using all excess energy production, and added in chunks as sufficient chunks of "baseline" (cloudy/relatively calm wind) energy production scale is added.
Working with energy companies and governments on the extermination of dead end energy
Large private and public oil interests, especially if they don't invest in new exploration, drilling and pipelines, have good cashflow from existing operations. These are fundamentally engineering and geology companies and have the talent and resources to contribute non parasitically to humanity.
The lack of future oil development will likely cause short term increase in the price of oil, and so help fund humanity-useful projects should they wish as a firm to survive, and be tolerated. Either way though, their workers will have ample opportunities as the world builds the needed major infrastructure.
Part of adopting the high carbon tax and dividend solution to climate change should include excusing oil companies from climate change liabilities that are the subject of current lawsuits.
Government assistance to accelerate renewables capacity and infrastructure can include paying for plants in their countries, even though the sector's profitability is assured with high carbon taxes. The assistance would provide multinational expansion of renewables/infrastructure engineering firms that should accelerate their output capacity. Governments shouldn't be shy about requesting a profit share for such assistance, and it should not be paid from the carbon tax/dividend budget.
Next IPCC led climate accords must
- recognize a pace to exterminate fossil fuel based energy sector.
- abandon BECCS as a likely eventually viable solution.
- recognize high carbon taxes are needed to achieve any reasonable climate targets
- recognize that carbon dividends are essential for allowing the population to adapt to new technology, and to accept the carbon taxes.
- assess means of global/long range electricity transmission for supply to meet energy demand where it is needed.
- assess the prospects of an ammonia economy.
- assess likely pace of arctic sea ice melting away, and any accelerating impact once it does.
- assess a baseline co2 and ghg content to product categories.