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Discussion > Raff’s Carbon Tax

Raff,
in the UK taxes raised for specific purposes is not the norm, and quickly revert to the general taxation pot. Normally after a general election.

Clarification
1. The Carbon Tax will be levied on businesses = correct?
2. Businesses will not be reimbursed in anyway-correct?
3. Individuals will pay the carbon tax - correct?
4. Individuals will be reimbursed - correct?
5 Individuals may or may not receive 100% or even >100%reimbursement -correct?.
6. The tax will be levied on food and energy production - correct?
7. As businesses food and energy producers will not receive a rebate - correct?
8. Food and energy prices will rise as a result of 6 & 7 - correct?
9. This tax is raised in addition to fuel duties and VAT - correct?
10. The government will retain a proportion of the tax for whatever purpose it sees fit - correct?

Thank You,

Jun 21, 2016 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I cannot speak for Raff, however for the fee-and-dividend model proposed by Jim Hansen and others

1. The Carbon Tax will be levied on businesses = correct?
Incorrect, it is applied to fossil fuels at the point of extraction or import

2. Businesses will not be reimbursed in anyway-correct?

Correct,

3. Individuals will pay the carbon tax - correct?

Incorrect - see 1.

4. Individuals will be reimbursed - correct?

Correct.

5 Individuals may or may not receive 100% or even >100%reimbursement -correct?.

Correct, though its normally envisioned as being returned to households.

6. The tax will be levied on food and energy production - correct?

Not directly, see 1.

7. As businesses food and energy producers will not receive a rebate - correct?

Correct, now that would be a bureaucratic nightmare.

8. Food and energy prices will rise as a result of 6 & 7 - correct?

Incorrect. See 1.

9. This tax is raised in addition to fuel duties and VAT - correct?

Correct.

10. The government will retain a proportion of the tax for whatever purpose it sees fit - correct?

Incorrect, it is a key point that 100% is returned to citizens.

Jun 21, 2016 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

…it is a key point that 100% is returned to citizens.
And you believe that?! Who pays for the collection, sorting and redistribution? Perhaps relevant – what is the point of this tax? Will it stop emissions? Will it stop global warming (which is stopped, anyway, but we won’t go there)? Will it stop climate change (but then, as we still cannot actually pinpoint any specific event and call it the result of climate change, how will we know if change has been stopped?)? This is the road to madness, but don’t let that stop you.

Jun 21, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Phil Clarke, Jim Hansen predicted that much of Manhattan would be underwater by now. His understanding of economics is rubbish too.

Rumours that climate scientists want to rule the world, are substantiated.

How about a 97% Income Tax Rate for Climate Scientists? It would be simple and fair. It would reduce the production of unnecessary climate science.

Jun 22, 2016 at 12:37 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan Kendall, you are describing how supply and demand work with supply severely constrained. The problem of CO2 emissions is not at all like that but instead is like the Tragedy of the Commons.

ATTP, yes in theory, but that might have been okay 20 years ago or if we simply wanted to level the playing field between renewables and fossil fuels. But we don't actually know the size of the externalities (although we know it is large). Also, we want to eliminate fossils, not just allow renewables to compete with them, so the tax needs to be large enough to put them at a growing disadvantage.

Jun 22, 2016 at 1:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Raff,
I think, in principle, if we were able to calculate the SCC accurately (which we can't) then it shouldn't matter; it would rise if we were not reducing emissions fast enough. So, I think fossil fuel-based energy sources would end up at a competitve disadvantage even if we simply based a carbon tax on the SCC. At the end of the day, though, it's intended to be a market-based approach.

Jun 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I was painting a fence yesterday, so am way off the pace. I don't want to derail the debate, but just wanted to come back briefly on the comments made by Sandy S and Radical Rodent in response to my earlier comments about tax, as they seem (to me) to have misunderstood me. Maybe I expressed myself badly, as I agree with what both of you said.

I don't believe in tax for the sake of it, and I firmly agree that Governments waste huge amounts of money. I don't agree with a "carbon" tax. I don't think we should tax food and essentials. I do think, however, that we should live within our means, and with a state debt level of £1.7trn, rapidly rising, we need both to reduce spending and increase taxes to try to restore some financial sanity. The question is what to tax without causing unnecessary damage to the economy (and its ability to generate wealth and therefore taxes) and who to tax, in order to avoid unfairness. As things stand, our grandchildren will be paying for our profligacy, something the "greens" never seem to recognise when they say we need to think about our grandchildren, while they mutter about climate change and waste our money on crackpot projects, plunging us further into debt.

I think we're all 3 of us broadly saying the same thing, really.

Jun 22, 2016 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I still haven't seen any evidence that this scheme will substantially affect CO2. Small initial improvements in emissions aren't indicative of long term and increasing success.

Questions

If you extract the tax at the fuel end, how do you know how much tax to return to the individual for products other than fuel itself?

If you give people 100% of the money for the higher chages on high CO2 producs and fuel, what's stopping them using the money to continue buying the higher CO2 products?

How can that tax model survive, given that the excusion the money takes from the customer to the retailer to the government and then back to the customer, would incur costs? (it doesn't matter where in the loop the trip starts.

Jun 22, 2016 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Phil Clarke, Jim Hansen predicted that much of Manhattan would be underwater by now. His understanding of economics is rubbish too.

No he did not, in fact his 1988 'Scenario B' projection for 2015 was an anomaly of circa +1C, pretty much on the money.

And while he has written about the fee-and-dividend proposal, it has been around for quite a while, and supported by several economists and politicians

http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/q-a/

Jun 22, 2016 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, Oh yes he did!

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Be kind, GC – maths is obviously not his strong point:

…the last 6 years of the 18 year period 1990-2104…

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:36 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

GC - you're referring to an aside in a 1988 interview with Rob Reiss, who states

"When I interviewe­­d James Hansen I asked him to speculate on what the view outside his office window could look like in 40 years with doubled CO2. I'd been trying to think of a way to discuss the greenhouse effect in a way that would make sense to average readers. I wasn't asking for hard scientific studies. It wasn't an academic interview. It was a discussion with a kind and thoughtful man who answered the question"

We have reached neither doubled CO2 (which would be 560ppm) nor 2028.

It is just another denier lie, and you bought it.

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Radical R,

It was an embarrassing schoolboy error, thanks for the correction. You'll notice that using the correct number - 24 years - means the BC trial covers less of the period 25% as opposed to 33.

Thanks.

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Raff 1:30am. But are you not attempting to severely restrain use of CO2 emitting fuels? If you succeed then the Keys water supply analogy comes into force.

Furthermore the tragedy of the commons is what you believe is occurring when we emit CO2. Proof of the "tragedy" is so far lacking. You might even have to accept "benefits of the commons" exist.

Jun 22, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

The way to offend a climate kook like Raff us to accurately quote a Climate Prophet.

Jun 22, 2016 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

It is just another denier lie, and you bought it.

Jun 22, 2016 at 10:37 AM | Phil Clarke

Phil Clarke, no 'denier' uttered those words that you are now denying have any significance. Don't you think they highlight the lack of accuracy and honesty that smothers climate science and one of it's High Priests? Is there a contemorary rebuttal of Hansen from any Real Climate Scientists, past or present?

More Green Blob dishonesty, that nobody is buying anymore.

Jun 22, 2016 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC:-

Jim Hansen predicted that much of Manhattan would be underwater by now

Followed by Phil Clarke, Oh yes he did!

It is an untruth. And a revealing one. Rather than deal with Hansen's corpus of peer-reviewed science, or his testimony to Congress, I speculate that this is from an interview Dr Hansen gave to Rob Reiss in 1988 as background to Reiss's book The Coming Storm. Reiss invited Hansen to speculate what the view from his office would look like once CO2 had doubled (whether from 1988, or pre-industrial is unclear).

I don't have the book however in a 2001 Salon interview with Reiss, he remembered Hansen's reply as

 “Well, there will be more traffic.” I, of course, didn’t think he heard the question right. Then he explained, “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change.”

In the book Reiss seems to have given a timeframe of 40 years to reach 2xCO2 even though at current trends it will occur around about 2070. In the Salon interview however, he misremembered the timeframe as 20 years. Even Anthony Watts corrected this once it came to light that the journalist's memory was playing tricks.

However the incorrect '20 year' prediction can still be found at various denier sites , trying to discredit the scientist, not by finding fault with his science, hell no, but by parroting a misremembered prediction from an interview for a book from the last century.

By the way, the West Side Highway has been substantially rebuilt since 1988, making comparisons moot, however it was certainly submerged during Hurricane Sandy.

I could be wrong of course, GC, perhaps you were thinking of some other source when you made the claim that 'Jim Hansen predicted that much of Manhattan would be underwater by now'. ?

Over to you. Always keen to understand the evidence base for people's 'scepticism'.


http://www.salon.com/2001/10/23/weather/
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110126_SingingInTheRain.pdf
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/22/a-little-known-but-failed-20-year-old-climate-change-prediction-by-dr-james-hansen/

Jun 22, 2016 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, so he djd say it then.

Jun 22, 2016 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

No, he never predicted Manhattan would be underwater by now.

Why did you think he did?

Jun 22, 2016 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke. So is Manhattan halfway or a third of the way to being submerged in line with what you claim Hansen did say?

Jun 22, 2016 at 4:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Oh come, Hansen was asked what would happen if CO2 double in 40 years. He was asked this in 1988, so 40 years is 2028, not now. Also, we won't actually have doubled CO2 by that time, so it was simply a hypothetical. At least try not to promote denier memes!

Jun 22, 2016 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

ATTP. There's that all important meme again, calling skeptics "deniers".

Jun 22, 2016 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

aTTP, could you arrange for the Guardian to print a formal rebuttal of Hansen?

Jun 22, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan,
I didn't, but if you're going to promote dishonest representations of what other people have said, maybe you should wear the shoe that fits you.

Jun 22, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

As a result of Phil Clarke's and Raff's clarifications I think I might be in favour of this tax.

It sounds like a money generating scheme for households of one or two people, The tax is levied on raw material (fossil fuel) and paid by everyone as it works its way through the supply chain. In managing this tax the government uses revenue from other sources (possibly the VAT takings on fuel and domestic energy which will increase). The tax raised is then divided equally amongst households. Any exported goods will have the tax paid by customers living outside the UK. So all in all households of one or two people will be quids in, what's not to like?

I'm still puzzled as to why a tax levied on a producer (clarification 1) and not reimbursed (clarification 7) won't put up prices for the customer. Even if there is some improvement in production methods the administration by the producer will add costs which can only be passed up through the chain.

Jun 22, 2016 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS