Saturday, July 14, 2018

Economist Dr. Adele Morris' Compelling Talk On Why Price On Carbon Is Best Way To Slow Down Climate Change

This month's Citizen Climate Lobby meeting was this morning.  Groups from all over the US (representing 85% of all Congressional districts) and many countries beyond the US borders met in a conference video call to catch up on this month's actions and to hear, economist,  Dr. Adele Morris talk about her research on implementing a carbon fee.

The introduction to Adele Morris starts about 3:12.  It's worth starting there so you know who she is and why she's worth listening to.  She begins about 4:57.

The basic point is explaining
"why economists are so unanimous in supporting a price on carbon whether through a tax on carbon or a cap and trade program.  I happen to favor a carbon tax approach for a variety of reasons.  But the point is very clear, and this is a huge consensus in my profession, that is that it's the most cost-effective way.  If you have a cost on carbon, you're incentivizing all the lowest cost ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and you're doing it in a heart beat.  Like as soon as you have a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels, that instantly changes the incentives for which power plants are going to operate more and which sources of energy are going to be more cost effective.  It gives a boost to renewables relative to their fossil competitors.  It's just the absolutely most competitive way to create a wide range of incentives across the economy."
It's much easier to just play the video and hear her clearly explain this.  She's impressive!

She goes on to briefly talk about the eleven essential questions for how to implement a price on carbon.  I've taken these from her Brookings Institute webpages:
"Click on a question below to jump to its discussion: 
1. What is the name of the carbon pricing policy? 
2. What greenhouse gas (GHG) sources and gases does the policy cover? 
3. What’s the initial price and how does it change over time? 
4. Who pays the carbon charge? 
5. Who collects the revenue? 
6. What happens to the revenue? 
7. Does it change other Federal climate and energy policies, and if so how? 
8. Does it constrain state-level policies? 
9. Does it allow offsets (alternatives to paying a fee)? 
10. Does it give credits or rebates for certain activities? 
11. Does it include measures to reduce effects on U.S. competitiveness and emissions leakage? "
If this is all new info for you, you've got some serious catching up to do.

Being a member of  Citizens' Climate Lobby over the years has convinced me beyond a doubt, about Morris message:  that the most efficient, effective, and practical, and politically feasible step in slowing down climate change is a carbon fee.  

And why does this matter?  Because if climate change doesn't get slowed down, terrorism, cancer, traffic, privacy, the Supreme Court, and every other issue people are concerned about won't really matter.  We're already feeling the consequences of climate change in the loss of sea ice, in hotter summers, in fiercer storms.  All these changes will intensify and have huge impacts on human life, on what crops grow where, on the availability of water.  People will either die or move.  That movement will cause huge disruptions in agricultural output and everything else.  We are already seeing the destabilizing effects of immigration in Europe and in North America.

There is no more important issue facing human beings.
You can find out more about Citizens Climate Lobby - the most effective and efficient group I've ever seen - here.

I'd note the Anchorage group meets the second Saturday at 8:30am at UAA's Rasmuson Hall 220.  (Yes, it's early, but it's an international group video call.  And then you have plenty time left to do all your Saturday activities.)

You can find your nearest local chapter here.  There's at least one in every state and most US territories.  And in over 40 other countries.

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