Alan S. Binder is a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. All of which might explain why the nation is broke and why âintellectualsâ like Binder are responsible for some of the most stupid ideas ever imposed on citizens who lack their credentials.
In the January 31st edition of The Wall Street Journal, Binder had a commentary titled, âThe Carbon Tax Miracle Cure.â It is a masterpiece of ignorance.
Binder claimed that âEveryone knows that CO2 emissions are the major cause of global climate change, that climate change poses a clear and present danger to our planet, and that the U.S. contributes a huge share of global emissions.â
One can only conclude that Binder is among the last of Al Goreâs acolytes who has not heard that the only âclimate changeâ occurring is the same that has been going on for 4.5 billion years on planet Earth.
Binderâs miracle tax is âa carbon taxâreally, a carbon dioxide taxâbut one that starts at zero and ramps up gradually over time.â Will someone please tell Binder that the scheme to sell âcarbon creditsâ for the right to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) has gone bust? Even the Chicago Exchange created to foster this âglobal warmingâ fraud has closed its doors.
The idiocy of Binderâs âmiracle taxâ is that, if you can tax CO2, what is to prevent government from taxing oxygen too? Or nitrogen? Hell, just tax the entirety of the Earthâs atmosphere because, obviously, we are just using too much of it.
Binderâs justification is that âthe U.S. contributes a huge share of global emissions.â So, naturally, Americans should be taxed for exhaling six pounds of CO2 every day, along with every other activity from manufacturing to transportation, as well as heating and cooling our homes and all other structures. Every living creature and most all human activity emits CO2 along with the earthâs numerous active volcanoes.
It probably never occurred to Binder that all other nations also âcontributeâ global emissions.
For the record the Earthâs atmosphere is composed of 76.55% nitrogen, 20.54% oxygen, and 0.91% argon. Of the remaining 2% of the atmosphere, water vapor constitutes 1.95%, while carbon dioxide is 0.0389%. Let me repeat that, 0.0389%
Despite what the liars at the Environmental Protection Agency are loudly shouting these days, carbon dioxide is not a âpollutant.â In earlier eras that was far more CO2 in the atmosphere than now, providing the dinosaurs vast amounts of vegetation on which to dine and something to eat for those dinosaurs with a taste for other dinosaurs.
The only âglobal warmingâ in recent times has been the one degree of warming that began to occur at the merciful end of the Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850. The Earth has, since 1998, entered a new cycle of completely natural cooling due to a solar cycle called the Maunder Minimum when the Sunâs radiation is reduced.
Acknowledging that âthis is a terrible time to hit (the nation) with some big new taxâ, Binder nonetheless advocates a carbon tax that âshould be set at zero for 2011 and 2012. After that, it would ramp up gradually.â
âThe tax might start at something like $8 per ton of CO2 in 2013 (thatâs roughly eight cents per gallon of gasoline), reach $25 a ton by 2015 (still just 26 cents per gallon), $40 a ton by 2020, and keep on rising. Iâd like to see it top out at more than $300 a ton in, say 2040.â
This would lead, says Binder, to âlucrative opportunities from carbon-saving devices and technologies.â He envisions â80% of our electricity being generated by clean energy sources in 2035.â
By clean energy Binder means wind and solar energy which, together, barely produce one percent of the electricity America uses daily. It is unreliable and would not exist were it not for government subsidies and mandates requiring its use.
Meanwhile, the vast bulk of our electricity comes from coal, just over 50%, and a combination of natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity (dams). Even if we blanketed several States with solar mirrors and wind turbines, we could never match the cost effectiveness and efficiency of fossil fuels.
Binder notes that âNo one likes to pay higher taxesâ and dismisses value-added taxes (a favorite form of extortion in Europe), but in his view âA CO2 tax trumps them allâ, concluding that a carbon tax would reduce oil imports.â
Apparently, it has not occurred to Binder that extracting some of Americaâs vast oil reserves, billions of barrels worth, might also reduce oil imports, but what is one to expect from a professor of economics who thinks taxing a minor component of the atmosphere would solve our present economic problems?
Only morons want to turn Americaâs corn into âbiofuels.â Only charlatans want to âreduceâ greenhouse gas emissions. And only those locked in academic ivory towers keep insisting that man-made âclimate changeâ is âa clear and present danger.â
You end recessions by reducing taxes, not inventing new ones. You end recessions by encouraging access to the nationâs reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil because that generates real jobs, not âgreenâ ones. And you end recessions by not listening to the likes of Alan S. Binder.
Â© Alan Caruba, 2011