Endgame: Global Heating Used to Push Global Taxation

If Global Warming is truly a crisis, why does Robin Russell-Jones of the Guardian worry Will the Cop26 climate conference be a national embarrassment for Britain? If embarrassment is what you’re most worried about, you don’t seem very serious about the impacts of global warming. This is a shaming tactic being used to push the weak minded into supporting a new globalist power structure. Get your tinfoil hat!

If the government doesn’t get its act together soon, then Cop26, the UN climate change conference due to be held in Glasgow in November next year, could become a national humiliation for the UK and an environmental catastrophe for the rest of humanity.

So which is it? Humiliation is an emotion, and therefore can’t hurt you. An environmental catastrophe clearly can. To put these two on par makes you look like a fool.

One likes to imagine that the UK government is taking the climate emergency seriously, but that illusion has been shattered by the appointment of the former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott as a UK trade adviser. Abbott has described global heating as “absolute crap”. One of his first actions after becoming prime minister of Australia was to abolish his own climate change advisory council, followed by a decision to scrap Australia’s carbon tax.

Tony Abbott is a politician. Who cares what his opinion of climate science is? Does he give good advice on trade? As a trade advisor, that’s what he needs to do.

Global heating is starting to run out of control. At a time when the need for concerted international action is greater than ever, the international community is failing to reduce its carbon emissions. The Kyoto protocol was designed to curb global emissions of all greenhouse gases, but annual emissions have actually risen by more than 60% globally compared with 1990, the baseline year for the protocol. More carbon has been emitted as a result of human activity since 1990 than in all previous yearssince the start of the industrial revolution. By any standards, the Kyoto protocol has proven a spectacular failure, but the fault cannot be laid entirely at the door of the UN.

Continually changing the term you use for global warming–first global warming, then climate change, then climate crisis, then climate emergency, and now global heating–makes you sound like an alarmist. Stick to the facts, or people will (rightly in this case) assume your trading in propaganda. Getting countries to take concrete actions against their own economic interests is hard. I don’t blame the UN for the failure of the Kyoto protocol.

The main obstacles to progress have been the reluctance of fossil-fuel-dependent nations to change their business model, and the cynical strategy of disinformation launched by the fossil fuel industry, and secretly funded free-market thinktanks, notably the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

We are all dependent on fossil fuels. Electricity can be generated without carbon dioxide emissions, though today, much of it would have to be generated by nuclear fission. Much of our industry and transport rely on fossil fuels. Over time, factories can be retrofitted with electrical equipment and gasoline and diesel powered vehicles replaced with electrics, but that will take time, and currently, electric alternatives are not cost effective, meaning they aren’t affordable to all of us.

Cop26 is probably our last opportunity to turn this situation around, but it won’t happen without a set of game-changing proposals from the organisers. Probably the most critical measure would be to introduce an effective global carbon tax. At the moment we have carbon trading schemes, but these are just a market mechanism for purchasing the right to emit carbon. It is cheaper for industry to pay for its emissions than to invest in greener technologies.

A UN conference is not going to turn anything around. We don’t have any global taxes, and thank God for that. The federal, provincial, and municipal taxes I pay are bad enough. I see zero chance of any agreement on a global carbon tax, given that many countries don’t have national carbon taxes. Industry will invest in greener technologies when they offer a long term benefit. Government incentives can encourage this to a minor extent, but throwing tax money at corporations hardly seems like a good idea. We need innovations like electrified trucks that actually offer cost savings to the industries that adopt them.

The most fair and equitable method of introducing a carbon tax is to set up a global carbon incentive fund, and to levy the tax on countries whose per capita emissions of carbon dioxide are above the global average. The fund would then disperse grants to countries whose per capita emissions are below the global average. The beauty of this scheme is that it penalises the richer nations for their profligate lifestyles, and it incentivises developing nations to avoid fossil fuels and to develop their energy infrastructure using low-carbon technologies.

There is no global body that can tax countries. If Canada’s Liberal government were to agree to being taxed by the UN, I suspect the Conservatives would run on pulling us out of such an agreement, and would probably win with the help of this issue. Government cannot ‘solve’ global warming with taxes.

For this strategy to work the price needs to be set at the right level initially, and then escalated rapidly. The UN has determined that carbon emissions have to fall by 7.6% each year over the coming decade if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C. The current carbon price on the European emissions trading system is just under €30 per tonne of carbon dioxide, so one proposal would be to set the starting price at $30, and then double the price every two years.

Since the biggest emitters (China, India, Russia, and the US) are not part of the EU, the EU’s trading system has little impact on emissions. I don’t expect one of these countries to sign up if the others don’t as well. Good luck with that.

The calculation for the amount of carbon needs to be made on the basis of consumption, not production. Many countries export a large volume of manufactured goods, so their territorial emissions are high, whereas the end consumer is based in another country. China, India and Russia, which together represent 40% of all carbon emissions, would benefit from using consumer-based emissions, whereas the US would lose out, but not as much as would the UK.

Proposing a tax on consumption means that the US will have more incentive to manufacture at home. Since the US is already pulling out of the Paris Accord, you had better hope that the Democrats win the presidency in November if you want any chance of the US signing on to such a tax. Demanding that the US pay a global carbon tax would be a huge gift to Trump, or to the Republicans in the midterms in 2022.

At $30 per tonne, the UK’s contribution would be more than three times larger: $7bn versus $2bn, reflecting the demise of the UK’s manufacturing base. However this is still less than half of the annual budget of the former Department for International Development. In addition, the UK started the industrial revolution and would have been responsible for virtually 100% of global carbon emissions in 1750. It is therefore entirely appropriate for the UK to lead the world in demanding a consumption-based carbon tax.

Is there support for massive new taxes among the UK Conservatives and their massive majority?

Calculating the figures should be straightforward, as the Global Carbon Project already produces annual consumption estimates. However, it does have limitations. The Global Carbon Project does not include other greenhouse gas emissions, and more importantly it does not estimate carbon dioxide emitted by changes in land use, such as deforestation, crop-burning, ploughing and so on. So there needs to be a supplementary tax that penalises environmentally irresponsible governments such as Brazil’s, which seems to regard trashing the planet as a political accolade.

And Bolsinaro will tell the UN to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and this could help his chances of reelection.

The solutions are clear, but as host nation, Britain is in desperate need of a leader with vision and determination. The question is: can anybody identify anyone in Boris Johnson’s cabinet who might have the political will to carry this forward?

‘Clear’ my ass. I certainly hope that for Britain’s sake that the Conservatives nip support for global taxation in the bud. I have little faith that Canada’s Liberals won’t sign up to such a plan, though I think it would hurt their already shaky popularity. If Biden beats Trump, which is far from a sure thing despite what the media would have you believe, I could see him supporting this plan as well. If Trump is reelected, the Americans are unlikely to even participate in the conference.

This article is pure globalist propaganda. I don’t believe its objective is anything to do with the “global heating climate crisis”; it has everything to do with shaming countries into supporting a new globalist tax regime. If you are one of the seeming minority of sane people who see that government is largely waste, you can only shake your head when you see people advocating for more of it, especially when their argument is that not to do so would be embarrassing. Making such an argument is pathetic.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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