Thursday, October 7, 2021

infrastructure 2021: The Hilarity of a Carbon Tax

As Congress and the President work diligently to force through an agenda that everyone but those who answer the Polls seem to question, this concept of a carbon tax is dangled out there as a way to fund the massive, catch-all infrastructure bill.  So, while this author prefers information that is well researched and factual, it should be clear that this is conjecture and speculation and not direct knowledge as to how a carbon tax would be used.

Photo (www.itep.org)

What is a carbon tax?

Simply put, it is a potential tax on anything that produces some type of carbon emission. Since nearly every biological function or energy source produces some form or carbon gas, it is an atmospheric gold mine of tax revenue. The unknown here is to what degree Congress will use this provision and how it might be regulated.

Why a carbon tax?

Like the Clean Air policies which began this trend of demonizing fossil fuels, this tax would draw income from actions and products people cannot easily do without but release some form of carbon into the air.  The concept is not new. King George tried it several times ( tax on tea and the Stamp Act come to mind) only to have the colonies rebel against him and his control.

Why have a carbon tax? 

As with most moves by government, taxing is best done when it plays well with voters.  A carbon tax seems innocuous enough because voters believe it will not impact them. Even some members of Congress may not completely understand the science to fully grasp its all-encompassing potential.  More important than the huge amounts of revenue it could generate, such a tax would show support for climate change initiatives adopted by the European Union which are based on Greenhouse Gas Theory. This is as much about earning points with US allies and celebrity activists as it is appearing to address climate change. 

Will this help curb Climate Change? 

Not likely.  As any Star Trek fan learned from the iconic series (1966), the Earth is a world based on carbon. How many times  did Spock explain this simple but accurate fact to viewers is hard to gauge. The average human is 18.5 percent carbon. Every plant is made of carbon as well as every animal on the planet.  With the exception of water, nearly all foods and medicines contain carbon. Building materials such as steel, wood and stone contain carbon.  Fabrics such as polyester, cotton, wool and acrylic are based on carbon.  Paper including shipping containers, hard copy books and even greeting cards contain carbon. To do without carbon is to do without most of the essentials of life. 

What could it tax?

This is where the hilarious nature of the carbon tax comes into play and why every citizen should stop for a moment and think about what that tax could mean for them.  Again, remember every living thing produces carbon gas at some point in its cycle. This is a natural environmental process that has existed since life first appeared. It is essential to life and to disrupt it will have unknown consequences.  Here are just a few things to consider as this Build Back Better agenda takes hold.

  • Breathing Could Be Taxed - According to figures that are circulating the internet (which this author cannot verify), the average human exhales between 1.5 and 3 pounds of carbon dioxide every day.  Using the example of a penny a pound, that is roughly $10 per person per year for $3.3 billion dollars. In a similar fashion, pets, farm animals, wildlife preserves and stocked lakes have animals which produce carbon dioxide and methane.
  • Any heat source could be taxed. Everything from the wood stove or oil furnace that so many rural residents depend on to the high efficiency heat pump with propane backup could be restricted or taxed.  Oil, propane, natural gas, wood, coal, kerosene, paper and even gel alcohol produce carbon emissions.
  • Electricity in General could see increased costs from taxes.  According to government figures (2020) only about 2.3% of all electricity in this country is produced by solar energy. Add wind and hydroelectric plants and it leaves 80% of all electricity produced in the US subject to carbon emissions regulations. 
  • Imports as well as Exports could be taxed.  This global economy that was pushed so heavily a few decades ago is one that cannot exist without carbon emissions. Container ships as well as over-the-road trucks are dependent on diesel for power.  Large amounts of carbon gases are produced over oceans where such gases cannot be utilized effectively by plants.  

And the list could go on and on and on. 

What about Climate Change?

For now, the leaders of the World believe that carbon emissions is causing climate change. Like the belief in a flat Earth that popped up in many civilizations, believing in something does not make it factual.  If carbon gas were the cause of all global ills, the planet would have ceased to exist long ago.

Perpetuated by computer models which have no capacity to think critically, leaders force people to accept incorrect science in order to financially benefit from government contracts, grants and tax breaks.  Until, the masses question this propaganda, carbon emissions will be seen as the enemy and taxed. Additional regulations will attempt to restrict carbon gasses much like the EPA has restricted other elements (sulfur, carbon, nitrogen, ozone and dust) when sent into the atmosphere.  

Sadly, by reducing these emissions, leaders may further compromise the environment and prolong the climate change debate.

Why does the Environment Need Carbon Emissions?

From the Lord of the Rings to many other Sci-Fi movies with spectacular special effects, movie goers have learned to see volcanoes, hurricanes, wildfires and drought as end-of-time events. Instead they are clear and specific parts of the environment's never-ending process of recycling itself.  Drought is the sign that the air is too clean (no dust=no clouds=no rain). Hurricanes bring moisture from the oceans that replenish ground water sources so that the land can continue to produce food hungry people. Volcanoes are a beautiful, yet drastic, way to recycle the minerals (like sulfur, carbon and hydrogen) that are needed for plants and wildlife to live healthy lives. And finally, wildfires clean up the environment when mankind shirks his responsibility to manage and use the resources the environment gives him.  

As long as mankind chooses to restrict these common and naturally occurring gases, erratic weather will be part of the global scene. Taxing an essential life element because some see it as dangerous is not only hilarious but extremely sad at the same time. 

 


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