Taxing Carbon to Fight Global Warming is Good as long as other Governments don’t get our Money

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 20th, 2011

Barack Obama has Global Warming Immunity

Barack Obama was going to lower the sea levels.  By fighting global warming he was going to save the planet.  Because he believed in the righteousness of the cause.  You know, as long as it didn’t inconvenience him (see Boris fines Obama for not paying congestion charge by Nicholas Cecil posted 7/19/2011 on the London Evening Standard).

London Mayor Boris Johnson button-holed him at a State banquet in May to raise the issue of US diplomats in London not paying the congestion-busting levy. They have run up a bill of more than £5 million since 2003.

At the time, the Mayor of London also publicly made clear that he wanted the £10 congestion charge paid for Mr Obama’s security vehicle “The Beast” and other cars in the president’s motorcade.

But the US authorities defied the request and have now been hit with a £120 fine.

It seems like £10 is a small price to pay to save the planet.  Especially if you believe in this crap.  I mean ‘science’.  But no.  Not for Barack Obama.  Green Crusader.  Savoir of the planet.  A carbon tax is fine for others to pay.  But don’t you penalize him for driving his big, safe, polluting ride.  For apparently it’s okay for diplomats to pollute.  Guess they have global warming immunity.

The Fight against Global Warming is about the Money, not the Planet

Obama and the Democrats in Congress anxiously want a carbon tax.  To make our everyday life more expensive.  So we can save the planet from global warming.  Like the European Union is doing with its Emissions Trading Scheme.  Which is the exact kind of thing they want for the United States.  And yet, surprisingly, they’re challenging the EU’s plan to tax U.S. airlines that fly into or out of the EU (see U.S. Lawmakers Target Airline Inclusion in EU Emissions Trading System by Frank Jackman posted 7/19/2011 Aviation Week).

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers — the rarest of birds on Capitol Hill these days — has decided to challenge the European Union’s plans to include aviation in its Emissions Trading System (ETS) come Jan. 1…

Congressional opposition to U.S. airline inclusion in the EU ETS isn’t really a surprise. The House version of the FAA Reauthorization Bill includes a Sense of Congress provision that says the EU directive extended the ETS to include international civil aviation without working through ICAO and that is inconsistent with the Chicago Convention. The Obama administration also is opposed to airline exclusion in the EU ETS.

I guess saving the planet is one thing but when another government taxes their airlines that’s another.  The planet be damned.  That’s our money.  And if anyone is going to tax it away by gum it’ll be the American government.  So I guess the fight against global warming is about the money.  Not the planet.  It’s just another tax for Uncle Sam to collect.

The Cost of Fighting Global Warming is…more Global Warming

So the American government is not interested in saving the parts of the planet outside U.S. territory.  So what about the parts within U.S. territory?  Well, that’s a different story.  They want to subsidize the building of windmills.  They want to subsidize the building of solar panels.  And they want to subsidize the building of batteries and electric cars.  None of which can happen without federal subsidies because none of them can compete in the free market.  They all have problems. 

Windmills only produce electricity when the wind blows.  Solar panels only produce electricity when the sun shines.  And electric cars have a limited range and it takes forever to charge the battery.  Until now, that is (see Israel to Get Electric Car Battery Swap Stations by Kevin Bullis posted 7/6/2011 on technology review).

Next month, Better Place, a startup based in California, will begin selling electric cars in Israel that come with subscription packages that include a leased battery and the cost of recharging it. Gasoline is expensive and taxes on gas-powered cars are high in Israel, and the company says the packages could make owning an electric car 20 percent cheaper than owning a gasoline-powered car.

Better Place is trying to solve the biggest challenge to the widespread adoption of electric cars: the limitations imposed by battery chemistry. A battery big enough to give an electric car the same range as the average gas car would be far too large and expensive; and recharging battery packs takes hours at standard outlets, compared to the minutes it takes to refuel a conventional car.

Better Place will sell a new electric sedan made by Renault that has a range of just over 100 miles on a charge—enough for most daily commutes. For longer trips, Better Place provides battery swap stations, where an automated system switches out a depleted battery for a fully-charged one in less than five minutes. Instead of owning the batteries, the car owners buy subscriptions for a certain number of kilometers of driving per year.

Problem solved.  For Israel at least.  Being a Jewish island in an Arab sea kind of makes their oil supply costly to say the least.  And Israel is a narrow state.  So you won’t need a lot of battery swap stations.  But there are some drawbacks.

To ensure that batteries are available at swap stations, the company has developed a system that charges the battery in one hour (compared to roughly seven hours for charging the Nissan Leaf at a home outlet). Such rapid charging can damage the battery if it causes overheating, so the swap stations have to keep the batteries refrigerated.

The company is working with local utilities to ensure that swap stations—or large numbers of cars being charged at night—won’t overload the grid. Better Place will manage charging for a central location, prioritizing cars that are low in charge (drivers can indicate if they need charging urgently).

Refrigerating batteries?  Why, that’ll take a lot of electrical power.  In addition to the enormous electrical demand of just the batteries charging.  The loads are so great that they have to be coordinated with the electrical utility so they won’t cause blackouts.

More electricity.  Produced by fossil fuels.  And more heat dumped into a warming atmosphere from the battery refrigerators.  So the cost of fighting global warming is…more global warming.  And more electrical blackouts.

Still a good idea for the Israelis due to their circumstances.  As long as they can beef up their generating capacity to handle those crushing loads.  But a very bad idea for the United States.  Due to the vast costs resulting from the vast geographic size of America.  And an already taxed electric grid and generating capacity.

For the Planet.  And Uncle Sam’s Pockets.

If President Obama believed the battle against man-made greenhouse gasses was about saving the planet he would have paid that £10 congestion charge.  That’s about $16.17.  I think the U.S. could have afforded that.  Even Obama himself could have flipped them a twenty and said, “Keep it.  For the planet.”

But he didn’t.  That was too much for him.  But the high cost of electric cars will be okay for us.  And the average taxpayer is going to pay a lot more than that $16.17.  How generous he can be with our money.  And tight with his.

And now the U.S. is challenging the EU’s authority to tax U.S. airlines.  Now this isn’t giving the finger to the junk science that is global warming like that congestion charge flap.  This EU ETS tax is a lot of money.  And as broke as the U.S. is, if anyone is going to shake down U.S. airlines it will be the U.S. government.  Who, if you haven’t heard, is desperately trying to raise their debt ceiling.  So they can borrow more money to pay their bills.  So you know they would love to shake down the airlines for a few billion.  Which they won’t be able to do if the EU beats them to it.

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