Tags: global | warming | taxes

Global Warming's Real Danger — Taxes

Friday, 24 Apr 2009 12:25 PM

By E. Ralph Hostetter

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Just when you think you have heard everything, the far left envirocrats have found a new way to take more money from the public. Taxation on the environment.

Nearly all of the energy required for domestic and industrial use in the United States is based on carbon. A byproduct of carbon use is carbon dioxide.

Automobiles have been suggested to be one of the largest sources of man-made contributions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The oceans of the world provide 90 percent of the world's carbon dioxide. However, in recent years catalytic converters, mandated for all motor vehicles in the late 1980s, have reduced harmful exhaust emissions — nitrous oxide, for example — by some 88 percent. These automotive improvements, however, did not eliminate carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide represents a trace in the earth's atmosphere, making up a mere 376 parts per million, or about 0.04 percent. While appearing miniscule in content, it is considered one of the most essential compounds in the atmosphere because of its role in harnessing the energy of the sun, and through the process of photosynthesis, creates matter, which is the planet's vegetation. Vegetation provides the base of all food sources for both animals and human beings.

Climate change is not without "thoughtful" attention from the top. A headline today proclaims: President Barack Obama "Stops Short of Endorsing Climate Bill."

President William Jefferson Clinton stated in a speech on climate on April 21, 1993: "Today I affirmed my personal, and announce our nation's commitment to reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000."

The year 2000 has come and gone.

Not to be outdone on political rhetoric, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., opening a hearing on global warming on Earth Day April 22, 2009, noted that this is a "make-or-break" year on the issue and noted: "The clock is ticking on the best chance the countries of the world will have to marshal an effective global response."

So much for climate rhetoric. The climate change debate has taken on a much more serious tone — taxation. There are, at present, a variety of taxes that are involved in the production and sale of domestic and industrial energy.

It's one thing to take on a controversial issue in public debate but quite another when a method is developed that will bring hurt to the citizens of the nation for a problem over which they have no control.

When taxes result from any issue, the payment is painful. The pain is much more easily borne if it represents a necessary public service such as security offered by a police department, for example.

However, when that tax is levied for such a nebulous factor as a questionable debate on climate change, that goes beyond the pale.

Inasmuch as carbon dioxide has been identified as one of the main causes of global warming, carbon itself has been selected as the most likely commodity to tax.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., have both announced their intent to introduce climate legislation in the future.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee chaired by Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., proposes ambitious cuts in greenhouse gases over the next four decades. The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.

Sen. Reid plans to take up a cap-and-trade measure this year. Under cap and trade, an authority such as the government sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that can be emitted. Companies or groups are issued permits representing the right to emit a specific amount.

Companies that emit too much and cannot reduce emissions must purchase credits from those who pollute less, thus the trade. In theory, those that can reduce emissions most easily will do so, achieving pollution reduction at the least possible cost to all.

Not all students of climate favor legislation, and some point out dangers of over-regulation. Here are a few points by Arthur Robinson from the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons:

  • Man-made carbon dioxide is an insignificant greenhouse gas; water vapor is the major.

  • The sun’s cosmic rays have the most significant influence over global temperature and weather.

  • If all nations’ carbon dioxide emissions were halted, the impact would not be significantly measureable.

  • The imposition of control would be catastrophic, adversely affecting the emerging nations of the world.

  • Climate alarmists are motivated by politics and finances, and if the controversy would end, thousands would be unemployed.

    Americans may find the reality of taxation more painful than the questionable threat of global warming.

    E. Ralph Hostetter, a prominent businessman and agricultural publisher, also is a national and local award-winning columnist. He welcomes comments by e-mail sent to eralphhostetter@yahoo.com.

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