Thursday, February 13, 2020

Greenspan et al. for Carbon Tax

This post is taken from a tweet thread by the author made on January 23, 2020.

According to Bloomberg news, just about everybody who’s anybody in the world of economics or finance has endorsed the imposition of a gradually rising carbon tax to reduce CO2 emissions (

To which I say, the greater the number of such public figures, and of celebrities in general, who endorse such a measure, the greater the proof of the intellectual corruption of our age.

For this and all other measures aimed at constricting the use of man-made power—i.e., fossil fuels and atomic energy—are measures that threaten the well-being and the very lives of billions of people. They are measures of mass murder and mass suicide.  

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, global population was stagnant at around 1 billion people, despite birthrates far higher than those of today. Now it is it well over 7 billion, virtually all of whom live at a far higher level than did their ancestors.

What made this possible was the addition to the feeble muscle power of human beings, the power of machines and tools fueled by steam power, internal combustion, electricity, radiation. These have radically and progressively increased the productivity of labor.

This has meant an increase in the supply of goods relative to the supply of labor. This in turn has made it possible for the increase in the quantity of money and volume of spending in the economic system to raise wages much more than prices, and thus to raise the general standard of living.

Reducing the use of man-made power must inescapably reduce the productivity of labor and thus the general standard of living. The further it goes, the greater the number of people it will kill. And those who survive will live in greater and greater poverty.

A carbon tax is an enfeeblement tax, a tax resulting in a general reduction in human capability and productivity. It is literally insane, in that it implies that we make ourselves safer by making ourselves weaker and less capable.

Think of it as believing that Samson was made safe by cutting his hair, the source of his strength.

The truth is that if we destroy our industrial foundations, more and more of us will die and while they still live, live in abject poverty. Far better to keep our strength—our productive power— and increase it.

In 1940, Great Britain evacuated 300,000 soldiers from Dunkirk in 48 hours, under the threat of German guns. From 1776 to 1876, the United States was settled from the Appalachian Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

Over the course of the centuries in which global temperature and sea levels are projected to rise, the human race, armed with the energy it is capable of having, could easily settle northern and central Canada, Greenland, Siberia, Alaska, and Antarctica if necessary.

If they actually come into existence, rising global temperature and sea levels would not be a threat to a free people. They would be a devastating threat to an enslaved people, strangled by restraints on their ability to use energy.

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