April 22 News: Happy Triage Day, Time For A Carbon Tax

Happy Triage Day!

How to Put America Back Together Again: “The best place to start is with a carbon tax” [Tom Friedman column]

The effects of climate change mean that a carbon tax is a no-brainer. [Herald Business Journal editorial]

Earth Day. Conceived by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and organized by Seattle’s Denis Hayes, the mission is to educate and mobilize Americans around the environment. For the political class, Earth Day is cause for enviro speechifying and “I care” platitudes that echo with the lightness of Christians who only attend church on Easter.

Yes, we love the Earth. Regarding climate change, cleaning up Puget Sound, ocean acidification, habitat degradation, and energy security, however, rhetoric by itself is a poor salve. We need plans, and we need to act.

To battle climate change and rebuild America’s infrastructure, the most prudent strategy is what writer Thomas Friedman terms a “radical center” solution. A phased-in carbon tax could raise a trillion dollars over 10 years. It would placate conservatives if it’s linked to individual tax-rate cuts while directly addressing climate change. A carbon tax of $20 a ton is a radically sensible brainstorm that merits consideration. And as Friedman warns, “If we treat every good big idea as ‘dead on arrival’ then so are we.”

The cap-and trade programs in California and Quebec are linking, which should strengthen both systems. [LA Times]

Sen. Mark Warner, writing in an Earth Day op-ed: “the U.S. wastes more energy than it uses.” [Politico]

This follows the climate accord signed between California and China’s most populous province last week. [The Climate Group]


Courtesy of Mike Allen: “POLITICO Playbook, presented by the American Petroleum Institute — HAPPY EARTH DAY.” [Politico]

Falling prices for renewable power are likely to triple investment in the industry by 2030. [Bloomberg]

65 percent of Americans think climate change is a “very” or “somewhat” serious problem. [Bloomberg]

A group including FreedomWorks, Michele Bachmann, and Joe Barton are petitioning the Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision that upheld EPA’s power to regulate CO2 … including the endangerment finding that resulted from the Supreme Court’s MA v. EPA decision. [The Hill]

Those skeptical of government intervention in the economy also tend to be skeptical of science. [Huffington Post]

EPA proposed new rules to cut water pollution near fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. [The Hill]

A major new global study confirms the “hockey stick” graph showing a warming planet using data from local experts combined into one terrifying whole. [Skeptical Science]


The Koch brothers are looking at buying the Tribune Company’s eight regional newspapers, including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sentinel. [New York Times]

Scientific and religious leaders both see acting on climate change as a moral issue. [Salt Lake Tribune]

“Dark Snow” shows New Yorkers what happens to melting glaciers. [Climate Crock of the Week]

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is finding success in cooling a data center with water. [EarthTechling]

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher was released from a prison halfway house yesterday, and his documentary, “Bidder 70,” will be shown nationwide tonight. [DeSmogBlog]

It’s Earth Day: plant a tree. Or help out a group that’s spent two decades chasing down the world’s oldest and strongest trees, cloning them, and preparing to plant them as carbon sinks. [AP]