Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Carbon taxes: back in the spotlight?

Farm supports and subsidies cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars each year, particularly when erratic weather destroys crops. To address climate change, a force that may be behind some of the erratic weather, it's important to raise the cost of energy (as we talked about a bit in class today) to facilitate the development of alternative. However, farmers also use huge amounts of energy not only for their equipment but also to produce their fertilizers and pesticides. Raising taxes would raise the amount of money farmers need to cover their costs, which would send them hat in hand to the government in a vicious cycle. Nice summary of this loop in today's NYT.

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