Al Gore gave a speech to NYU Law. In it, he said this:
“Thank you for that warm introduction. You’ve melted a glacier. (laughs) As you know, I’m Al Gore, and I’ve been.. what? Oh come on! The front row is sleeping already? At least the folks at Harvard Law made it up to the emissions section. *sighs* I guess that’s what you get at public schools.”
I kid. Of course Gore didn’t say that. We all know he was thinking it, though.
Aside from stealing precious time from law students, Gore mentioned something that is true:
Business leaders in both political parties have taken significant steps to position their companies as leaders in this struggle and have adopted a policy that not only reduces CO2 but makes their companies zero carbon companies. Many of them have discovered a way to increase profits and productivity by eliminating their contributions to global warming pollution.
This is simple product efficiency. Control of pollution is simply recycling that waste into a useful product. Anyone who implements such a strategy makes a greater profit as they get more from the resources they inject into the system.
Gore also said the following, which made me fall out of my chair:
For the last fourteen years, I have advocated the elimination of all payroll taxes — including those for social security and unemployment compensation — and the replacement of that revenue in the form of pollution taxes — principally on CO2. The overall level of taxation would remain exactly the same. It would be, in other words, a revenue neutral tax swap. But, instead of discouraging businesses from hiring more employees, it would discourage business from producing more pollution.
Al Gore has been against all payroll taxes? WHAT!? Whopper alert!
So I did a Google search. First hit shows that Al Gore hasn’t been advocating the elimination of any sort of tax elimination or swap.
Al, you invented the internet. The least you could do is remember that it can easily be used to verify information.
What’s in error here is that CO2 emission taxes would be responsible for the generation of a trillion or so dollars in revenue to make up for the taxation from payroll taxes. To deflect such a tax burden, any polluting industry would take a huge hit in the gross, so they’d do two things: shut down or cut CO2 emissions. While this would be good for Al Gore, it would be an absolute disaster for the Federal Government. Where would all of that missing money come from? We’ve already got a deficit.
So I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and reminded myself that this was Al “The Exaggerator” Gore, and not to buy too much into his grand schemes. The grandest of all are these two pipe dreams:
Well, first of all, we should start by immediately freezing CO2 emissions and then beginning sharp reductions…
Developing countries like China and India have gained their own understanding of how threatening the climate crisis is to them, but they will never find the political will to make the necessary changes in their growing economies unless and until the United States leads the way. Our natural role is to be the pace car in the race to stop global warming.
Two problems. One, a sudden halt in CO2 emissions would badly damage the US economy. Not only that, if the US curbs CO2 emissions, India and China will not look to us for leadership. What do they care? All they know is that their biggest economic threat is volunatrily tying its legs into a hobble.
We’ll see what happens. The temprature of the planet has evened out. We may see cooler years coming up here. After all, I thought this hurricane season was supposed to be the year of Armageddon Storms. I guess Al was wrong.