McKibben on Carbon Tax

November 27, 2018

by John McClaughry

Bill McKibben, the activist in residence at Middlebury College, has written a long piece in the November 22 issue of New Yorker. To many readers it will be a persuasive explanation of the terrors of climate change, with its sea level rises, fires, floods, and droughts,.

Bill McKibben with a grocery cart full of environmentally degrading plastic bags.

McKibben like Bernie Sanders lays the blame on ExxonMobil and the Koch Brothers as the major culprits who have blocked dramatic action by the world to stop emitting greenhouse gases.

But the paragraph that caught my eye was this: “Even if a carbon tax somehow made it past the GOP, the amount Exxon says it wants—$40 a ton—is tiny compared to what the IPCC’s analysts say would be required to make a real dent in the problem. And in return the proposed legislation would relieve the oil companies of all liability for the havoc they’ve caused. IPCC estimates that avoiding “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” requires governments to impose carbon dioxide taxes of between $135 and $5,500 per metric ton”.

Here in Vermont, McKibben and the carbon tax advocates want to put a tax on heating oil, gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas that rises to $40 a ton after eight years. If the whole world did that, according to McKibben it would produce only 30 percent of the absolute bare minimum needed to make any difference to Planet Earth. So they’ll demand to quadruple the tax, and make you pay it.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

H. Brooke Paige November 27, 2018 at 9:50 pm

This is nothing more than an extension of the Al Gore Carbon Credit scheme and our own Renewable Energy Credit (REC) scam which has actually increased Vermont’s carbon footprint by allowing down-country polluters to maintain or increase their pollution output while the Green Mountains took the blame ! Less than useful counterproductive ideas from self-promoting Green Energy profiteers !


Edward Gilbert Jr November 28, 2018 at 2:03 am

#50 Vermont NEGATIVE 0.9% Job Growth is proving Vermont is in FURTHER decline under the Democrat/Progressive Super Majority Destroying the Affordability of Vermont. Now #6 MOST TAXED State, #50 Vermont Smallest Carbon Footprint. When will Vermont Voters wake up and hold the present elected Representatives accountable for some of the WORST Numbers in Vermont History?


R. Fotion November 30, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Once the FREE SPENDERS in Montpeculiar smell the dollars flowing in, How much of a rebate do you think those of us on FIXED incomes will ever get.!???


Deanne December 1, 2018 at 1:49 am

What will happen to Vermont if these extremist people continue to get their way and tax all the regular people so much they truly can’t afford to stay any more and they move out of state? How bad does it have to get before Vermonters wake up and demand a return to common sense?

Who are these people anyway? What is it they are really after? Are any of them long-time Vermonters or are they moving here from other places and trying to impose their big-city ideas on a small rural state? Why do Vermonters keep voting them in? WHO is voting them in?


Daniel December 9, 2018 at 8:11 pm

In case it is not clear;
1. We have a republican Gov.
2. Vermonters are now a diverse group of people, while mostly white, the demographics is changing as young people grow up and go to school here.
3. The cost of climate change on a case by case basis (forest fires), (hurricanes, and floods), (droughts), (pollution) far ought weigh the cost of a carbon tax. In Europe they pay 6.00 a gal for fuel and even that is being fought over.

Who are you to think that it is right to blather on about people helping to save the planet. Who are you to care only about yourself, while millions are hungry around the world. Who are you to undermine the work of Bill Makibbin, while maintaining that this is a non partisan “think tank”.

Shame on you all. Shame on Ethan Allan Institute. I think you are devoted to business as usual and the only thinking that is done is how to deceive and blind people in Vermont to the truth. WAKE UP PEOPLE – CLIMATE CHANGE is HAPPENING NOW.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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