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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: Carbon Subsidies?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Carbon Subsidies?

I do not know if the use of carbon based fuels is causing anthropogenic global warming (AGW), but my readers know that I am skeptical of the doomsday conclusions of many AGW adherents.  Some scientists believe that the earth will grow cooler based on the relationship between solar cycles and weather, and that the cooler climate will adversely impact agriculture, decreasing the supply of some crops and by extension, forcing up prices ("Canada and USA agricultural weather issues and changes in our solar cycles," Watts Up With That, June 15, 2009). 

If the earth is growing cooler, and cooler is bad, and using carbon based fuels combats global cooling, is it time to subsidize their use because they produce a positive externality?Replace this text with...


  1. Jacinta Tatman26/6/09 11:33 PM

    Though it may be difficult to implement, subsidizing carbon fuel emissions would be a good way to offset the effects of global warming. At the end of the day, businesses will do what is best for them, and that may mean damaging the environment in order to continue to make profits. By offering money to businesses to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, it gives them an incentive to do what is best for the globe.

    Again, I think it would be difficult to implement because there are some companies that will not or cannot reduce thier emissions in order to continue business at their present levels. Most people and businesses respond to monetary benefits, and this would be a starting point in order to encourage peolpe to be more aware of how their actions are affecting the environment.
    Jacinta Tatman

  2. Whitney Coffey6/7/09 1:02 AM

    Again science intersects economics in the environment; is this global cooling a positive or negative externality? I find this to be a very arguable question, as presented by Dr. Wilson, but it ultimately leads to governmental regulation in the amounts of pollution in efforts to achieve the socially beneficial equilibrium.