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Articles by Charles Komanoff

Charles Komanoff is the co-founder of the Carbon Tax Center. For more information, click here.

Featured Article

Just before Thanksgiving, Grist political blogger David Roberts posted a sharp challenge to carbon-tax advocates, contending that we were, in effect, ascribing “magical” properties to carbon taxes. Roberts spelled out 10 drawbacks to carbon taxes, with this bottom line: Any carbon tax legislation that could make it through Congress would likely be feeble and regressive, and perhaps even counterproductive.

David is arguably the green community’s most astute blogger, particularly on environmental politics. His qualms about pushing for a U.S. carbon tax deserve to be taken seriously.

Read David’s original post. Here’s our point-by-point response. Let us know what you think.

Thank you, David, for elucidating your reservations about placing a carbon tax at the heart of U.S. climate policy.

Until now, your many Grist posts critiquing carbon taxes have focused on political infeasibility. Now you’ve presented your policy objections. Thanks for bringing your concerns out into the open.

No surprise: The Carbon Tax Center indeed views a U.S. carbon tax as the sine qua non of effective climate policy — provided it builds toward a s... Read more

All Articles

  • What’s the matter with elasticities? (Answer: maybe nothing)

    Price-elasticities — dimensionless parameters that express the extent to which a price increase triggers a usage decrease — are central to policies that aim to reduce a harmful activity by internalizing its damage into its price. The efficacy of carbon fees, congestion tolls, cigarette taxes, and the like turns on the proposition that the toll […]

  • If efficiency hasn't cut energy use, then what?

    One of the most penetrating critiques of energy-efficiency dogma you'll ever read is in this week's New Yorker. "The efficiency dilemma," by David Owen, has this provocative subtitle: "If our machines use less energy, will we just use them more?" Owen's answer is a resounding, iconoclastic, and probably correct Yes.

  • Defending lifestyle changes: who's delusional on saving energy?

    Two New York Times blogs, Green and Dot Earth, are flogging a new study that chides energy-conserving Americans for succumbing to a set of "myths" prioritizing behavioral changes over efficiency upgrades. One supposed myth is that line-drying saves more energy than washing the clothes in cooler water. Huh?

  • Gore’s climate remedy must match diagnosis

    Al Gore’s eminence in the global climate movement is on impressive display in his full-throated defense of climate science in Sunday’s New York Times. His essay, “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change,” is triple the paper’s standard length for op-eds. Only Gore could command such a bully pulpit, and probably no one else could so […]