It is also a basic economic argument about a market externality.
I am not sure you even need to characterize it as a libertarian argument.
> "For people that have a sort of libertarian bent they get a little confused because they need to appreciate the high level principle of why they are opposed to government intervention."
Thus credits won out over taxes.
I think most political arguments happen over how you decide who or what fits into this group of parties incapable of speaking for themselves. Some say 3-year olds should represent themselves in immigration court while others say even adult consumers aren't capable of adequately representing themselves and need protections. I don't believe it's inconsistent libertarianism to say that some groups with no independent legal voice should get public protection. Libertarians draw that line in different places, however.
On the Tesla side, Musk has advocated subsidies for electric vehicles, taxes, caps, and other limits on gasoline/Diesel vehicles. He has argued that fuel cells are a dead end, and governments should stop supporting them.
On the SpaceX side, Musk has advocated open competitions for NASA, USAF, and NRO launches, but also encouraged the government to ban the use of foreign engines and rockets.
Also, you should note that the entire point of a carbon tax is to replace everything in your middle paragraph with something that's more intellectually-consistent.
Telling someone else that they aren't intellectually consistent almost never works. You'll almost always get a reply, "You're misrepresenting my statements, and failing to understand my argument" -- not a good opening to a good discussion.
I happen to agree with him that fuel cells are a bad idea, but I also think that if one is to advocate taxing carbon, they should be advocating the taxation of other emissions and pollution (if they are to be intellectually consistent). I have never heard Musk advocate for something like a battery tax.
I would be flattered if Musk ever replied to anything I'd said, and I am not trying to cause any sort of emotional reaction.
I also agree that 'just the carbon tax' would be more intellectually consistent than the myriad of other automotive propulsion policies Musk has advocated, but he happens to have advocated all those policies in addition to the carbon tax.
What are you looking for in a productive discussion? An apology because I might have offended the great Elon?
Elon Musk is hardly a libertarian. He's just another crony capitalist.
Oil companies do get direct subsidies through tax breaks, so no mater what you think is going on here, energy is not pure market. In practise, how often do you see a pure market anyway?
Still, means a carbon tax is just more of the same, not some evil infringement of liberties.
There are no 'pure market[s]', and there never have been. The 'pure market' was a straw-man invented by anti-market people.
I think you are right that few people explicitly say that pure markets exist. But implicitly many people make arguments based on some kind of some unregulated state of nature, for example on this thread.
Or would you call it "not letting coal plants externalize their costs on everyone else"?
Why are carbon emissions any different?
This is a bold claim completely unsupported by your link.
> we don't know by how much
This is a measurable (and measured) thing. We know exactly how much the Earth has already warmed. We do not know exactly how much it will warm in the future, but we know how much it has warmed. And the articles are also not nearly as pessimistic about how good our estimates are. You're acting as if we're flying blind just because our models are imperfect.
> but likely not nearly as much as we previously thought
FTA: "He says that the current best estimates of future temperature rises are still feasible, but "the highest values become improbable.""
So no. The current best estimates are still the best estimates. This does not jive at all with your assertion that it's
"likely not nearly as much".
And you're misrepresentating what I said. I didn't say our estimates were getting worse. I made it clear they would simply would be lower than before. And both articles I linked made it clear that the new estimates would be improved.
You're splitting hairs about nothing when you aren't representing what I said. Have a good day.
I hope you have a great day, too.
Unfortunately, it turns out that they don't really exist in any great numbers.
I mostly agree with this part,
> If you are a True Libertarian you should be in favor of the Government regulating air polluters
but take issue with this part.
As others have pointed out the libertarian position on air pollution, and similarly on other kinds of pollution, is it is a tortious trespass on property and is dealt with through the judicial system. Meaning no regulation or action is needed by government other than the recognition of property rights. This was the position of common law and was abandoned by American courts in the early 20th century.
Now, when you refer to the oceans, which due to government action remain un-ownable, it's more complicated and the libertarian position is that they should be privatized.
But with that said, regulation is more efficient than going after every polluter on a case by case basis. Legislation can at least be used to set the guidelines so everyone knows what rules they are playing by. Either that or you're just replacing law with case-law which would have relatively the same effect. A rose by any other name...
So if I reduce the value of your land by rendering it a desert over a period of years, I am simply exercising my liberty?
There are a great many works on this type of issue, and if you are looking for a complete answer, I suggest you read them. If you are trying to 'catch me out', your rhetoric won't convince me, nor is it likely to convince anyone else.
And if you know its a common tort or trespass, it is simpler to tax that tort/trespass rather than require every individual to sue every other individual.
> If you are trying to 'catch me out', your rhetoric won't convince me, nor is it likely to convince anyone els
I don't really care. I just find your doublethink curious and wanted to confirm it was what I thought it was.
I find Doublethink in general a very interesting subject.
A) You believe climate change and science by majority consensus on scientific facts exist.
B) You believe pollution is grounds for a lawsuit (which is a form of tax in that you are charged a fee for violating the social contract) which is enforced by society due to the damage it represents.
C) You believe carbon is pollution but is not grounds for a lawsuit (which is a form of tax in that you are charged a fee for violating the social contract) which is enforced by society due to the damage it represents.
In addition, social contract theory is wrong, and I don't believe in it.
Pollution may be grounds for a lawsuit, or it may not, it depends on the circumstances, just like any other tort or trespass.
And I never said that I 'don't believe climate change exists'; as a matter of fact, I avoid the issue of consensus/reality entirely, as it has become a morass of tribal politics, where each side rejects the arguments of the other out of hand.
The only way you'd be consistent was if you had imo. YMMV.
Now, all you've established is my original belief was correct.
> You've changed this post at least two times since I first tried to respond to it; I can't write a coherent response if you keep on deleting your post and re-writing it.
You rewrote your post after I posted the first one.
Pot meet kettle.
You advocate for lawsuits by everyone against everyone else which could be simplified and applied consistently by a tax.
The fact you don't understand that is, effectively, a very inefficient tax is confusing.
I build my factory next to your land. A byproduct of my factory is a bunch of polluted water, which drains strait onto your land, causing much damage.
The tort system could deal with this fine . You can easily prove that it was the pollution from my factory that damaged your land.
This may not be a good way to deal with it, because (1) it takes effort to take someone to court, which many small landowners may not have the time for and so will discourage them from defending their property rights, and (2) it assumes that only the monetary value of your land is important and thus it is OK for someone to damage your land as long as they pay.
• Scenario 2
I build my factory 1000 miles from your land. My polluted water runs into a nearby river, eventually makes it to the ocean, and some of it eventually ends up on your land.
The tort system is useless to address your injury. There are too many chaotic physical processes between the emission of the pollution at my end and the arrival of pollution at your end for you to prove that any of that pollution came from me. If you sue me, my defense is that there are hundreds or thousands of other factories polluting, and for all we know all of my pollution either stayed in the ocean or when it got back to land ended up on land other than yours.
If we modify the tort system so that in the case of pollution we turn the burden of proof around and require the defendant to prove that they did not pollute the plaintiff's property, then you can sort of make it work.
But if we do that, now we've just turned the problem around. It will be almost impossible for me to prove that my pollution did not reach any given plaintiff. Anyone who finds pollution of the type that my factory produces can easily and successfully sue me.
If that's the case, then as soon as you sue me, I'll be filing third party complaints against all the other factories that emit the same kind of pollution, alleging that they are equally responsible for the pollution that damaged you.
Of course, you won't be the only plaintiff suing me, since pollution spreads far and wide from the source. And all of the defendants will be filing third party complaints against all the other defendants. So we'll end up with a bazillion lawsuits, each consisting of one plaintiff with damaged land, and thousands of factory owner defendants. Someone will try and succeed in turning this into a class action.
The class plaintiffs will win, damages will be accessed will be accessed with each factory's share probably proportional to the amount of their pollution, and split among the plaintiffs proportionally to the damage to their land. This only settles things among those defendants and the plaintiffs that are in the class, so this thing will have to be repeated when new plaintiffs arise or new factories are built.
The net result will be that instead of a simple, straightforward, approach of the legislature creating a pollution fee or tax with the proceeds going to pollution cleanup, with the executive handling enforcement, we end up with an ad hoc sort of equivalent cobbled together from the tort system that is costlier, more time consuming, and has a lot more uncertainty (and still needs legislative action to create because it depends on changing the burden of proof in pollution cases).
 By "deal with it fine", I mean identify the party responsible for the pollution and make them pay monetary damages. One can make a good case that this is not actually fine, for at least two reasons. First, it assumes that only the monetary value of land is important. Land often has esthetic or sentimental value to people, which they would not give up even for much much more money than anyone else would pay for the land. Second, it takes time and effort to sue someone. Many small landowners would not have the resources for that, and so would have to just suck it up and accept the pollution.
My original point was not that Pigouvianism was ineffective, but that: "Pigouvianism is inherently intolerant and totalitarian, not libertarian, as it relies on imposing one's value judgements on others. Using a tax to force compliance rather than more draconian restrictions may be 'nicer', but is not Liberty."
Auctioned cap and trade is good at achieving two objectives: 1) a strict limit, and 2) political cronyism. Most people who suggest a carbon tax are in favor of instituting it, then adjusting based on the resulting emissions. We are no better at estimating the results of any given level of pollution or emissions than we are at forecasting supply and demand response to price changes.
Perhaps in theory, but American Libertarianism will never see anyone recovering any losses due to rising CO2 / climate change. You would have to sue someone in court and win. And do you really think you can successfully sue Exxon Mobil when your shellfish farm is ruined because of ocean acidification?
This is basically why US Libertarianism is broken. If we truly had a Libertarian government, the environment would be quickly ruined.
Under the issue of Environment:
"Competitive free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Governments are unaccountable for damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights and responsibilities regarding resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Where damages can be proven and quantified in a court of law, restitution to the injured parties must be required."
And under Government Finance and Spending:
"All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We oppose any legal requirements forcing employers to serve as tax collectors. Government should not incur debt, which burdens future generations without their consent. We support the passage of a 'Balanced Budget Amendment' to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes."
So, unless it is shown to be constitutionally mandated a carvon tax is not endorsed by their platform.
If I read correctly, it would not be endorsed under their Crime and Justice section either.
Interesting aside, the Libertarian Party doesn't seem to be aware that all (100%) of U.S. currency is based on debt. The Treasury issues a bond, the Fed lrints money to buy it, and then all that goes into circulation. It's not magic, it's explicitly fiat, but I guess they missed that, or want to go back to something like the gold standard, which totally makes sense if you believe in the intrinsic value of gold rather than simply inderstanding it as a convenient means to mark a currency against if you want to limit inflation as only so much gold production per year is possible.
My very informal and unreliable impression is that most libertarian writers ( who are worth reading ) embrace a Pigou regime as a pallative for managing CO2 in the atmosphere.
Some libertarians espouse land taxation. This exploits the symmetry between the role of government as protector of land ownership and how this is to be paid for. Tax land rents.
And I think there's an argument to be made that income taxation is both a poor proxy for rents and very invasive.
In reality that's not the case, and there is no overarching principle any sect of libertarians hold (as far as I know) that harm can only be addressed via lawsuits. Since the overhead of lawsuits grows ridiculously large when the number of plaintiffs is equal to the population of the country (or even world), the far more practical solution is to just directly apply a Carbon Tax. This is pretty much equivalent to a lawsuit without the overhead of the courts. The biggest difference is while after a lawsuit the wealth is distributed directly, here the wealth is distributed by lowering taxes.
On the other hand I've seen Gary Johnson quotes like this one
> In 2016, as a candidate, Johnson talks about balancing the budget but lacks the zeal of libertarians who think the state could be cut in half without consequence. He’d keep Social Security for current retirees. He wouldn’t abolish the EPA, after learning in New Mexico how the government policed bad actors.
> “In the libertarian view, without the EPA, you as an individual could sue under the law,” said Johnson. “But not really. You don’t have deep pockets to go up against Chevron.”
Either way, good point.
This would be the argument for creating more of a structured market approach to assigning the costs of these externalities: courts are inefficient and plagued with problems when there's a power difference between the parties, so creating a market structure allows those externalities to be compensated in a more efficient way, while still allowing market pricing to incentivize industry to resolve the externality in the most efficient way available.
The libertarian's argument against this (I imagine) is that any government market scheme will screw it up more, though I don't know why so much faith is placed in the court system as a magically efficient system that resolves property disputes fairly and cost effectively in cases like diffused externalities.
But with that said too: the government itself can sue, it doesn't have to be people.
Because no one can own the air and you do not have a right to pollute something you do not own... further more if you pollute on land you do own you cannot guarantee the pollution will go to land owned by other people. And if you can guarantee that it will stay on your property, win win, we solved global warming!
Libertarians are anti-income and sometimes property tax but not anti-consumption tax. Basically the government cannot take "by force" the money that an individual earned or forcefully levy a tax on property they own. But taxing someone for polluting the atmosphere? Sure.
Carbon tax is actually very Libertarian. Greenhouse gasses pollute the commons which deprives other's of their right to quality air. I think many Libertarians would be for the government stepping in to end pollution of the commons and making companies pay for their own pollution is a fair way to do it.
Also, per the chart you've linked, India's CO2 production looks quite low. Not sure why you're lumping them in with China.
No, Libertarians are opposed to government intervention because it forces individuals to give up liberties. It's right there in the name of the party. You have a right to keep what you earn and choose where you want to spend it.
Now if you were to argue that polluting the environment deprives others of their right to breath clean air and that the government should tax carbon in order to protect the rights of the people who want clean air then THAT is a Libertarian argument for carbon tax.
It's easier to communicate that's O2 being reduced is problematic for human beings as our bodies perform worst even with slight reductions in O2 levels. O2 levels have a more direct impact on humans. Plus, O2 concentration levels are actually being reduced faster than CO2 levels are rising. CO2 is not a toxic gas by itself and climate sciences that show CO2 is bad for the planet are hard. It would seem easier to convince people burning O2 is harmful. It's true and easy to demonstrate.
> Evidence from prehistoric times indicates that the oxygen content of pristine nature was above the 21% of total volume that it is today. It has decreased in recent times due mainly to the burning of coal in the middle of the last century. Currently the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere dips to 19% over impacted areas, and it is down to 12 to 17% over the major cities. At these levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain bodily health: it takes a proper intake of oxygen to keep body cells and organs, and the entire immune system, functioning at full efficiency. At the levels we have reached today cancers and other degenerative diseases are likely to develop. And at 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.
Because global warming will probably kill us before oxygen deprivation or the health impact of reduced oxygen.
Also, this is perhaps nitpicky, but O2 does not burn.
What are we transforming in order to create, store, and consume solar energy and fossil fuel energy?
Someone really interested in reducing fossil fuel consumption might want instead to subsidize ways of reducing transportation use.
"Free" markets vary by degree - nobody says there must be no rules, no rule of law. Taking it back to Adam Smith, he's simply arguing against Mercantilism. So any rules that entrench an incumbent could ( possibly ) be considered a degree of Mercantilism. But the context matters because of specialization and inertia/momentum.
Also, Libertarians are in favor of regulating business if the business is depriving others of their rights. For example, their right to breath clean air.
Well, many are. I believe enough are that pro-environmental policies would still get voted up in a Libertarian system.
Wait, what? Vetoed by whom?
> Also, Libertarians are in favor of regulating business if the business is depriving others of their rights.
Who would be doing the regulating exactly? Wouldn't the regulations be seen as oppression by other businesses? Wouldn't they be challenged in a court of law, which is a part of the government?
I'm honestly amazed at the required amount of self-delusion required to believe that some form of libertopia is possible by simply removing some regulations and cutting down government agencies left and right. It then turns out that to arbitrate selfish interests of business and handle other edge cases in conflicts of interest you need certain agencies to act as arbitrators and in order to have a functioning society you start adding those agencies back 1 by 1 until you end up at the current form of government with all of its "overhead"
Libertarian does not preclude a president (who has a veto pen) and courts. In fact, courts are insanely critical to a Libertarian government in order to rule on cases where rights are violated and an executive branch is critical to make sure the court decisions are carried out.
Furthermore, contract law is also hugely important to Libertarians and the Government needs to be able to enforce those contracts when the individual cannot.
What a Libertarian would do is strike down all laws and government agencies that infringe on individual liberties. Especially laws that legislate morality and laws that legislate how individuals can spend their money and use their property. That means you can marry who you want, smoke what you want, and buy, sell, and contract with who you want as long as it does not infringe on other rights.
- Libertarians as a whole do not want to eliminate tax. They want to replace income tax with flat tax and/or consumption tax and leave property tax up to the states. They only want to abolish the IRS because it is an inefficient organization, uses threat of force to collect taxes, and taxes do not need to be that complicated.
- Libertarians are not anti union. People should have a right to assemble. They are generally against people being forced to join a union against their will.
- Libertarians are not anti-government. They just feel the only valid role of government is to protect individual rights and defend our country from foreign invaders.
- Libertarians are not anti-environment. In fact Libertarians often see polluting the environment as infringing on other people rights and therefor something the government can intervene in.
A true Libertarian president would ask the following of every law:
- Does this protect people from having their rights infringed on by either other people, government, or companies: YES, pass this law
- If it does not meet the first test, does this infringe on other's right including their rights to do what they want with their own property/body: VETO
More foam-at-the-mouth anarchists tend to be empty vessels - louder, so they attract the disenchanted.