A carbon tax on your burger

  • 21 March 2018
  • NormanL
The tax man is coming for you, Bossie

There are any number of penalties and programs global warming advocates have dreamed-up in order to stave off their much-anticipated climate apocalypse. One of the more revealing is a proposal, from French academics, to impose a carbon tax on beef. The reason? Livestock is a huge source of greenhouse gas. So, if governments make red meat more expensive, people will consume less, and help save the world.

You can't make this stuff up:

The French researchers, from the Toulouse School of Economics, decided to take a look at a carbon tax on beef because the European Union has committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions more than half by midcentury — and that includes agricultural emissions. The ambition is to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius, widely regarded as a tipping point at which cascading and potentially catastrophic effects of climate change could sweep across the planet. Their study found that a relatively steep tax, based on greenhouse gas emissions, would raise the retail price of beef by about 40 percent and cause a corresponding drop in consumption, much like the sugar tax on sodas and the tax on tobacco products.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to put a carbon tax on fossil fuel, a larger source of greenhouse gas emissions? You bet. But many people who now commute in conventional gas-fueled automobiles have no better way to get home — or to heat their homes when they get there. That broader carbon tax will require dramatically restructuring our lives. A carbon tax on beef, on the other hand, would be a relatively simple test case for such taxes and, according to the French study, only a little painful, at least at the household level: While people would tend to skip the beef bourguignon, they could substitute other meats, like pork and chicken, that have a much smaller climate change footprint.

They admit their idea has no chance of being adopted, even in Europe. That the idea is floated at all, however, tells us more about the climate change researchers.

They aren't so much interested in saving the world as they are in controlling people. Your hamburger, your truck, your air conditioner, your telelvision, and yes, your insistence on having children...all of them are sins that must be atoned for through government command.

We are still baffled that the greens and doomsayers don't use a more commonsense pitch: adding insulation to your home, or getting a more efficient frig, or a car that gets better mileage saves you money. Potentially a lot of money. If it makes a dent in global temperatures, great. But it's not as important as having a few extra bucks each month to do with as you please.

Actually, we're not all that baffled. Many of the most hardened greenies despise money, and the freedoms it can bring, too.