Issue Date: November 16, 2009
Making Money Out Of CO2
What is hidden from current discussions regarding increasing carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is the irresistible governmental urge to find new sources of revenue (C&EN, July 27, pages 5 and 6-9). Making carbon dioxide a taxable unit (explicitly or implicitly) is the most politically palatable act for an Administration that is unwilling to cut spending or to raise taxes. The environmental benefits will be slow in coming, but the revenue will not be.
Besides, some effects of global warming are salutary—ships can now navigate across the North Pole, saving fuel and time. Similarly, the Arctic can now be mined for minerals, gas, and oil.
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