A Carbon Tax is Absolutely Essential

So, what do a major investment from Verizon Wireless and the melting of our polar ice caps have in common? A lot more than you may think. On Monday, America’s largest wireless provider announced that it will be making a $40 million investment in solar power at eight of its facilities across the United States.

According to a press release from Verizon, new solar installations at facilities in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York will nearly double the amount of energy that Verizon gets from solar power. Speaking about the $40 million investment, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer James Gowen told Bloomberg that, “Solar is a proven technology. It didn’t hurt that the technology is getting better and prices are coming down.”

Last year, Verizon announced a similar $100 million investment in solar power and fuel cell technologies. These types of investments in clean and green forms of renewable energy from major U.S. corporations couldn’t come sooner. That’s because new research suggests that climate change and global warming are happening a lot faster than we first thought.

According to new data from a European space probe, our planet’s two largest ice sheets – in Greenland and Antarctica – are melting at unprecedented speeds. The CryoSat-2 space probe has discovered that the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are losing a stunning 120 cubic miles of ice each year.

That’s A LOT of ice that's going from being frozen ice up on land into being river water flowing into the rising oceans. But more importantly, the rate of sea ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica has more than doubled since 2009, which shows just how fast the processes of global warming and climate change have become.

Speaking about the new and alarming data, Mark Drinkwater, mission scientist for the European Space Agency’s CryoSat mission, said that, “These results offer a critical new perspective on the recent impact of climate change on large ice sheets. This is particularly evident in parts of the Antarctic peninsula, where some of the more remarkable features add testimony on the impact of sustained peninsula warming at rates several times the global average.”

And, it’s not just the sea ice in Greenland and Antarctica that’s melting at astonishing rates. Arctic sea ice is melting at unprecedented rates too. In fact, as Gaius Publius pointed out over at America Blog, just about every reputable projection on the loss of Arctic sea ice has been wrong.

The lack of sea ice cover in the Arctic that we’re seeing today wasn’t supposed to happen for 20+ more years according to 13 of the most accurate models. With more and more of our planet’s ice cover melting away at unprecedented rates, the question becomes: "Have we reached a tipping point?"

Have we reached the point where we can no longer hope to slow down or even stop the processes of climate change and global warming, and where do we have to prepare for the ongoing and worsening sea level rises on our coastlines?

The fact is, despite this new and alarming data from the CryoSat-2 probe, we still don’t if we’ve passed a tipping point or not. So, with that being the case, we need to slow down climate change and global warming, to protect our planet's ability to support human life.

One of those actions that we can take today is to put a carbon tax in place. Putting a price on carbon encourages less fossil fuel extraction and a rapid move to clean and green energy. With even a modest carbon tax - that doesn't even end the subsidies to the big oil, coal, and gas companies - fossil fuels instantly become more expensive than renewables like wind and solar.

A report put out by the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) shows that a $10 carbon tax would cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 28 percent of 2005 levels. That’s 11 percent more than the cut proposed by the EPA in the Clean Power Plan it announced back in June.

In our documentary “Carbon”, the first part of a four part series on climate change by Leonardo DiCaprio and yours truly that was released last week, some of the world’s leading climatologists and scientists talk about the importance of a carbon tax. They make it clear that, if we want to save our planet and the human race from the greatest threat we've ever faced, a carbon tax is absolutely essential.

It’s that simple.

To find out more about the dangers of climate change, and the importance of a carbon tax, head over to GreenWorldRising.Org.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 42 weeks ago

Don't forget the rebate part. It seems that rebate part would help sell the idea of a carbon tax.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 42 weeks ago

A new gas fired power plant is going to be built in Memphis , Tennessee, replacing the 3 unit coal fired plant built there in 1959. Carbon and other pollutants will be greatly reduced so a carbon tax would be a lot less on this type of power plant, saving the city a lot of money and the people who, like me, live in the area, will have cleaner air to breathe. It takes a long trainload of coal EVERY DAY to operate the old Allen Steam Plant. The new gas fired plant will put out less carbon emissions than the old coal plant but it will still put out carbon emissions. So where is all of this gas going to come from? Fracking? The process that often pollutes peoples supply of clean water? It sounds like a move in the right direction but not far enough in the right direction. Wind power, yea, that's the right direction to avoid a carbon tax and to avoid putting out greenhouse gasses that will destroy life on this planet as we know it.

700101erw's picture
700101erw 9 years 42 weeks ago


Satellite data is not always accurate. See the following articles:

1. “Antarctic Sea Ice Growing Despite Global Warming Warnings”

from June 29, 2014


2. “Greenland’s Ice Sheet is Growing

from November 4th, 2005


mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 42 weeks ago

(moved to today's daily topics)

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 9 years 42 weeks ago

25% of our carbon footprint in CA is just to move water. We can harvest vast amounts of green energy from our rivers and use it to transport water. The low face fish ladder dams harvest energy more efficiently then the old dams and creates ideal fish habitiat. We must enact within our environmental protection laws the mandate that all new water systems meet 3 criteria. The system uses less energy then conventional, produces purer water, and has a positive impact on our environment. I am trying to bring this system to Santa Cruz.

Include in the national carbon tax a methane tax for large industrial meat production facilities. Too much methane in the end may be our doom.

The Koch brothers bought the last election in Australia tipping politics back to conservatives. They ended their carbon tax. Building the brothers 5 new coal burning plants. They plan to dump the tailings on bleached out reef. They figure its dead anyway.

We must formulate a world environmental protection agency. With more power then the WTO.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 42 weeks ago

RFord RE#2 -- You need to watch "Last Years of Living Dangerously" on showtime. It points out that at fracking sites if the leakage of methane is worse than 3%, coal would be the cleaner alternative. It has a clip of Obama saying the leakage is only 1.5%. NOAA is then shown going around measuring leaking at various fracking locations in Colorado, Utah and the LA Basin (AKA Los Angeles County). In Colorado the leakage rate was meaured at 4%. In Utah with a whole bunch of fracking sites it was 11%. In the LA Basin, the number was 17%. I am writing all this from memory, so some of the numbers may be off; please watch the series.

Your air will be cleaner, and ours in LA with be dirtier. However, the worse part is the gas fired power plant in Memphis will accelerate global warming.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 42 weeks ago

Kudos, Craig! If I still lived in Santa Cruz, you'd have my vote. - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 42 weeks ago

Chuck points out: “You need to watch 'Last Years of Living Dangerously' on showtime. It points out that at fracking sites if the leakage of methane is worse than 3%, coal would be the cleaner alternative. It has a clip of Obama saying the leakage is only 1.5%.“ He then gives several examples where leakage rates are 4% or substantially higher.

Not only is President Obama a corporatist; he's a goddam liar. But I think perhaps neither of these tags of distinction excludes the other. They seem to go together, like bread & butter!. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 42 weeks ago


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 42 weeks ago

AIW RE#8 -- Okay, my "defense" of Obama is that he is naive and in the dark (AKA bubble).

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