Climate change tax

Friday's Editorial Cartoon   —   Posted on December 7, 2018

Question(s)

To what ongoing news story does this cartoon refer?


NOTE TO STUDENTS:
People have opposing views about the probability that man’s use of fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) will cause catastrophic climate change.

Many issues can be controversial. While you might not feel strongly about a certain topic, others around you might take a strong position on one side or the other. Learn to logically defend your position, and politely respect your neighbor’s point of view. And if your neighbor gets argumentative with you, remind each other that both sides need to be tolerant of the other’s point of view.

The issue of man-made global warming is extremely controversial.  Many people will absolutely refuse to hear the opposing view on this issue.  The better approach is to learn the facts/statistics supporting your side of the issue and to be able to express them clearly and concisely.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
























Answer(s)

For weeks, the French people have been protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s climate change fuel tax that he has implemented to get people to stop using fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal). The fuel taxes were meant to go into effect in January as part of France’s plan to fight global warming.

Thousands of protesters called “yellow vests” took to the streets to protest the carbon taxes, which would have added 33 cents to a gallon of diesel and 17 cents for a gallon of gasoline. (“Yellow vests” refer to the fact that all motorists are required by law to carry a yellow vest in their vehicle.)

Taxes already make up about 60 percent of the price of fuel in France. The average cost of gas in France runs about $7 per gallon. (Macron’s government already raised carbon taxes on fuel earlier this year.)


The opposing viewspoints on global warming are: 

  • The earth’s climate is warming as a result of human actions; an extreme change in the earth’s climate is going to occur, caused by greenhouse gas emitted by the world’s use of fossile fuels (coal, oil, gas).  This temperature change will result in catastrophic problems in the environment. Humans must drastically reduce the consumption of fossile fuels immediately.  To prevent this man-made climate change, countries need to restrict energy use (reduce use of gas and oil).
    Liberals generally hold this view.  Check out two liberal organizations which defend this viewpoint:
    Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace.
  • Human activity does not affect the earth’s temperature.  Burning fossil fuels (gas, coal and oil) does not cause climate change.  The earth’s climate changes naturally, but not so much that it will cause a change of catastrophic proportions.  An extreme change in the earth’s climate will not happen.  There are natural warming and cooling trends over time.  In the 1970’s a coming ice age was predicted, but now that scare has been replaced with the current global warming scare.
    Conservatives generally hold this view.  Two conservative organizations which support this view are:
    FriendsOfScience.org and ClimateDepot.
    NOTE: The UN climate conference (of Dec. 2007) met in Bali to discuss global warming met strong opposition from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN that attempting to control the Earth’s climate was “ultimately futile.” The scientists, many of whom are current and former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, released an open letter (Dec. 13, 2007) to the UN Secretary-General questioning the scientific basis for climate fears and the UN’s so-called “solutions.”
    Read the complete letter here and the list of scientists who signed the letter here.

Global warming is an important issue to understand.

The theory that man’s use of fossil fuels (burning coal, oil and gas for energy, which produces carbon dioxide, or CO2) is causing an imminent catastrophic change in the climate – global warming – is believed to be true by many scientists, climatologists, citizens, the mainstream media and Hollywood celebrities, and was made popular by former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”  People who believe in this theory say we must reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by limiting/reducing the amount of fossil fuels we use, or by purchasing offsets.

The belief that man’s activities are not causing an imminent catastrophic change in the climate is held by many other scientists (see MIT’s Professor of Meteorology Dr. Richard Lindzen’s commentary in Newsweek here). This view is very unpopular in the media and widely condemned by those who believe man-made global warming is fact. See Newsweek magazine’s online presentation “The Global Warming Deniers” here.  Those who do not believe man is causing the global temperature to rise don’t believe it is necessary to reduce the production of CO2 by reducing our use of fossil fuels or to purchase carbon offsets.

  • Greenhouse gases are components of the atmosphere that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere [water vapor, which is the most abundant], while others result from human activities such as burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.  Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. (from wikipedia.org)
  • Carbon offsetting  involves paying others to remove or [contain] 100% of the carbon dioxide emitted from the atmosphere – for example by planting trees – or by funding ‘carbon projects’ that should lead to the prevention of future greenhouse gas emissions, or by buying carbon credits to remove (or ‘retire’) them through carbon trading. These practices are often used in parallel, together with energy conservation measures to minimize energy use. (from wikipedia.org)

Read a commentary on Global Warming at studentnewsdaily.com/commentary/global-warming-update.