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Scientists Propose International Wealth Redistribution   July 7th, 2009
Scientists enter public policy trying to rationalize Kyoto-style wealth redistribution       


More observations...

Ever since global warming became the threat de jour, scientists have been walking a very questionable line about whether they were being scientists or politicians. Never have scientists had such a powerful voice in public policy as recently when potentially economy-changing freedom-limiting policies have been tied to scientific theories. Scientists today, however, have now gone as far to recommend who should pay for any costs related to climate change policies.

They already pay the most when it comes to taxes, and if a group of scientists have their way, the wealthy could soon be on the hook for their greenhouse emissions, too...

The idea is that rich folks throw off more greenhouse gases because they're more likely to drive gas guzzlers, travel more frequently by airplane and live in large homes that require more energy to heat and cool. As such, countries with higher concentrations of wealthy people would be subject to carbon emission targets...

However, under the idea unveiled yesterday, countries like the US might suffer at first, but as developing countries develop a wealthy class, they, too, would face emission restrictions, though they'd be set at high enough levels to ensure a country's economic development is not stifled.

So we now have scientists trying to make a case for international wealth redistribution. This is basically an excuse for Kyoto-style environmental policy where industrialized nations are subject to restrictions in carbon-emission while developing/poor countries get a pass.

Kyoto was rejected during the Clinton administration precisely because the U.S. would be subject to carbon limits while developing nations such as China and India would not be subject to those limits. Now we have scientists proposing the exact same thing that was rejected a decade ago.

The first question is, of course, why scientists are out there proposing public policy rather than politicians and/or economists.

The second point is that their prescription above is obviously flawed. Basing carbon limits on how many wealthy people there are is a non-starter when China is the largest carbon emitter on the planet but is also still communistic. If any wealth obtained by China is held in the hands of very, very few people and the rest is redistributed among over a billion people, it's entirely possible that China will have very few super-wealthy, more than a billion poor people, and will continue to be exempt from carbon limits.

This is the same Kyoto-style recipe for transferring wealth and jobs to developing countries at the expense of the industrialized world, but it adds incentives to developing countries to keep their people poor to avoid carbon limits, while keeping new wealth in the hands of a very few people in an elite class.

So with this proposal worldwide CO2 won't be reduced, the industrial world loses jobs and wealth, and the poor in developing country will most likely stay poor. The only ones who benefit from this are rich elites in developing countries.

This is what these scientists are proposing? Maybe they should stick to science. But many of them seem to have abandoned science when they got onto the global warming bandwagon.

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