China Is Moving Forward With A Carbon Tax. US Politicians Who Oppose Carbon Tax Lose An Ally.

Wait Until China Acts on Climate. What? They Are!? - Climate DeskThe whole childish “you go first” between the US and China on carbon taxes might be coming to an end soon. According to a report in China’s state-run Xinhua news website, taxing carbon emissions is on the agenda for the Ministry of Finance (MOF). From Xinhua:

“The [Chinese] government will collect the environmental protection tax instead of pollutant discharge fees, as well as levy a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s tax policy division, wrote in an article published on the MOF’s website.

It will be the local taxation authority, rather than the environmental protection department, that will collect the taxes.

The government is also looking into the possibility of taxing energy-intensive products such as batteries, as well as luxury goods such as aircraft that are not used for public transportation, according to Jia.

To conserve natural resources, the government will push forward resource tax reforms by taxing coal based on prices instead of sales volume, as well as raising coal taxes. A resource tax will also be levied on water.”

As consumers of $400 billion worth of Chinese goods (2011), the US deserves an assist for China’s pollution problem. I never quite understood how carbon tax opposing US politicians could pass so much blame on China for their lack of pollution controls when our consumption of their goods is driving it. At least the Inhofes, Rubios and Bachmanns will still have India to blame and do the “you go first” carbon tax dance with. [Mother Jones]


Don’t Hate On Young Conservatives For Energy Reform. Encourage Them.

Just read a skeptical article about Young Conservatives For Energy Reform (YC4ER) on Climate Denial Crock of the Week. And judging by the early comments, you’ll get the expected haters and a little I told you so.

My take is that if you truly identify yourself as an environmentalist who believes in climate change, you would encourage YC4ER’s efforts. No, you don’t have to agree with everything the YC4ER support and no they don’t wear hemp clothing adorned with peace signs but you do need these suit wearers on your side. They’re conservatives who believe in climate change which fortunately puts them to the left of Jim Inhofe. [CDCW]


Reason #293 To Hate The Mountain Pine Beetle: They Now Get Lucky Twice As Often As I Do

Mountain pine beetle has Jim Inhofe as its wingmanThe mountain pine beetle, or bark beetle, is a nasty little bugger. Basically, it’ll bore a hole into a pine tree, cut off its circulation of water up and carbs down and eventually kill the tree. Depending on the health of the tree, it can take up to 2000 beetles, but usually less, to bring down a pine whose only defense is pitching them out with resin/sap.

The pine beetle has always been a pain in the ass but now, scientists have discovered that its destructive spread has grown exponentially because they’re getting two mating sessions per summer versus the normal one. How did they work it?

According to Jeffry Mitton from the University of Colorado, the pine beetles did nothing special to double their ability to get bootie… it’s our fault. We warmed up the planet nicely so pine beetles emerge in May instead of August and the pre-maturely parched pine trees are less able to fight them off. Then, after gorging on pine trees, they do what any bug would do and start schtupping. Thanks to the extended summer, pine beetles now get busy and lay their 60 eggs twice each summer leading to an exponential increase in tree chewing larvae and forest destruction. We’re kind of a pest-pimp. The mountain pine beetle is now destroying 10 times as much acreage as they have in any other recorded decade.

You can read more about the management techniques used for controlling the spread of the mountain pine beetles but it sure sucks knowing that we’re helping this bastard of a bug get more tail. I wonder, if in some Men In Black kind of way, one of these horny pests bored a hole into the head of, and is now controlling Jim Inhofe. That’s the only way I could understand why he would write his irresponsible book claiming climate change is a hoax. [NY Times]

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