Sylvester Johnson on The Federal Carbon Tax

Inspired by a recent post, one of our readers wrote in with the following thoughtful note. Thanks, Sylvester, and all others who have used our contact form to share their thoughts and feelings!


With Ithaca's City, Town, and County governments on the record in support of a federal carbon tax, a strong start has been made for this nationwide Initiative for further resolutions of support by local governments. This method is the political equivalent of turning lead to gold, making the carbon tax more politically possible by publicizing its advantages over emissions trading.
      Anyone, anywhere in the nation could use the sample resolution and action plan at to urge their local government to pass such a resolution, with the local government sending copies of the resolution to federal lawmakers, and with publication on the website. No monetary donations are required, only very limited time.
      Copies of the full page ads for the carbon tax that I placed in journals of opinion of national scope ranging from Mother Jones (June 2008) and The American Prospect (May) to The National Review (June 16th), are at
      More than the ads, a mention of this Initiative in a website article could help inspire more advocates, whose work could result in more articles in a snowball effect. As the number of resolutions that are passed grows the increasing magnitude of the news will inspire the introduction of more resolutions, building momentum for a mandate.
      Assertions about the prospects of both cap-and-trade and cap-and-auction for reducing fossil fuel emissions are based in theory rather than successful experience. Emissions trading is a Rube Goldberg machine with many linkages that could fail. Let's not put the Earth-critical process of reducing emissions into the hands of brokers who are pitching deals. Climate change has no escape clause. For this fire to sputter and go out, we have to stop fanning it. A tax makes motivating reductions simpler, with greater reliability. Fuller treatment of these issues is given on the website at "debate".
      Do you have acquaintances anywhere in the nation who might be interested in this short term, feasible action? A sample email for those acquaintances is available at "outreach".
      Please consider helping to promote this Initiative.
Best regards,
Sylvester Johnson, Ph.D. Applied Physics
Coordinator of the Initiative for resolutions by local governments in support of a federal carbon tax

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