NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 31, 2006

A levy of stealth taxes on fuel, cars, air travel and consumer goods may be the British government's response to Sir Nicholas Stern's Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a reportedly grim document that is, well, overheated, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

According to British media outlets, Environment Secretary David Miliband has outlined the tax proposal, which could include:

  • A special mechanism so that whenever oil prices go down, the government would get the cash in extra fuel tax -- not the motorist.
  • A pay-per-mile pollution tax on motorists.
  • A value-added tax on flights to EU destinations.
  • A new tax on inefficient large appliances and light bulbs.

Unfortunately, spouting hyperbole and distortions about actively debated science is one thing; using it to justify a wallet grab is another, says IBD.  The British Sun estimates the taxes to cost around 1,300 pounds for an average family of four.  That's nearly $2,500, a significant amount -- particularly when there is still no scientific consensus that global warming is occurring and is a threat.

What the climate change debate needs is a large dose of healthy skepticism, more research and a lot less blind faith in a theory, says IBD. But we will get none of these as long as we're continuously told that scientific consensus buttresses the believers' position and dissenters are shouted down -- the exact opposite of real science.

Source: Editorial, "Dissent On Ice," Investor's Business Daily, October 31, 2006.


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