Matt Miller on Protecting the Environment

Question: What’s your favorite progressive idea for the environment?

Miller:    I’m a cap-and-trade skeptic and I’m a carbon tax lover, so I don’t pretend to be an expert on cap-and-trade, but my worry is, you know, cap-and-trade is done as cap-and-trade largely, I think, as a way for politicians to avoid saying explicitly we’re raising taxes on energy.  And since the only way cap-and-trade will work in lowering energy demand and lowering our carbon emissions is by raising the prices on dirty energy, that’s going to happen anyway.  And my worry is you have quite a big bureaucracy you could end up with under cap-and-trade and a kind of centralized, there’s a centralized planning aspect to it that I worry about when if it’s going to be politically tough to enact this anyway, why not make the case for higher fuel taxes and carbon taxes and use that to actually offset other taxes.  It’s a little bit like the tax [swap] we were talking about earlier.  You could have a carbon tax and dividend scheme where you raise carbon, you raise energy prices to where you think they need to be to set in motion all the market incentives to create alternative energy, to reduce use of fossil fuels, etc., and give 90% of it back, let’s say, in lower payroll taxes to people.  Maybe the federal government would save a small portion of the revenue to invest and jumpstarting some of these alternative energies.  But there you have just a tax swap and I think you could explain that to people in ways that would be at least as politically feasible as the cap-and-trade which is going to have its own set of lobbying and political concerns anyway.  So, I’m definitely, I’m a carbon tax man as opposed to, I’m a carbon tax and dividend man as opposed to cap-and-trade.

The author sees an opportunity in a tax on carbon.

COVID-19 amplified America’s devastating health gap. Can we bridge it?

The COVID-19 pandemic is making health disparities in the United States crystal clear. It is a clarion call for health care systems to double their efforts in vulnerable communities.

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated America's health disparities, widening the divide between the haves and have nots.
  • Studies show disparities in wealth, race, and online access have disproportionately harmed underserved U.S. communities during the pandemic.
  • To begin curing this social aliment, health systems like Northwell Health are establishing relationships of trust in these communities so that the post-COVID world looks different than the pre-COVID one.
Keep reading Show less

Bruce Lee: How to live successfully in a world with no rules

Shannon Lee shares lessons from her father in her new book, "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."

Videos
  • Bruce Lee would have turned 80 years old on November 27, 2020. The legendary actor and martial artist's daughter, Shannon Lee, shares some of his wisdom and his philosophy on self help in a new book titled "Be Water, My Friend: The Teachings of Bruce Lee."
  • In this video, Shannon shares a story of the fight that led to her father beginning a deeper philosophical journey, and how that informed his unique expression of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do.
  • One lesson passed down from Bruce Lee was his use and placement of physical symbols as a way to help "cement for yourself this new way of being, or this new lesson you've learned." By working on ourselves (with the right tools), we can develop the skills necessary to rise and conquer new challenges.
Keep reading Show less

3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it

How to deal with "epistemic exhaustion."

Photo by Filip Mishevski on Unsplash
Mind & Brain
An endless flow of information is coming at us constantly: It might be an article a friend shared on Facebook with a sensational headline or wrong information about the spread of the coronavirus.
Keep reading Show less

Climate change melts Mount Everest's ice, exposing dead bodies of past climbers

Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Surprising Science
  • Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
  • Recent glacial melting, caused by climate change, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
  • While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
Keep reading Show less

Top 5 theories on the enigmatic monolith found in Utah desert

A strange object found in Utah desert has prompted worldwide speculation about its origins.

Credit: Utah Department of Public Safety
Culture & Religion
  • A monolithic object found in a remote part of Utah caused worldwide speculation about its origins.
  • The object is very similar to the famous monolith from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey".
  • The object could be work of an artist or even have extraterrestrial origins.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast