Hank Paulson, the former US Treasury Secretary who helped transform the 2008 crash from a temporary crisis into a long-running, still-unresolved disaster, has now turned his expertise to the subject of climate change.In a lengthy editorial for the New York Times, he declares:
I was secretary of the Treasury when the credit bubble burst, so I think it’s fair to say that I know a little bit about risk, assessing outcomes and problem-solving. Looking back at the dark days of the financial crisis in 2008, it is easy to see the similarities between the financial crisis and the climate challenge we now face.
This is a bit like the Captain of the Titanic returning from his watery grave to tell us: "Trust me. I have experience of managing disasters. That's why I'm just the man you want to appoint as the next head of the Federal Reserve." Except not quite as ridiculous as Paulson's claim, obviously.
Here, in more detail, is what is wrong with Paulson's piece.
"We must not lose sight of the profound economic risks of doing nothing."
There's a desperate logical fallacy, here, Hank - and you, of all people, ought to be able to see it. You talk about the "economic risks of doing nothing." But what if the economic risks of doing something are even greater? C'mon, Hank. You should know. You were the guy who used trillions of tax dollars to bail out the zombie banks, with effects we are still ruining to this day. Still, your old pals at Goldman Sachs must love you very much.
"The solution can be a fundamentally conservative one that will empower the marketplace to find the most efficient response. We can do this by putting a price on emissions of carbon dioxide — a carbon tax. Few in the United States now pay to emit this potent greenhouse gas into the atmosphere we all share. Putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies."
This position you outline: it is not a conservative one. Conservatives do not believe in higher taxes; conservatives do not believe that governments can pick winners or, as you weasellishly put it, "empower the marketplace". Maybe it's time you and you had a serious chat about this with David L Brooks in the New York Times canteen. If you both joined the Democrats together, they might give you a two for the price of one deal.
Read the whole thing if you can...Breitbart's commentary does make it palatable. For those of you who don't know, Man Bear Pig is a reference to Al Gore and a South Park Episode that made fun of him.
The Republican who wasn't is of course Hank Paulson. He claims to be a republican though no one has seen any evidence of that but then he's just one among many elite aristocrats who are merely acting on the world's stage.
You have played your part well...Mr. Paulson, the exit is stage left...