October 20, 2015

MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Tax The Blue Zones.

Though I used the term “blue zone” to refer to the flooded areas as they’re shown on the climate change map, it hasn’t escaped my notice that most of those areas are blue in another sense: Urban coastal cities that are heavily Democratic.

Urban Democrats, of course, are among the biggest believers in, and clamorers about, climate change. So you would expect them to support this sort of an approach. But unlike, say, high gas taxes or utility bills or closed coal mines that disproportionately affect people out in flyover country, the blue zone tax would have its greatest effect on, well, blue zones. And even there, people are more interested in talking about global warming than in sacrificing to fix it. (In Santa Barbara, a proposed “blue line” that would show where the new post-global-warming seacoast would be was withdrawn out of fear that it would hurt property values. A flood-risk tax, obviously, would have a greater effect).

Still, if global warming really is a challenge that deserves the equivalent of war mobilization in response, as some activists claim, then it’s hard to call my proposal too drastic.

Read the whole thing, of course.

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