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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Academic support for Carbon taxes

MIT researchers have modeled the adoption of alternative fuel vehicles and have found that it is going to take both significant time, government incentives and intervention including Carbon Taxes to encourage the move away from traditional internal combustion vehicles.

Problems cited for slow adoption include

Irrational consumers - not necessarily making smart buying decisions based on economy alone.

Infrastructure problems- until you have significant vehicles on the road filling/charging stations etc will not be built. Until you have significant filling/charging stations you can't sell the cars.

Higher fuel economy equals less demand which in turn creates less incentive for companies to build infrastructure .

The result shows that incentives and Carbon taxes need to be instigated and sustained over a long enough period of time to make the market self sustaining. Considering the average road life of today's cars and the limited ability to expand non conventional vehicle production quickly this period will be of a significant length.

That incentives and Carbon taxes will work where pure market forces will not is an important discovery. The Green Party of Canada has the only platform that includes both incentives and a carbon tax, sounds to me like MIT endorses our policy, which will aid both the fight against Global Warming and better prepare us for Peak Oil.

I'm sure Harper and the boys will claim MIT is full of socialist conspirators.

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