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The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy 2nd Edition

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1597265317
ISBN-10: 1597265314
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Shi-Ling Hsu's book is the most thoughtful and sweeping book on carbon taxation in existence. It is must reading for anyone interested in climate change policy. The book covers every angle, and does so with moderation and wit."
(Kevin Hassett Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute)


"Who's afraid of a carbon tax? Not Shi-Ling Hsu, who builds an accessible, well-informed, and undeniably persuasive case for the superiority of carbon taxes over alternative climate change policy instruments. He also delves into individual and group psychology literatures to explain why the superiority of carbon taxes seems not to be grasped by the public and its representatives. Altogether a vital contribution to this, our most important debate."
(Douglas A. Kysar Professor of Law, Yale University)


"Shi-Ling Hsu has written a thought-provoking defense of carbon taxes. His discussion of the policies, politics, and psychology of carbon taxes is highly readable and an extremely useful resource. Although the political winds in North America change from year to year, the challenge of pricing carbon is unavoidable in the long term. This book has staying power."
(Janet E. Milne Director, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Vermont Law School)


"...Hsu's case is thoroughly documented and eloquently made."
(TreeHugger)


"A must-read for anyone concerned about the wellbeing of their children and grandchildren. An objective, clear-sighted revelation of the sine qua non for stabilizing climate and preserving a livable planet."
(James E. Hansen Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies)

About the Author

Shi-Ling Hsu is Professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law. Previously, he was Associate Professor at the George Washington University Law School, Senior Attorney and Economist for the Environmental Law Institute in Washington D.C, and Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 2 edition (September 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597265314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597265317
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,265,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I began to read this important book I expected to need a cup of coffee to get me through it. What a pleasant surprise to find this book not only well written and readable, but FUNNY! This guy has a great sense of humor and makes the economics of controlling carbon clear to this non-economist. This is such a no brainer that it's amazing and terrifying that it didn't happen long ago, since we are out of time on the carbon crisis. All should read this book and demand action!
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Hsu presents an in depth look at the carbon tax and compares and contrasts the policy against other greenhouse gas reduction policies. Hsu presents ten reasons supporting the carbon tax, some of which I have never heard of before (i.e. the third section on capital formation incentives) and weighs them against four known arguments against the tax. Hsu also does not limit his comparison of carbon taxation to just "cap and trade" and command and control policies, but rather extensively comments on the carbon tax versus government subsidies to renewable energy and their inefficiencies. I found this to be very relevant given the recent efforts by the U.S. to spur alternative energy with subsidies. Hsu utilizes prior research, economics, his own intuitions, and evidence from various environmental programs across the globe. He lastly dives into what he dubs as "The Carbon Tax Psychology" and explains how opponents of the carbon tax have falsely framed the policy to incite negativity from the public.

I think it is also important for potential readers to know that Hsu is advocating for the carbon tax as a global solution to the greenhouse effect and does not narrowly focus on its applicability for the United States. Furthermore, Hsu does not dismiss other climate change policies, but instead advocates that the carbon tax does not preclude the implementation of any other policy. On another note, this book reads quickly; Hsu wastes little of your time informing the reader about global warming and proving the greenhouse effect, but instead dives right into the material and his arguments.

Overall, Hsu makes a succinct, comprehensive, apolitical argument for the carbon tax. I definitely gained new perspectives from this book and would recommend it to anyone of any background.
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I asked a friend what would be the single best book to read to get up to speed on climate change and the efforts to stop it, and he took the question seriously, asked a few others in the know, and came back recommending this book. I read it and was not disappointed. It is accessible to the layperson (non-scientist and non-policy wonk) while still being quite substantive. It is readable but not dumbed down. It is also very balanced in describing the pros and cons of five different approaches, including the carbon tax, which the author prefers in most cases. I highly recommend this book to people looking to understand the options on the table for dealing with this serious issue, especially as it provides a framework and insights helpful to thinking about many other social and environmental issues and how to think about solving them too.
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Format: Paperback
Very straight forward discussion of pros and cons of carbon tax. Quick easy read. Worth it for anyone interested in public policy and climate change.
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