Bipartisan support for a carbon tax?

I have been hearing murmurs for the past decade regarding how climate change is impacting the insurance sector as insurers try to assess whether climate change is making events like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina more likely. We’ve also seen it in terms of insurance calculations for farmers, a burgeoning insurance opportunity that helped drive Monstanto’s acquisition of Climate Corporation last fall.
But these were always trends that existed separate from the political sphere where the economic risks of climate change have largely been ignored. So the report supported by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, ex-New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer appropriately titled “Risky Business” may well bring the conversation about the economic risks of climate change into the fore.
The key figures from the report conclude that coastal damage from sea level rise and hurricanes within the next 15 years will raise the annual cost of such events to $35 billion. It also points to 10 percent declines in crop yields in the next 5 to 25 years. The report was carried out by a catastrophe-modeling reinsurance firm.
Paulson, in a recent opinion piece for The New York Times,argued that a carbon tax was the correct solution while he also noted that any solution would require greater cooperation with China. Most economists believe the most efficient means of reducing fossil fuel use and sending price signals to spur innovation come down to placing an economic cost on carbon.
I’ve long argued that supporting cleantech, whether via subsidies, a carbon tax or EPA regulation, shouldn’t be framed as an environmental problem but rather as a national security one. I still believe that the security of the U.S. and the world is threatened by climate change. It’s clear that food shortages and environmental catastrophe will bring mass refuge migrations and war.
Bloomberg and Paulson are republicans. Steyer’s a major democratic donor. Bipartison support for a carbon tax is the only way. Now to getting Americans to care about the threat of climate change, something they’ve been stubborn to acknowledge.