Nothing new here

Reader comment on: Winglets

Submitted by Lyle (United States), Oct 24, 2013 19:14

Going back 250 years or so the Newcomen steam engine used so much coal that other than at a coal mine it was not economically viable (Partly due to having to haul coal by horse drawn waggon, and ship). James Watt came along and invented the seperate condenser and made the steam engine sufficiently efficient that even with the high costs of hauling coal the engines made economic sense elsewhere. (Actually a lot of coal got hauled by ship between New Castle and London. In fact Bolton and Watt priced their engines so that the rent was based upon the fuel saved). Actually a second example occured about 100 years ago, up till that time reciprocating steam engines were used to drive electric generators, but Samuel Insull introduced the steam turbine and got much greater efficiency. In fact if you go back and look at it electricity today in the cheaper parts of the US actually costs less in uninflation adjusted dollars than in 1910.

So this does suggest that for many of the issues, the simple expedient of pricing things that are currently free such as emmissions, can get desired results without detailed regulations. Essenitally of course this argues for a carbon tax (i.e. a tax on Carbon Dioxide emmissions). It makes sense for the state to charge as a Pigovian tax for degredation of the commons.

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Title By Date
⇒ Nothing new here [228 words]LyleOct 24, 2013 19:14
Winglets Article: [394 words]Kurt Richard TodoroffOct 24, 2013 13:57

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