Is Putting a Price on Carbon a Solution to Global Warming?

ndotja-e-ajrit-850x527When: 7 to 9 pm, Wednesday, May 16

Where: Corvallis-Benton County Public Library,

Despite tree planting programs, advances in renewable energy and appeals to use public transportation instead of personal vehicles, carbon continues to accumulate in the atmosphere. While useful for other reasons, efforts to stem greenhouse gas emissions have failed to put carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming, on a course toward lower levels.

Climate change experts and economists have proposed a solution: Put a price on carbon emitted to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and allow market forces to slow the runaway carbon train. Such a policy could be implemented several ways: a system known as cap and trade, a tax on carbon emissions, or a carbon fee and dividend with revenues returned to citizens.

Economists have advocated putting a price on carbon for decades, joined more recently by international organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. As of January 2018, carbon pricing policies have been implemented in more than 40 national, subnational, or multi-national jurisdictions.

At the May 16 City Club of Corvallis meeting, three local experts will discuss the pros and cons of carbon pricing in the context of the nature and scope of the climate change problem. They include Carla Wise, biologist and environmental writer, and two Oregon State University faculty members: Phil Harding, Linus Pauling Distinguished Engineer in the College of Engineering; and Bill Jaeger, professor in the Department of Applied Economics.

CarlaCarla Wise is a plant conservation biologist turned environmental writer and climate solutions advocate. She has written on topics including forest management, endangered species, agriculture, and climate change. Her writng has appeared in  The OregonianHigh Country NewsThe Huffington PostThe Utne Reader and elsewhere. She is author of  Awake on Earth: Facing Climate Change with Sanity and Grace (2016) and volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

harding-cbeePhil Harding brings 15 years of industrial and business experience to roles as Linus Pauling Distinguished Engineer and Associated School Head of chemical engineering at OSU. He worked in the oil, pulp and paper and microelectronic industries with responsibilities in process engineering, research and development, product reliability and worldwide manufacturing and research strategy. He is a certified Professional Engineer and holds 15 patents. His most recent full-time industrial role was serving as a Master Technologist for HP.

jaeger_bill_compBill Jaeger is a professor in the Department of Applied Economics, where he specializes in policy issues related to water, climate, land use and agriculture. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Venice, Italy, has taught at Williams College, the University of Washington, University of Oregon and has been a research economist and consultant to the World Bank. He serves on the board of directors of ELAW, the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide.


The meeting is free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 16 at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. No registration is necessary.

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