More reasons to love emissions pricing

I was flipping through a recent Tech Review, and it seemed like every other article was an unwitting argument for emissions pricing. Two examples:

Job title of the future: carbon accountant

We need carbon engineers who know how to make emissions go away more than we need bean counters to tally them. Are we also going to have nitrogen accountants, and PFAS accountants, and embodied methane in iridium accountants, and … ? That way lies insanity.

The fact is, if carbon had a nontrivial price attached at the wellhead, it would pervade the economy, and we’d already have carbon accountants. They’re called accountants.

More importantly, behind those accountants is an entire infrastructure of payment systems that enforces conservation of money. You can only cheat an accounting system for so long, before the cash runs out. We can’t possibly construct parallel systems providing the same robustness for every externality we’re interested in.

Here’s what we know about lab-grown meat and climate change

Realistically, now matter how hard we try to work out the relative emissions of natural and laboratory cows, the confidence bounds on the answer will remain wide until the technology is used at scale.

We can’t guide that scaling process by assessments that are already out of date when they’re published. Lab meat innovators need a landscape in which carbon is priced into their inputs, so they can make the right choices along the way.

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