Elon Musk introduces his new right-wing fans to a carbon tax; goes as well as you’d expect
Elon Musk is introducing his new right-wing fans to the idea of implementing a carbon tax, and it goes about as well as you would expect.
Over the last few years, Musk has become a sort of hero of the right.
Regardless of where you stand politically, it is a fascinating situation. I remember not too long ago when the right consistently attacked him for taking advantage of government subsidies at his companies.
A few years later, he buys Twitter, reinstates some previously banned conservative accounts, makes fun of Joe Biden and other democrats, starts to talk about “wokeness” and illegal immigration consistently, and now he is loved by the right.
Through this period, the once zealot climate change warrior who quit President Trump’s business council because he withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement, started talking a lot less about climate change and Tesla’s mission to accelerate to world’s transition to renewable energy.
On top of running six different companies, Tesla’s CEO is virtually a full-time political influencer now.
It is creating an interesting situation. For the first time in a while, Musk decided to use his massively popular X account to promote an idea perceived as left-wing (even though it shouldn’t be political): a carbon tax.
Musk has been pushing the idea of a carbon tax for a long time, and it’s interesting to see him introducing the idea to his new right-wing fans.
As you can imagine, it didn’t go too well.
Most of the top-voted comments underneath his post were responses that were quite negative. Here are a few examples:
I had to go down about 50 responses to see a positive response to Musk’s comment. It appears that for better or worse, Musk’s X profile is now dominated by his new right-wing fans.
I am the first to admit that a carbon tax is difficult to implement correctly. In theory, it makes a ton of sense. In fact, free-market conservatives should love it since it fixes the market.
A free market only works if it’s fair and all external costs are accounted for. If external costs are not accounted for, the market becomes inefficient and fails.
A carbon tax accounts for the external costs of emitting carbon. It fixes the market inefficiency – making the true costs (including environmental) accounted for in the costs of the products. The products best for the environment would come up on top.
Now, to agree with that, you need to agree with the vast majority of environmental scientists who say that humanity’s carbon production is contributing to the acceleration of the Earth’s warming.
Yes, the climate has always naturally changed for billions of years, but it doesn’t mean that humans starting to pump billions of metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year is not accelerating it. The data looks clear.
For example, the amount of solar energy the earth is receiving has followed the natural cycle of the sun, and yet, global temperature has increased massively amid increased industrialization:
Therefore, at the very least, we can agree that products emitting less carbon over their entire life cycle are less risky of negatively affecting the environment. So why take more risk?
So, a carbon tax would, at the very least, help reduce the risk of this crazy experiment that humanity is conducting by unearthing carbon and burning it into the atmosphere in incredible amounts.
Now, I agree it’s hard to implement correctly. There are a lot of different aspects to it. For example, it works best if it’s global. Everyone needs to get on board. There’s the idea that the US shouldn’t get involved unless everyone gets involved, but that’s a decision between being a positive leader or accepting to be part of the problem because others don’t want to be part of the solution. I don’t like that mentality.
Also, it needs to be meaningful with a fair price. There have been carbon taxes before, but they had minimal impact because they haven’t really accounted for the trillions of dollars that burning fossil fuels costs worldwide every year.
It’s an incredibly difficult tax to make it fair, but I think it’s one worth doing. There could be a way to do it while reducing other taxes and encouraging people to live lifestyles that emit less carbon. And if you want to keep doing it, you can. It’s just that now it will reflect the true costs of the products.
As a side note, I hate to get too political. I’m not a very political person. I don’t believe that a lot of truly meaningful change in history came from politics and politicians. I don’t consider myself left or right. I approach every issue with an open mind. Please keep that in mind before for call me a leftist for endorsing a carbon tax.
In fact, I think we should go back to the days when this was a bipartisan issue in the US. Conservatives often claim that their side has the better economic policy, and nearly every economist is in favor of a carbon price – because unpriced externalities are a market inefficiency, and a carbon price solves that. Plus, a group of influential republican luminaries, including Bush and Reagan’s Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker, Bush’s Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and conservative economist Greg Mankiw have all endorsed a carbon price.
One of the main problems is that it’s called a carbon “tax,” and many people, especially conservatives, have a visceral reaction to that word. If that’s your case, please try to get past it and understand the reasoning behind it.
Finally, please keep the comment section civil.
Italy is putting a big hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm in the sea
A 540-megawatt (MW) hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm is going to be developed off Italy’s southern coast, in the Ionian Sea.
Dutch-Norwegian offshore solar company SolarDuck, Italian investment fund Arrow Capital, and Italian developer New Developments are jointly developing the Corigliano project, which will be in the Gulf of Taranto off the Calabrian coast of Corigliano-Rossano:
SolarDuck is a spin-off of Damen Shipyards, a major shipbuilder in the Netherlands. It’s tapped into that knowledge to design elevated solar platforms made of offshore-grade aluminum that sit 10 feet (3 meters) off the water to withstand rough waters. The elevation also reduces salt deposits on the solar panels. (Floating solar farms on lakes and ponds tend to sit directly on the water.)
The triangular floating platforms are modular, so they can be connected to form large plants. Plus, the platforms have slip-resistant walkways and fences for access and maintenance.
The hybrid floating solar–floating wind farm will feature 420 MW of offshore wind and 120 MW of floating solar. It will have 28 floating wind turbines, but SolarDuck’s announcement doesn’t indicate who is developing them. We’ve reached out to SolarDuck for details and will update when we hear back.
The Corigliano hybrid floating project is expected to come online in 2028.
SolarDuck is running an up to three-year 5 MW pilot with multinational energy company RWE in the North Sea, 7.5 miles (12 km) from The Hague’s Dutch coast. In December, it secured €15 million in funding, and it’s going to install Japan’s first offshore floating wind farm.
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Doroni unveils production-intent H1-X eVTOL, offering personal air travel up to 120 mph [Video]
Young urban air mobility (UAM) developer Doroni Aerospace is stepping out of the shadows and into the eVTOL startup with the official reveal of its flagship aircraft – the H1-X. The two-seat eVTOL was showcased during a livestream event today and is damn close to being market-ready, touting some impressive specs.
Doroni Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Doron Merdinger – a lifelong entrepreneur with 25 years of design, manufacturing, and firm management expertise.
To bring his dreams of sustainable aviation transportation to life, Merdinger assembled a team of engineers and technicians working together to democratize flight in a growing eVTOL segment.
The result of those efforts is the HX-1, Doroni’s flagship “flying car,” better known as an electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle. After years of development behind the scenes, which we at Electrek have kept close tabs on, Doroni has finally revealed the H1-X to the public, which looks pretty cool. Have a look for yourself.
Doroni hard launches with production-intent eVTOL
The eVTOL startup shared many details of the H1-X earlier today during a livestream event you can view below. While Doroni’s flagship aircraft is an eVTOL through and through, its design and use vary from several of its competitors in development.
For instance, Doroni designed the H1-X as a two-seat personal aircraft rather than the larger cabins designed for air taxi services many other companies are working on. The H1-X also features a unique tandem wing configuration, with propellers built in (less risk of decapitation!)
The company says this design feature enhances the eVTOL’s lift and efficiency compared to traditional designs, and its wing fences can better manage airflow. The ducted fans are also quieter, even when the eVTOL’s eight electric motors are revving. Doroni’s CEO spoke during the eVTOL launch event:
The H1-X is not just a vehicle; it’s a leap toward a future where freedom of movement and sustainability coexist. Our dedication to innovation, safety, and the environment is embodied in every aspect of the H1-X, marking a new chapter in transportation.
Doroni shared that the H1-X weighs 1,850 pounds, can haul a payload capacity of 500 pounds, and can fly for 40 minutes on a single charge. What’s most interesting is that the incoming eVTOL can reach a top speed of 120 mph! Hopefully, Doroni will aid in training and certifying its future owners because that’s a lot of speed for the average person.
Representatives for Doroni Aerospace told Electrek that the first several examples of the H1-X eVTOLs are currently being built and will be used for extensive test flights at the end of the year. That being said, we were told the aircraft you see below is the go-to-market product, although there may be some minor tweaks before scaled production.
The H1-X has already received FAA certification for flightworthiness in the US and is expected to enter mass production in 2026. Each eVTOL is expected to cost between $300,000 and $400,000. You can learn more from the replay of the entire reveal event below:
Fisker is talking to Nissan for a lifeline and electric pickup partnership
Nissan has been revealed as the potential savior of Fisker. The Japanese automaker is reportedly talking with Fisker to invest in the company and partner on electric pickup trucks.
Earlier today, we reported on Fisker’s disastrous fourth-quarter results showing that the electric vehicle startup lost $400 million in 2023 and it now has less than $400 million of cash on hands.
The automaker had to admit that it wouldn’t be able to continue operations past next year without a big cash injection.
It did reveal that it was talking to a “large automaker” about an investment that could save the company.
Now, Reuters reported that the automaker in question is Nissan:
Nissan is in advanced talks to invest in electric vehicle maker Fisker (FSR.N), in a deal that could provide the Japanese automaker with access to an electric pickup truck while giving the struggling startup a financial lifeline, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.
The deal would reportedly involve Nissan investing $400 million in Fisker. It would also involve Nissan building the Alaska pickup truck unveiled by Fisker last year at one of its US plants.
On top of it, Nissan could use the Alaska platform to build its own electric pickup truck.
Neither Nissan nor Fisker commented on the report.
Fisker’s stock dropped by more than 50% today after the release of its earnings, but the stock recovered a bit after the report that Nissan is considering investing.
The stock currently trades at a valuation of $295 million.
I’m not sure what to think about it. I’ve never been a big fan of Fisker, and I’ve warned people about investing in the company before.
If the report is true, I don’t know what Nissan sees in this. If they are behind on developing electric pickup trucks, it might be worth it for them, but I think that any significant investment would be a takeover the company.
It is now worth less than $300 million and that might be an attractive investment as a company that had $200 million in revenue last quarter in the growing EV market, but the looks are deceiving.
As I’ve highlighted before, Fisker was desperate in its previous fundraising efforts and took big convertible notes, which now add up to $1.2 billion, according to its last SEC filing.
Currently, there’s just no way Fisker can manage to pay that back and therefore, they will convert to stock and drastically dilute it for current shareholders.
So I don’t see a good outcome here other than Nissan picking the whole company up for cheap and accelerating its EV programs with it.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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