… is from page 16 of Alex Epstein’s soundly argued and data-rich 2014 book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels:
But when we look at the data, a fascinating fact emerges: As we have used more fossil fuels, our resource situation, our environment situation, and our climate situation have been improving, too.
Given the historical trends and the data, the case for using government to subsidize carbon emissions is likely stronger than is the case for taxing carbon emissions. Of course, I emphatically oppose any such subsidization, just as I oppose any such tax. I mention this point about subsidization merely to show that the alleged externalities-based case for government action to curb carbon emissions is nowhere near as clear as people assume it to be.