From David Reevely's (of the Ottawa Citizen) Ecolibertarian blog, further critical comments of McKitrick's version of a Carbon Tax. He too is concerned with the lag-time between emissions cuts and an end to the warming phenomenon:
Superficially, McKitrick’s proposal to tie the carbon-tax rate to observed warming is his idea’s best characteristic. Immediate feedback, adjusting to on-the-ground (or in-the-air) realities, and so on. The trouble is the extremely long lag that the overwhelming bulk of the world’s scientists believe exists between the emission of greenhouse gases and their effect (which is cumulative) on the amount of heat they cause the earth’s atmosphere to retain.
If we stopped all human greenhouse-gas emissions right now, the IPCC figures the earth would warm by another 1.1 degrees over the next century or so. That’s a timescale McKitrick’s proposed monitor-and-adjust carbon-tax system can’t cope with. Worst of all, because the T3 tax only responds to damage that’s already happened, it has little preventive effect.
In fairness, he does have a partial response to that in his FP piece:
Under the T3 tax, investors planning major industrial projects will need to forecast the tax rate many years ahead, thereby taking into account the most likely path of global warming a decade or more in advance.
And best of all, the T3 tax will encourage private-sector climate forecasting. Firms will need good estimates of future tax rates, which will force them to look deeply, and objectively, into the question of whether existing climate forecasts have an alarmist bias. The financial incentives will lead to independent reassessments of global climate modelling, without regard to what politicians, the IPCC or climatology professors want to hear.
Yyyyyyee-esssss, but that also encourages gaming the system, encourages blowing out extra carbon now while it’s cheaper to do so (creating a whole new tragedy-of-the-commons problem), and puts individual consumers, on whom any reasonable response to climate-change concerns primarily depends, at a distinct disadvantage in planning ahead.
In addition, there are other reasons to be cutting C02 emissions beyond mitigating the effects of AGW. For example, C02 increases Ocean Acidification. Insofar as the T3 tax might go down at some point because warming has slowed or reversed, and therefore encourage emissions increases, it will do nothing to solve this particular problem.