Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24

SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?

SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat

SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018

Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.

The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement

SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.

Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling

resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Between The Lines on Stitcher


Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.

Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016

Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog

Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!

Climate Scientist Promotes Carbon Fee and Dividend System to Reduce Burning of Fossil Fuels

Posted April 27, 2016

MP3 Excerpts of conversation between climate scientist James Hansen and Robert Dubrow, professor of epidemiology and faculty director of the initiative at Yale's School of Public Health, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus


Former NASA climate scientist James Hansen is one of the world's leading authorities on climate change. He testified before Congress back in 1988 that global warming was already occurring due to the burning of fossil fuels, becoming one of the first scientists to go on the record with that assertion. Hansen now works at Columbia University's Earth Institute, where he continues to do research and publish ground-breaking papers on climate change. But he's also an advocate for the need to take action.

He has been arrested several times in civil disobedience actions in opposition to mountaintop removal coal-mining and the now-dead Keystone XL pipeline. Hansen has promoted placing a price on carbon through a "fee and dividend" approach, in which everyone would pay higher prices for fossil fuels, but all legal U.S. residents would share equally in a rebate, thereby rewarding those who conserve. He thinks the other method of pricing carbon, through a cap and trade system, is a gimmick that wouldn't achieve its expressed goal.

Hansen visited Yale University in early April as the Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative's "Climate Change Leader in Residence." What follows are excerpts from his April 8 conversation with Robert Dubrow, professor of epidemiology and faculty director of the initiative at Yale's School of Public Health.

JAMES HANSEN: As long as fossil fuels are allowed to be the cheapest energy, then they're going to continue to be burned. I don't care what agreements you have in Paris or anyplace else; they're just scraps of paper. If fossil fuels appear to the consumer to be the cheapest energy, then they'll continue to burn them. And the problem is that they're not really the cheapest to society – they don't include their costs to society – the human health effects of air pollution and water pollution of fossil fuels, and the climate effects are not included.

So the way to allow clean energies and energy efficiency to compete most effectively with fossil fuels is to put a rising fee on fossil fuels that you'd collect from the fossil fuel company at the domestic mine or port of entry. And of course, the fossil fuel companies will add that to the price of fuel, so it's going to make fossil fuel more expensive, but it will just make their price more honest. And an economy is more effective if the prices are honest and reflect the true costs. So it will actually be economically beneficial to do that. If you simply make energy more expensive, that depresses the economy; however, if the money that's collected is put back into the economy by giving it to the public – an equal amount for all legal residents – then it actually spurs the economy, because it's a somewhat progressive tax. Poor people have a smaller carbon footprint than rich people.

So there'll be a moderate impact on the inequality of wealth. But the main purpose is to provide the right incentives for both people – a person who does better than average in limiting their fossil fuel use will make money, will come out ahead – but if they want to stay on the positive side of the ledger they're going to have to pay attention to their purchases. They won't even have to think about many of them; some of them will be obvious, like the efficiency of the vehicle you drive, but others will just show up in the price of things on the shelf. Food that's imported from New Zealand (chuckles) – which we do import now – will become relatively more expensive than food from the nearby farm.

But you have to do this gradually; you can suddenly make fossil fuels more expensive, so you do it with this gradually rising fee. And this is the only way. The reason this is crucial is this is the only way you can make it international, that you can make it global. And the world is not doing this. And none of the policies in the United States or Europe or the different states – they're all trying this screwy cap and trade with offsets, because it allows lots of finagling. It allows you to give favors to this lobbyist or that one. But you'd have to ask each of 190 countries to have a cap. Well, that's what they're trying to do. They're encouraging, "Tell us what your cap is going to be." Well, it doesn't matter what they say. As long as fossil fuels are cheapest, they're going to keep burning them. And so you can't do it with caps. What is a cap on India? India has burned only 1/20th as much CO2 as we have, fossil fuels. They have no reason to accept a low cap. So you have to do it with a carbon fee, and the reason that would work is that China and the U.S. agreed to have a carbon fee, then almost all countries would be coerced to do the same thing, because you'd put a border duty on products from countries that don't have a carbon fee and that would be a huge incentive for them to have their own carbon fee so they can collect the money themselves rather than have us collect it at the border. And that's consistent with what Bill Nordhaus calls the Climate Club. The essential members of the club that you start with are China and the U.S.

ROB DUBROW: Do you see any prospects for that actually happening politically? Do you think China might take the lead? The U.S. might take the lead? What do you think might happen?

JAMES HANSEN: I think there's a very good chance that China might take the lead, because they have a huge incentive – not climate – they do have a big climate incentive and there are no deniers in the Chinese government (chuckles). They know climate change is real. They're already feeling it. They have a 1.5 standard deviation shift from this bell curve while the U.S. is only between a half and 1.

ROB DUBROWN: So they're actually feeling climate change more?

JAMES HANSEN: They're feeling it and they have more than 300 million people living near sea level. And the leaders of China are engineer-trained. They know this is not a hoax that scientists are dreaming up. But they have this air pollution, which is so bad, that they have a big incentive to face that down, and so, it would actually make sense for them to have … and they have a hard time doing it. They tried to regulate it and say stop this emission here and there, but then how do you enforce that? But if you had a rising carbon fee on fossil fuels, it would be a big incentive, which would move things faster toward clean energies.

See Hansen's latest study, "Carbon Tax & 100% Dividend vs. Tax & Trade,".

Related Links:

Subscribe and get Between The Lines' Weekly Summary in your inbox!