Can a Border Tax Help Slow a Borderless Crisis?

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The disastrous flooding in Europe last week is another reminder that the climate crisis is no respecter of borders: carbon (and wildfire smoke) floats above them and roaring rivers crash through them. (And not just in Europe—there was also serious flooding in India and Arizona last week, and in China this week, and we will doubtless see it somewhere else next week, simply because hot air amps up the hydrological cycle: more evaporation, more torrential downpour. It is natural to think that we should try to solve the crisis in a similarly borderless way, except that the entities that organize our political lives, nation-states, are defined by borders, and it’s unlikely that this system will wither away in the decade that scientists have given us to halve our emissions.

So borders may have to become part of the solution. They…

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