A new revelation about former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson's platform is, unfortunately, part of a continuing series, after he inexplicably came out against religious liberty and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld expressed dubious sentiments about the Second Amendment.

Again, I ask: Why can't the Libertarian presidential ticket actually espouse libertarianism? The Libertarian Republican writes:

"I do believe that climate change is occurring," Johnson said. "I do believe that it is man-caused" and "that there can be and is a free-market approach to climate change." Johnson's "free market" approach to global warming, includes "a fee — not a tax, he said — placed on carbon" to make those who emit the greenhouse gas pay the supposed cost of their actions, according to the Juneau Empire. "We as human beings want to see carbon emissions reduced significantly," he said, adding the U.S. only emits "16 percent of the (global) load" CO2. Johnson said: "I don't want to do anything that harms jobs." It's not exactly clear how a "fee" on CO2 would be different than a "tax," but Johnson's announcement was picked up by environmentalists.

If I'm understanding this right, the Libertarian candidate just called for a massive new federal "fee," which is inexplicably different than a tax, on energy usage. Granted, small-L libertarian thinkers have defended the idea of a carbon tax before, on such grounds that it's a way to address libertarian and conservative concerns about property rights and satisfy the desire of some to shift the tax structure from taxing income to taxing consumption or sales. Reason magazine has documented this here and here.

But it's also not like libertarians haven't considered the possibility of truly free-market solutions to global warming before.

This idea might make sense if Johnson's pitch is to disaffected Bernie Sanders voters, and Johnson has said he agrees with the Vermont socialist "73 percent of the time." However, as matter of political strategy, it's shockingly inadvisable for a Libertarian candidate at a time when dissatisfaction with the GOP candidate is through the roof. And above all, calling for a huge new federal tax regime isn't libertarian.