Thursday, January 29, 2009

Climate Cap-and-Trade Schemes as Corporate Welfare . And: Cap and Trade and Selling Out

Econ 10: Tax what you want less of, don't tax what you want more of.
Tax and rebate 100%.
You won't find two more different publications than Reason and CounterPunch, yet here they are, both making arguements against Cap-and-Trade. We also have a special guest appearance from James "Gaia Hypothesis" Lovelock. First up, the headliner from Reason:

Yesterday, the Goracle (as Dana Milbank of the Washington Post affectionately refers to him), otherwise known as the former Vice-President, Nobel Peace Laureate, and Oscar-Winner Al Gore, testified before a Senate committee on the dangers of man-made global warming. Among other things, Gore told the committee:

If Congress acts right away to pass President Obama's Recovery package and then takes decisive action this year to institute a cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions - as many of our states and many other countries have already done - the United States will regain its credibility and enter the Copenhagen treaty talks with a renewed authority to lead the world in shaping a fair and effective treaty. And this treaty must be negotiated this year. Not next year. This year.

Gore was talking about the United Nations' global warming treaty negotiations that are supposed to be wrapped with a new agreement at the end of this year in Copenhagen, Denmark. Currently, the treaty negotiations aim basically at extending the cap-and-trade model of the earlier Kyoto Protocol. People who are concerned about global warming should seriously rethink their support of cap-and-trade schemes. As the Guardian explains, Europe's emissions trading scheme (ETS) is very profitable for some corporations:...MORE

(regular readers saw the gist of the Guardian story yesterday in "A second carbon windfall")

Next up, Alexander Cockburn's CounterPunch has a different gripe:

Shortly after the Inauguration, President Obama and his new EPA head Carol Browner received a thank-you letter from over 325 conservation-oriented organizations, and within it were flowing words of praise for candidate Obama’s pledge of support for a doomed-to-fail cap and trade carbon economy and associated spending to “safeguard wildlife and natural resources from the impacts of global warming”.

A number of the groups behind the letter are the usual suspects; they sold their environmental souls years ago, if they ever had them at all. So it is no surprise to look down the list and find the likes of The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Trout Unlimited, and the National Parks Conservation Association.

What is surprising is that these ‘conservation’ corporations were able to dupe so many other local, regional, and national organizations into supporting such a fraudulent approach to the problem of climate change.

A soulless organization like The Nature Conservancy pays more attention to its revenue streams and the whims of the corporate entities behind the dollars than it does to global warming, the pillaging of our national forests, and the levels of pollution in our rivers and lakes. So of course it supports the creation of a new false economy that has great potential to generate cash flow for the stakeholders behind it....MORE

Dual (tandem?) HT's: Carbon Tax Center

Finally, from New Scientist:

One last chance to save mankind

With his 90th birthday in July, a trip into space scheduled for later in the year and a new book out next month, 2009 promises to be an exciting time for James Lovelock. But the originator of the Gaia theory, which describes Earth as a self-regulating planet, has a stark view of the future of humanity. He tells Gaia Vince we have one last chance to save ourselves - and it has nothing to do with nuclear power

Your work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons led eventually to a global CFC ban that saved us from ozone-layer depletion. Do we have time to do a similar thing with carbon emissions to save ourselves from climate change?

Not a hope in hell. Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.

I am not against renewable energy, but to spoil all the decent countryside in the UK with wind farms is driving me mad. It's absolutely unnecessary, and it takes 2500 square kilometres to produce a gigawatt - that's an awful lot of countryside.

What about work to sequester carbon dioxide?

That is a waste of time. It's a crazy idea - and dangerous. It would take so long and use so much energy that it will not be done....MORE

That's about as diverse a set of links as you're likely to find on one page.