I suppose I should say something about the Waxman-Markey Cap-n-Trade bill that recently passed a house vote. It still has to pass a Senate vote and presidential signature to become law. I am not a fan. I think the bill will have little affect on carbon emissions and a large negative effect on the already weak economy. I understand the reasoning behind a cap-n-trade set-up. It is supposed to create a market forcarbon credits and markets are the most efficient way of allocating goods (or credits). However, any market directly run by the government is sure to be exploited and manipulated by politicians. States with big carbon producing industries will get breaks and special favors. This is not in doubt. Secondly, the emission targets are unlikely to be met. Hardly any of the Kyoto treaty participants met their emission targets and worldwide carbon emissions continued to climb – duh! – because China and India were not in the treaty. Not only that, the emission targets are not enough to lower the global temperature by 2100, not even 1 degree, according to present AGW theory. Given that AGW theorists and alarmists claim we are already experiencing vast negative effects in the environment, why would we want a bill that doesn’t help the situation one bit for the next 90 years – all the while crimping economic growth.
Also, I can’t get behind a significant society-changing bill that wasn’t in its final readable form before being voted on. You would think such an important bill would have been read by congresspeople before being voted on. One amendment added late in the process includes restrictions on many aspects of everyday life – such as a provision regulating home sales. According to many blogs (do a search with the words Waxman bill + “sell your house”), the bill will require that home owners have their house inspected for energy efficiency before being sold. If your house does not pass inspection, then you cannot sell it. For someone like me that owns a 110 year old house, that is a scary proposition.
One of the good parts of the bill is the creation of prizes for innovation. People who invent energy efficient vehicles or alternative energy production could win prize money. I am not sure what the exact criteria are.
What could have been done? If you know me, you know I value freedom above most else, so there isn’t too much I can envision the government handling and ending up with a positive result. If something HAS to be done, if there is NO WAY to stop the politicians from meddling, then how about a fossil fuel tax. Just add new taxes on coal, gas, oil, what-not. Increased taxes would not be popular (because they cannot be hidden like in a cap-n-trade scenario), but they require the least amount of bureaucracy and are not as easy to manipulate for political gain. If there was a bill that increased the gas tax 50 cents every year, it would get the job done a lot easier. Plus, given that the increases would occur at predictable intervals, society and the economy could more easily adjust. I know a lot of people would complain loudly about the new taxes, but hey, AGW theorists claim we are on the brink of environmental Armageddon, so it would be a small price to pay, right?
I hate to go from bad to worse, but even a regressive tax would not help – according to AGW theorists. If you read the blog often you know I have reported several times about how there is enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now to increase the temperature 5 to 10 degrees by 2100 and completely melt the ice caps by 4000 AD, if not much sooner (again, according to AGW consensus theory). So limiting carbon emissions will do almost nothing to help. So not only will the economy suffer (with cap-n-trade), the environment will still be destroyed (according to current AGW theorists). Talk about a 2-fer.
The only thing that makes sense (if AGW consensus theory is correct) is to invest in technologies and methods that can take carbon dioxide out of the air (and soot and particulate mattter). If energy remains cheap, it is more likely we will have an economic recovery that can spur a faster rate of innovation and invention to handle any future environmental problems and geoengineering solutions.
Have a fine Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew
Posted under AGW
This post was written by jloew on June 30, 2009