Some thoughts on Vatican, cap-and-trade

Vatican condemns embryo stem cell research, cloning | Science | Reuters

I find it odd that the Vatican condemns artificial fertilization when the RCC itself in essence demands its membership to have children. No big surprise on their opposition to birth control, stem cell research, and cloning.

Obama to announce environment, energy team | Politics | Reuters

So apparently Obama has picked his Energy and Environment teams. Hopefully Chu wont let Obama and his extremist environmentalist supporters kill important nuclear facilities like Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Obama in the past has been critical of Yucca Mountain, which to me leads to question of Obama’s support for nuclear power stations. Unfortunately, Obama’s pick of Browner, a Gore follower, seems to indicate an strong anti-nuclear agenda for the incoming Obama administration.

The Failures and Dangers of Cap and Trade

But then again I’m not really surprised since Obama supports the inane and dangerous idea of emissions trading (aka cap-and-trade) or the equally dubious cap-and share notion of greenhouse gases instead of demanding genuine changes to cleaner production. All cap-and-trade does is allow the wealthy polluters to buy the ability to pollute as much as they desire by simply buying the right to pollute. It does nothing to eliminate pollution emissions. Local populations and environments get to suffer or be destroyed by pollution through these “trades” and the emphasis on imposing restrictions on the individuals lifestyles first rather than the larger corporations responsible for the majority of the pollution emissions.

In effect, cap-and-trade makes polluting no longer a stigma, just another business deal. There is no self-conscious effort to do environmentally safer business because of this, but instead purchasing the right pollute as much as they desire. As the caps are restricted, the costs will be put not on the business as cap-and-traders claim but on the individuals held hostage by these companies caught up in the whole scheme. There is even some evidence that cap-and-trade is being used as an excuse to destroy old growth forests in favor of so called tree plantations full of new growth trees. How is that environmentally friendly?

The system needs to be changed not traded! Don’t fall for the carbon neutral myth put forth by pseudo-scientists, like the hypocrite Al Gore, that fuels destructive cap-and-trade policies. Genuine emissions reduction should be encouraged not these insane ideas that allow people to buy their way out of being responsible for their actions and let everyone else suffer the consequences. For example, the EU cap-and-trade scheme has shown an increase in emissions. More interesting analysis of the failing Eu cap-and-trade: Pew Center Greenwashes EU Cap and Trade | cooler heads and the original document dissected in the article.

It is my sincere hope the United States doesn’t fall into the same trap as the European countries that lead the nation’s businesses and environment to genuine ruin. We should instead be making better and wiser use of our resources, technology, and innovation.


2 thoughts on “Some thoughts on Vatican, cap-and-trade

  1. What’s dubious about Cap and Share? Under it, the cost of the limited supply of emissions permits would be added to the price of goods and services according to their fossil energy content, but the public would get compensation for these increases from the money they got when they sold their permits. Anyone living a lower energy lifestyle than the average would come out better off?

    • Thanks for the reply. Always good to see differing opinions to hone thoughts and positions.

      Both are dubious on the grounds that they ignore solving the problem of carbon emission generation in favor monetizing pollution. Both unsustainable systems encourage the idea of polluters buying their way out of responsibility. As emissions are decreased by government agencies costs increase for the businesses, costs that are passed directly to the consumers rather than directed to R&D to develop better emissions controls as businesses try to remain profitable. Any potential for profit by the permits holders would be lost under these increasing costs and the government’s own desire to increase revenues via taxation on all parties.

      Other problems and abuses that can and likely will arise were such a program adopted instead of genuine efforts to reduce emissions exist. Two off the top of my head:

      1. Businesses become economically unviable. European businesses, even with the recently admitted failure of the EU’s cap-and-trade system, complain they can not compete globally. If they can’t compete, jobs are lost, tax revenues decline, and increased dependence on social services arise increasing the burden on the now underfunded welfare system. This leads to higher taxes and an economic death spiral of lost jobs-greater welfare-higher taxes- repeat. Developing nations like China, Inda, et. al., are not going to adopt any sort of cap-and-trade while they build up their industries and perhaps not even after they have achieved their goals if it is economically or politically damaging or socially unpopular.

      2. Local populations, who may not wish to sell their permits, could be made to suffer the effects of polluters if said polluters buy their permits from those outside the region. In effect, others reap a profit at the local population’s health, quality of life and environmental expense. Government regulations and protections can only go so far and costs accrued to such actions would only be passed on to consumers.

      Would I like emissions reduced? Certainly, but it’s not going to happen with these systems given mankind’s nature of self interest over common sense. Already can be seen loopholes in the assorted cap-and-trade/cap-and-share programs around the world the undermine the initiatives.

      Instead I would prefer genuine change (preferably by incentives instead of mandates) via new technologies, alternate fuels, and environmental policies based on impartial scientific and empirical research and driven by social and economic sustainability. Monetizing emissions does none of this.


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