A couple of days ago while listening to “Marketplace” on NPR, I was suprised to hear the psychotically cheerful host, Kai Ryssdal, announce an upcoming segment on the difference between a carbon tax and a cap and trade system. I turned up the volume.

What I learned was this: carbon pricing is way too complicated for a short radio segment, even on the relatively cerebral NPR. The only person who seemed to truly understand the issue got quoted with exactly four sentences. And two of them were short.

The truth is, climate pricing ain’t simple. But as an attempt to make it at least understandable, Sightline’s put together a handy primer that we’re calling Climate Pricing 101. We think it’s a good first step toward characterizing the big three options in climate pricing: taxes and the two flavors of cap and trade (“grandfathering” and auctioning).

Take a look and let us know what you think. We’d like this to be a helpful resource for understanding the issues without getting buried in the weeds. And I’ll admit right up front that the issue quickly gets far more complicated than what we’ve included in the primer. So if you have remarks about ascending-clock auctions or redistributing RECs for LSEs, hold that thought. That’s for the 102 class.