It’s a smidge belated, but the folks at Clean Energy Works have a smart video rejoinder to Annie Leonard’s December hit piece on cap and trade. (Readers may recall me flying off the handle about Leondard’s video, here and here.)
In The Facts of Cap-and-Trade, Nat Keohane, economist for Environmental Defense Fund, gives a thoughtful and friendly defense of cap and trade—why it’s sound policy and why now is the time to act.
There’s more here.
How can you call CO2 pollution? Plants do it! If you want to call it emissions, OK, but pollution? When you start regulating plant respiration, I’ll listen. Until then, get real. The science really isn’t good enough to say what the impacts are, or whether carbon, or just energy production, are causing temperatures to rise. If the former, a straightforward tax, with no gaming by the markets, is better. If the latter (which is my suspicion) then improving energy utilization efficiency is the answer. At this point, cap and trade hurts the economy with no real benefit. Come back when you have facts, not conjectures based on computer models.
Isn’t it curious that Nat Keohane/EDF stole the name The Story of Cap and Trade (then changed it after a complaint), ripped off the style and some of the graphics, cited some of the same MIT studies – and yet completely retreated from acknowledging any of the widely-known problems of the Kerry legislation (offsets, giveaways not auctions, nuclear/coal/gas subsidies, derivatives and speculation, and the terribly inadequate emissions cuts)? Why would this film be released at just the point at which everyone with any sense of political pragmatism now knows that only gridlocks await carbon trading advocacy on Capitol Hill (or for that matter in Bonn, Cancun and Joburg 2011)? Since the real climate struggles ahead will be over EPA enforcement of the endangerment finding, local planning commissions and public utility commissions, and emissions source points, does fighting already-lost Washington battles for cap-and-trade make any sense at all, when there’s so much else to be done? Does this not prove the Story of Cap and Trade’s main point – that this sort of politics is merely a distraction from genuinely tackling climate change?