Head of California's Cap and Trade Offsets Program: Cap and Trade Won't Work for Climate, It's a Scam → Washingtons Blog
Head of California's Cap and Trade Offsets Program: Cap and Trade Won't Work for Climate, It's a Scam - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Head of California's Cap and Trade Offsets Program: Cap and Trade Won't Work for Climate, It's a Scam

Paul Krugman argues that cap and trade worked to reduce sulfur dioxide and stop acid rain, and so it will work to reduce C02.

However, two EPA lawyers with more than 40 years of cumulative experience - including the guy who has been head of California's cap and trade offset programs for more than 20 years - say that sulfur dioxide was different, and that cap and trade for climate is a scam which only benefits the financial players.

Specifically, they point out that:

  • Cap and trade was tried in Europe, but ended up raising energy prices, creating volatility, produced few greenhouse gas reductions, but made billions for the financial players
  • Even the guy who invented the cap and trade concept doesn't think it will work in regards to climate change (see this and this)
  • Carbon offsets - which are part of the cap and trade plan - increase pollution
  • One reason that offsets lead to more pollution is that investors fight to keep toxic chemicals legal, so they can make more money off of trading the offsets
  • Like subprime mortgages and other creative financial instruments which brought us the economic crisis, carbon offsets lack integrity and don't work (see this)
Watch the video:


  1. Humanity is so fucking stupid, maybe we should just nuke ourselves already.

    How many Big Lies can the American media feed its dumbed-down citizens?

    I am getting to the point where I hate my own country.

  2. "Today man is like a mountain climber who must leap at his peril over a formidable crevasse, in order to continue his upward way; and to make the physical jump he will have to draw on all his personal resources. If he be too weak or cowardly to make the effort, he will freeze in his present position, unable to climb up or down, until cold or terror or fatigue, or some combination of all these, forces him to lose his grip and fall to his death. No small reluctant efforts will overcome the conditions that threaten not simply the advance, but the sheer animal survival, of the human race. True, man has never made this leap and there is no guarantee that he will reach the other side: but the upward ascent now beckons as it never beckoned before, and above the parting clouds we can now discern the nearest of the sunlit peaks. If we have faith, we shall reach the other side. But first, we must take the measure of our dangers; for a half-way leap will prove as mortal as no leap at all." -Lewis Mumford, 1951, "The Conduct of Life" Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York.

    I was born in 1950. I recognize the "upward way" -altruism- of this philosopher/historian, Mumford.

    In the successive ages since that time, and even prior to it, philosophers and historians have ably criticized this myopic and centrist view.

    But every generation falls for the "upward way" again, -Fools.

    Mumford earlier extols the virtue of every man in a democracy being able to grasp hold the brass ring of intellect and intelligence only previously available to the aristocracy -by their leisure time, which was given to them only by the dirty, tolling work of the ignorant masses -below- and living in barbarity!

    Mumford urges his classless students to abandon this barbarity, and embrace a god-like future in which men fly, and women stand erect, and nearly immortal upon their pedestals like beckoning goddesses.

    Is there really any progress worth risking Mumford's greatly anticipated leap -once again- more than fifty years later, with a world population even more precariously triple what it was in 1951?

    You must ask yourself.

    Do you laugh and enjoy the finer moments in life -more than did anyone in the past?

    Do not be so naive about your own life being better than someone who lived under clear skies, before clean waters, and unburdened by our modern diseases, addictions and poverties.

    It is clearly better to abandon this foolish scientific chase before humanity is forever destroyed for the future -by a universal enslavement- that will have to paid for in life-long wages -for our common human arrogance about competence in these otherwise godly affairs in which these scientists meddle.

    We are not gods. We are not even capable scientists, Fools.

    There is -nothing- better than life. And no amount of imagined improvement -will ever change that.

    And if humans are indeed -causing a globally-fatal-warming -then we should settle the score manly -and not be shy about killing humans to prevent any more of it.

    Would we do that for these scientific carbon-aristocrats?

    Yes, for these carbon taxes WILL kill many, -only to benefit this new carbon-aristocracy.

    These carbon taxes will make the lives of many -impossible-, -unaffordable- and -a living hell on earth-.

  3. Sooner or later we will get to the carbon tax. Or ... energy tax or gasoline tax. That would be pretty easy, skip the Wall Street nonsense and just aim at the SUV's and giant pickup trucks.

    Sooner or later we will get to getting rid of the cars, it's them or us. One has to go or the other. It may be too late, but we are paying dear for our petty conveniences.

    The country is broke, part of reform is to live within our means, our dollar and energy means. A fuel tax will solve our insolvency.

    With enough conservation, we can sell fuel overseas for hard currency under strict conditions. Our fuel reserves are vital resources and more valuable than military forces, frankly. Of course, we are drilling and burning them up as fast as possible.

    We need to start paying our debt and taking care of the entire country, not just bankers and the well- connected.

    I learned that from my mother when I was twelve. Can't be that hard ...

  4. "These carbon taxes will make the lives of many -impossible-, -unaffordable- and -a living hell on earth-."

    Maybe that's the whole idea.

  5. There is also the "fee and dividend" alternative to cap and trade. Just tax all polluters based on their amount of pollution and pay the tax back out to the public instead of keeping it in government.

    Then there really is a financial incentive to reduce global pollution. The cost of goods would go up, but would be offset by the dividend payment. If you continue to pollute, you come out behind. If you are innovative and choose lower than average pollution products then you come out ahead.

    Also, there would be a (artificially early according to supply and demand) tipping point at which low-polluting goods would be cheaper than the alternative.

    It's really the only serious way to approach the problem that cap and trade won't ever solve.

  6. As for those who assert "just aim at the SUV's and giant pickup trucks...we will get to getting rid of the cars, its them or us," why is it they fail to mention aiming directly at the largest human sources of CO2 on the planet - militaries? Consumer SUV and pickup use doesn't compare to military CO2 generation.


→ Thank you for contributing to the conversation by commenting. We try to read all of the comments (but don't always have the time).

→ If you write a long comment, please use paragraph breaks. Otherwise, no one will read it. Many people still won't read it, so shorter is usually better (but it's your choice).

→ The following types of comments will be deleted if we happen to see them:

-- Comments that criticize any class of people as a whole, especially when based on an attribute they don't have control over

-- Comments that explicitly call for violence

→ Because we do not read all of the comments, I am not responsible for any unlawful or distasteful comments.