Guest Post: Cap and Trade Is a Gigantic Scam

Washington’s Blog

As I pointed out in December:

James Hansen – the world’s leading climate scientist fighting against global warming – told Amy Goodman this morning that cap and trade not only won’t reduce emissions, it may actually increase them:

The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else. That’s what happened after Kyoto, and that’s what would happen again, if—as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will be burned someplace. You know, the Europeans thought they actually reduced their emissions after Kyoto, but what happened was the products that had been made in their countries began to be made in other countries, which were burning the cheapest form of fossil fuel, so the total emissions actually increased

See also this and this.

Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are also against cap and trade (and see this and this), as is the head of California’s cap and trade program for the EPA.

Hansen also told Goodman that (notwithstanding Paul Krugman’s assertions) most economists say that cap and trade won’t work:

I’ve talked with many economists, and the majority of them agree that the cap and trade with offsets is not the way to address the problem.

As I have previously pointed out:

  • The economists who invented cap-and-trade say that it won’t work for global warming
  • European criminal investigators have determined that there is a tremendous amount of fraud occurring in the carbon trading market. Indeed, organized crime has largely taken over the European cap and trade market.
  • Former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Robert Shapiro says that the proposed cap and trade law “has no provisions to prevent insider trading by utilities and energy companies or a financial meltdown from speculators trading frantically in the permits and their derivatives.”
  • Our bailout buddies over at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and the other Wall Street behemoths are buying heavily into carbon trading (see this, this, this, this, this, this and this). As University of Maryland professor economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:

    Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, carbon trading and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.

    In other words, the same companies that made billions off of derivatives and other scams and are now getting bailed out on your dime are going to make billions from carbon trading.

One the largest boosters for cap and trade invented credit default swaps – which were supposed to increase financial stability, but instead were a large part of the reason that the world economy crashed last year

Jeanne Roberts provides an update at environmental website Celsius:

The E.U. carbon emissions trading fraud is huge, but perhaps nothing compared to the potential for cheating that will become available in the United States once Waxman-Markey, or some similar scheme for reducing carbon emissions, emerges from the Senate to become law.

***

As Bloomberg notes, a carbon trading market organized around derivatives (sometimes known as credit default swaps, or CDS) is “open to manipulation,” in the words of billionaire hedge fund investor George Soros.

In fact, some old-school environmentalists see the whole carbon trading scheme as not a way to curb climate change, but merely a way to make the rich even richer at the expense of the rest of us. As Larry Lohmann, the founding member of the Durban Group for Climate Justice, says, “Dishonesty is rife throughout the carbon offset market.”

In January, investigators from Belgium said that in some E.U. countries, 90 percent of the market volume in carbon trading was based on criminal activities.

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About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander… http://www.washingtonsblog.com

43 comments

  1. Steve Yith

    Looks like we’re going to need a solution to our solutions. This may be crazy, but not as crazy as watching the world implode, or authoritarianism grow.

    My proposal: 3D printers.

    Imagine in every neighborhood, an industrial strength 3D printer: a small office building with multiple specialized printers working 24 hours a day, accessible by anyone. Like the old mainframe days, users cue up, input their program (CAD designed object model), and wait for the output object. Most designs will be open source and free. Governments do nothing but ration materials, which are allotted like a pension –everyone gets the same base materials per month. Materials are bartered in an open market, so you can make what you want. Special materials can be obtained through barter, or money payment. (People will still work!)

    Decentralized factories, owned by the people, but controlled by individuals, is about as anarcho-syndicatalist as you can get, Marx 2.0. Manufacturing will be local, rather than displaced onto yellow slaves in other countries. Everyone will have access to goods, according to their ability to save and trade effectively; even the “poor” will have access, and the money rich will not be that much better off.

    Energy would be rationed simply by virtue of materials being rationed. Save up your materials, and you have a right to the energy required to manipulate it. But it will take you a while to save it up if you want something big or complicated.

    Problem: 3D printers are inefficient / do not scale up production, etc. etc.

    Response: That’s the point. We need WAY less manufacturing, WAY less junk, WAY less use of energy. Instead of getting lots of things, we need to learn to expect less of what we want. The upside is getting exactly what you want, because you build it according to designs you select.

    Problem: Steel, aluminum and other energy and carbon intensive processes will not be handled via a 3d printer.

    Response: Clearly materials acquisition (mines, etc), and preparation (smelting, etc), will depend on a separate system of production.

    Problem: 3D printers can’t produce integrated circuits, or print motherboards. Bye-bye information age.

    Response: Dedicated factories can produce general-purpose goods (CPU’s, etc) that can later be used by manufacturing systems of less precision. But even though affordable 3D printers can’t currently produce motherboards, it is more a matter of lacking the enthusiasm for pushing the technology to the next level.

    Problem: This isn’t capitalism!

    Response: Yes, capitalism is dead; or *we* are.

    Happy fantasies!

    1. K Ackermann

      It’s not just stuff.

      Information is growing geometrically, and information requires energy. There is no way around it.

      1. ArmchairRevolutionary

        Relatively, speaking information energy requirements are very low; and we do have a solution: thorium nuclear power.

        I have been thinking about local manufacturing in the same manner, but I think there is one thing against it: it takes very little energy to move a product to the other side of the world. There is not that much to be saved by manufacturing locally.

  2. ray l love

    James Hanson’s claim that:”The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else”, is nonsense. Border taxes would allow an international institution such as the WTO, or some similar institution, to oversee border taxes that not only to discourage harmful emissions… but also to bring some much needed balance to world trade. Whether by way of cap and trade, or via emissions caps, border taxes on polluters have the added advantage of of using credits as incentives for poor nations to protect their resources instead of those resources being plundered for the benefit of corrupt regimes and/or corporate interests.

    Here is Stiglitz on the issue:

    “Perhaps it is time to try another approach: a commitment by each country to raise the price of emissions (whether through a carbon tax or emissions caps) to an agreed level, say, $80 per ton. Countries could use the revenues as an alternative to other taxes – it makes much more sense to tax bad things than good things. …”

    “We have seen that goodwill alone can get us only so far. We must now conjoin self-interest with good intentions… A system of border taxes – imposed on imports from countries where firms do not have to pay appropriately for carbon emissions – would level the playing field and provide economic and political incentives for countries to adopt a carbon tax or emission caps. …”

    “Time is of the essence. While the world dawdles, greenhouse gases are building up…, and the likelihood that the world will meet even the agreed-upon target of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius is diminishing. We have given the Kyoto approach, based on emission rights, more than a fair chance. Given the fundamental problems underlying it, Copenhagen’s failure should not be a surprise. At the very least, it is worth giving the alternative a chance.”

    Taxing pollution at national borders as if levying tariffs will have two very significant effects on two fronts. 1) Adding the previously ignored external costs to the economies of scale computations will cause commerce to localize as the natural result of production and shipping efficiencies being met. 2) Natural resources will be given value without their being extracted or utilized for production purposes. This could give a very significant boost to the global economy while transferring wealth from industrialized nations to poor nations. Poor countries for example could be given credits for not extracting trees and these gains through the credit transfers could allow those nations to develop wilderness areas for tourism. Not to suggest that breaking the seemingly endless existence of imperialism and colonialism, and neocolonialism, will be easy… but to say instead that border taxes could put some very critical incentives in place to further the advancement of good behavior at the expense of behavior that is causing damage. And… there is no reason to limit border taxes to CO2 emission standards, this is about devising a method of requiring nations to take responsibility for all negative externalities.

    1. alex

      The Chinese Government has agreed to give Mr. Stiglitz’s proposal very serious consideration, and will give their response to it by no later than January of 2099.

      1. ray l love

        alex,

        Border taxes do not require compliance among all nations. Think of tariffs and protectionism and sanctions. Nations could effectively apply collective pressure to make compliance necessary. Read what Stiglitz suggests from my first comment and try to get what he means by: “it is time for another approach”. Stiglitz said this shortly after the dismal failure at Copenhagen.

        Nations that refuse to comply with border taxes would do so at the detriment to their exports.

        1. K Ackermann

          Oh, that sounds easy. I’m just positive everyone will stop trading with the US until we comply.

        2. alex black

          Yeah, tariffs and protectionism worked wonderfully the last time the world was in a deflationary spiral.

          See point above about making a “simple change” in a complex system. Watch “unintended consequences” unleashed with the ferocity of Financial Ice-Nine.

          1. ray l love

            Alex’

            In the 1930s the tariffs were paid with money that was ‘taken’ from the existing monetary base… with the current proposal, some of the ‘money’ (credits) is added to the base. The credits are simply assets which are created from ‘thin-air’.

  3. dave

    Liberalism in a nutshell:

    1) Something must be done.
    2) Lets do something really complicated that makes everyone (our donors) happy.

    1. alex black

      That’s describing SMART Liberalism. I tend to find both Conservatives and Liberals to be kinda dumb amongst the populace. I usually hear most Liberals say the opposite:

      1 – I don’t like _____ so let’s do this simple thing to change it.

      And then when one points out to them that they are dealing with a highly complex structure of things, they look at one blankly, then angrily, and call one a Beck and Limbaugh puppet. And if one gently points out what the actually Unintended Consequences of their proposal are, they get nervous and turn on Rachel Maddow to ease their anxiety.

        1. alex

          I’d be happy to respond to you, but you’re not asking for a serious response. With your last sentence, it’s pretty apparent that you’re just baiting.

          Ask nicely. :-)

      1. Valissa

        Alex and Dave are both correct about political liberalism, IMO… LOL… and my realization of these “truisms” is why I no longer consider myself a liberal in the political sense and have rejected the Liberal-Conservative-Left-Right-D-R paradigm as being utterly useless for either thinking constructively about or enacting any sort of useful change. However I still think of myself as culturally liberal, and haven’t been able to escape that naming convention ;)

  4. Cynthia

    Thanks to our politicians, both Democrats and Republicans alike, for sticking to the task of turning Corporate America into a one-stop shopping kleptocracy, health-care reform has been tailored to do hardly anything to either reduce cost or improve access. It’s been tailored to be just a pork-fest for Wall Street and higher-ups employed in the medical-industrial complex. Something similar can be said about cap and trade legislation, which is Washington’s solution to put the brakes on global warming. Laurie Williams and Allen Zabel, two no-nonsense attorneys working for the EPA, make a compelling case that cap and trade will not only do little to reduce greenhouse gases, but it’ll also be nothing more than a souped-up gravy train for speculators in the commodities market and for higher-ups employed in the fossil fuel and forest industries.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/11/12/defying_gag_order_epa_attorneys_speak

    So I don’t think that most Americans question the science behind global warming. They simply question politicians in charge of doing something about it. As it now stands, cap and trade legislation, just as health-care reform, isn’t geared towards improving the health and wealth of ordinary America; it is only geared towards enriched our already enriched corporate elites. Conservation would be the most sure-fire way for us to curb climate change. But because conservation will further slow the growth of our already slow-growth economy, this would be an especially hard sell to the American people who want to stay on top of the heap in terms of wealth and prosperity. So I think because “carbon fees and rebates” will help create green jobs here in the US and thus will help preserve our middle class with a fairly lofty standard of living, this would be the best way for us to curb climate change.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSNQzSjb38g

    1. susan

      I agree with most of what you say, but question two points:

      1 – “I don’t think most Americans question the science behind global warming. – Not that I think most Americans are particularly astute when it comes to Science (haven’t seen the latest polls on how many believe the Universe is 6,000 years old, but I believe about 80% believe we have been visited by flying saucers), but for what it’s worth, you’re wrong. The latest Gallup poll asking whether respondent think that global warming poses a serious threat, 67% say NO, 32% say YES. The numbers have shifted dramatically in the last few months.”

      2 – I can’t see Green Jobs being any kind of engine of growth. If there were cost-effective alternatives to oil, the private sector would smell MONEY and would be all over this – isn’t happening. Any serious amount of Green Jobs would have to be Government Subsidized – more debt, more deficit, more power in the hands of the kleptocracy you describe so well. Do you really want to give these people even MORE power? They’ll be asking for it any moment…. No, let me amend that. They’ll be TAKING it any moment….

      1. K Ackermann

        You are way off on point #2.

        To save typing, I’ll use a hypothetical…

        If the government were to mandate that all new power generation had to be emissions free, unemployment would be 0% tomorrow. The new 4th generation nuclear reactor designs, such as the Pebble Bed reactor are an extremely attractive bit of technology being smothered by out-dated regulations. These things don’t need cooling towers, and there is no such thing as a melt down in them.

        Start building them, the grid connecting them, and the plug-in autos powered by them, and you are looking at full employment, plentiful energy, and an awesome infrastructure.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          “The new 4th generation nuclear reactor designs…are an extremely attractive bit of technology being smothered by out-dated regulations. These things don’t need cooling towers, and there is no such thing as a melt down in them.”

          “Start building them, the grid connecting them, and the plug-in autos powered by them, and you are looking at full employment, plentiful energy, and an awesome infrastructure.”

          Wow. This sounds wonderful: “no cooling towers”, no “outdated regulations” (Glass Steagal), no toxic waste, no blowout preventers. Fantastic.

          By Jove, I’ve got it! No-bid nukular contracts: Halliburton for the cement work, KBR for the electrcal, BP for pipe-fitting, Massey Mining for geology, and Ken Salazar to oversee rebar procurement and concrete core testing.

          1. ArmchairRevolutionary

            Ackerman is right. Thorium nuclear could solve most of our energy needs. The problem is that it would displace coal and oil. The beneficiaries of the current system will fight tooth and nail to prevent that advance. Just as we know much of Congress is captured by banking interests; they are just as captured by coal and oil.

        2. Mark

          But you are overlooking the fact the millions of coal miners, natty gas plant workers, and any other source of CO2-generating power would be out of a job. That’s what is commonly overlooked with the “green jobs” theory – you pick up a job there and lose jobs elsewhere because the government has mandated certain activity and made prohibitive other activities. Net jobs gain is zero (best-case) and probably a loss overall. If the green jobs were really economically viable, money would be pouring into the industry without subsidies and tax credits. But it’s not.

          Cap-and-trade preserves the status quo. Nothing more, nothing less.

      2. Valissa

        Mostly agreed… but I think it’s important to realize there are multiple ways to understand the phrase “global warming”.

        I have started to view that there are 3 different meanings for global warming. Here is first my attempt to explain my thinking on that:

        GW – Global Warming as the scientific theory that this planet has gone through mnay periods of global warming and cooling on this planet before and after the first life forms appeared. We have had ice ages alternating with warm spells of different types. It has been both warmer than now and cooler than now historically… however the consensus is that that we are on the warmer end of the scale at this time. Please note that historically speaking, it has generally been more helpful to the success of human societies when the climate was warmer (better for farming, etc).

        AGW – Anthropogenic Global Warming – as a scientific theory that human civilization has added/produced extra “warmth” on top of the “normal” global pattern of temperature variation. Different scientists have different models and differing theories as to how much and it what specific ways human civilization is adding to the “normal cycle” (presuming there would be some sort of ideal normal global temperature cycle that would exist if there were no human “interference” with nature).

        AAGW – Apocalyptic Anthropogenic Global Warming – Oh my god, the AGW is soooooo bad that the it will be catastrophic if we humans are unable to control the temperatures and sea levels on this planet!

        In my case I “believe in” GW and the milder end of AGW… and am way more concerned about the immediate health effects on humans, animals, etc, on this planet due to pollution. Since folks seem to believe that pollution causes global warming then we have an area of agreement in terms of focussing on mitigating pollution and encouraging alternative energy rather then focussing on future and unknown seal levels and temperatures.

  5. susan

    How can you criticize President Obama’s climate change proposals? He’s a very smart man, smarter than you no doubt. He knows what is best for us. The polar bears are dying! Didn’t you see Al Gore’s film? I’m so fed up with you crazy wingnuts bashing our great President. Don’t you realize that he is our first Black President? There are so many racists who hate him. It’s sickening.

    Don’t you care that half the world will be under water soon unless we let our President do what he must do?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      So far, O’s record is perfect. We can now add cap and speculate to the growing list of bizarre and blatant frauds: rigged trade is free enterprise; war is peace; escalation is diplomacy; torture is justice; surveillance is freedom; secrecy is democracy; Israeli occupation is security; bailouts trickledown; mandatory insurance welfare is healthcare; financial regulation is best overseen by fox Fed; offshore drilling is alternative energy; carbon, like greed, is good; prison is for pot-users; taxes and killing are for little people …

      Orwell was an amateur.

      The head spins. WTF happened, invasion of the body snatchers? Is Obama a eunuch? Et Tu Michelle? Can’t you smack him upside the head?

      After the last one, I never imagined saying it, but this may be the worst president ever— proving to be a consummate lawyer-liar, glib rhetorician flimflam artist in thrall to a murderous criminal elite cartel. The price of admission is only one’s soul.

      1. alex black

        “Can’t Michelle smack him upside the head?”

        Man, read the body language between the two. Michelle is TOTALLY the Top in that relationship. Which one do you think would win in a bare-handed fight to the death?

        I think it’s Michelle who’s calling the shots here. Barack emanates eloquence and passivity. Michelle oozes power.

        And the daughters are adorable.

  6. RueTheDay

    I used to support cap and trade. Then I heard the story about Hungary selling “used” credits to Japan which then recycled them back to Europe a few months back, and realized this system will never work. A straight carbon tax, even if theoretically less effective (because it sets the price rather than the quantity of emissions) will always be more effective in the real world.

  7. tz

    WHAT IS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF THE MILITARY.

    The hundreds of bases, the single-digit MPG vehicles going through Iraq each day. The apache helicopters. The cargo planes.

    No one will ever ask this.

    Personally I’m a skeptic on whatever they are calling the climatic statistical anomalies at this moment. However Al Gore didn’t mention shrinking our empire to cut carbon.

    I will not believe any liberal and/or anyone advocating limiting carbon dioxide emissions until they immediately call for an end to the excess from the pentagon and a return to a much more limited defense posture.

    You cannot support having the world’s policeman leave it an overheated desert.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      “What is the carbon footprint of the military?”

      The US military is the largest consumer of petroleum on earth.

  8. Abhishek

    US has been a laggard in matters of in the climate mitigation issue compared to Japan and Europe.They are even having trouble in formulating the bill let alone passing it.News comes from Reuters that a “Climate Bill” that will provide subsidies and support for Nuclear Energy and Oil Drilling may be proposed to the Senate . Note the contradiction between the world Climate and Oil Drilling.But these compromises have been put in the bill to get the support of the pro-business Republican party by the ruling Democrats

  9. scraping_by

    One other virtue for the charade of cap and trade is that is gives the illusion of economic activity.

    Much of GDP that makes up this Potemkin Recovery has been bailout funds traded among large financial entities. The dollars ring the bell each time they make their small circles. With a multibillion dollar exercise in futility, there will be lots more dollars making small circles among a handful of large traders. And since it only takes money in, and lets it out only as “profits” and “fees” and a small number of projects, it will create even better illusory GDP numbers. And we’ll have more Missions Accomplished.

    Regulations actually work, as anyone old enough to remember pre-EPA days will know. There may be some pathetic fanatics who believe “The Market” actually has any answers to anything, but the rest are good, realistic con artists.

  10. Paul Repstock

    LOL “One other virtue for the charade of cap and trade is that is gives the illusion of economic activity.”

    The whole climate debate reeks of economic activity. Mostly the transfer of economic units (read money) into the pockets of those who are setting policy.

    When one reads that under Cap and Trade, all vehicles would be compulsorily equipped with transponders so that distances traveled could be taxed without regard to the fuel type electric, hydrogen, or love…) Then you begin to understand that this has very little to do with emissions and very much to do with increasing layers of control and taxation.

    If Al Gore were as concerned as he professes with the effects of human activity on climate change, then he would be “donating” to the cause rather than investing his very considerable fortune “for profit” in carbon trading. And he would be speaking to educate people rather than charging outrageous ‘lecture fees’.

  11. Martin

    This is bullshit.
    First Mr. Hansen’s problem, that emissions are exported is even BIGGER with a pure carbon tax. There is NULL possibility to check if other countries comply with a carbon tax, once there is an international agreement. In case of cap&trade, it is a more or less trivial task.

    The offsets are indeed bogus. So make cap&trade without offsets like non-destroyed pieces of forest,…

    And well, a nascent carbon market doesn’t work yet well. This doesn’t mean, that it can’t be made to work, or that it isn’t the best alternative. Mr. Hansen argues for carbon taxes, which would be appropriate within one country, but not for an international agreement. Cap&Trade as international agreement doesn’t mean, that each single country can’t base everything on a carbon tax, as long as the carbon tax is sufficiently high. Chances that politicians make taxes high enough in the first place are very low, however.

  12. derek

    *Every* scheme for atmospheric carbon reduction that concentrates on emissions is useless, because nobody is ending their drilling or mining, or even slowing it down, unless the well or mine itself is running empty. They know that for every country that hits its emissions ceiling, there are a dozen that are nowhere near it yet, and they’ll just sell their carbon to them.

    Gordon Brown, as Prime Minister, was fond of giving responsible-sounding green speeches about reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, then instructing the North Sea oil and gas companies to pump harder, writing to Nigeria to ask them to drill more, and publicly criticizing Saudi Arabia for limiting production.

    Saying you’ll mine carbon but not “emit” it is humbug. To a good first approximation, 100% of carbon taken out of the ground is emitted to the atmosphere. There is no substitute for just leaving it in the ground.

  13. dearieme

    A lousy way to solve a non-problem is just what the world needs at this juncture.

  14. Paul Repstock

    Too true Dearie…:) Except this time with all the missing puzzle pieces, East Anglia scandals, Goldman Sacs, etc: it appears ready to blow up in their faces. Sadly, that is exactly what one group wants. The worst part of all this is that there are many environmental problems which need fixing and are well within our abilities, lacking only motivation from elected leaders to get them fixed. When leaders cannot be fired/held accountable, they have little motive for doing a good job.

    btw. Thanks for the correction on Mr Darling. Sadly I’m quite ignorant of British politics. I had equated the Chancelor of the Exchequer with the Chairman of the Fed.

  15. Valissa

    Great post today GW, this “old school environmentalist” thanks you for laying out some important information on the cap and trade scam!

    “In fact, some old-school environmentalists see the whole carbon trading scheme as not a way to curb climate change, but merely a way to make the rich even richer at the expense of the rest of us.”

  16. ray l love

    This is from an article at ‘grist':

    Climate scientist James Hansen has gone on the warpath against cap-and-trade. (See this op-ed in the NYT, among other recent examples.) Perhaps what’s most alarming is that, for all his intelligence, Hansen doesn’t appear to grasp even the basic elements of cap-and-trade systems.

    In a blog post last weekend, economist Paul Krugman took him to task:

    … today’s op-ed article suggests that he really hasn’t made any effort to understand the economics of emissions control. And that’s not a small matter, because he’s now engaged in a misguided crusade against cap-and-trade …

    “What the basic economic analysis says is that an emissions tax of the form Hansen wants and a system of tradable emission permits, aka cap-and-trade, are essentially equivalent in their effects.”

    “Krugman’s dissection of Hansen is smart and thorough. (If you’re swayed by Hansen, please be sure to read the entire thing.)”

    “Krugman’s response really gets to the heart of the matter:”

    “Oh, and the argument that if you create a market, you’re opening the door for Wall Street evildoers, is bizarre. Emissions permits aren’t subprime mortgages, let alone complex derivatives based on subprime; they’re straightforward rights to do a specific thing …”

    “Things like this often happen when economists deal with physical scientists; the hard-science guys tend to assume that we’re witch doctors with nothing to tell them, so they can’t be bothered to listen at all to what the economists have to say, and the result is that they end up reinventing old errors in the belief that they’re deep insights. Most of the time not much harm is done. But this time is different.”

    Here is a link to the article at ‘grist':

    http://www.grist.org/article/how-james-hansen-gets-cap-and-trade-wrong/
    —————————-

    James Hanson has been a worthy champion for the cause of Global Warming in regards to the scientific aspects, and there is little doubt that his intentions are genuine… but his opinions on these taxing issues have become more than just a little embarrassing for him and his followers. For his opinions to be exhibited here, as if Hanson’s views on Cap and Trade are still valid, after those views were discarded as foolish, months ago, by basically everyone who understands the subject matter, is odd and sophomoric.

  17. Lorrine Phagan

    I see people using plastic bags in the grocery store every weekend. It makes me angry sometimes. When will our local government ban these ugly plastic bags? Sometimes, I wanted to tell the people in line to just bring their own plastic bags or get a few of durable green supply bags. These bags last me a long time. I even don’t remember the last time I paid for the bags. Do yourself a favor, buy a few of these reusable bags and put them in your car. Even better, give it to the nice person in front of the line when you see he/she is asking for plastic bags.

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