Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Conservative Looks At Carbon Cap & Trade

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

All of the candidates left in the race to become the next POTUS, both Ds and Rs, say they are for carbon cap & trade legislation. They say it is the Gospel truth that man made global warming exists, and resistance is futile. You must put in place policies to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Everyone who causes the harm is going to have to pay something, and the people that solve the problem are going to profit. They say it is Gospel truth that there is a real value into putting a price on causing harm. The Cap & Trade legislation is a partnership between the US governement and US businesses in setting this price on all of these greenhouse emissions that are causing harm.

What do the candidates say?

As President, I will put in place a market-based cap and trade system to reduce carbon pollution. Here's how it will work: the federal government auctions permits for 100% of the nation's carbon dioxide emissions. Companies purchase those allowances but they can be traded, borrowed, banked, bought, and sold. The market will determine the cost of carbon pollution and companies will be rewarded for cutting emissions.
Hillary Clinton
As President, I will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming-an 80% reduction by 2050. To ensure this isn't just talk, I will also commit to interim targets toward this goal in 2020, 2030, and 2040. These reductions will start immediately, and we'll continue to follow the recommendations of top scientists to ensure that our targets are strong enough to meet the challenge we face.

In addition to this cap, all polluters will have to pay based on the amount of pollution they release into the sky. The market will set the price, but unlike the other cap-and-trade proposals that have been offered in this race, no business will be allowed to emit any greenhouses gases for free. Businesses don't own the sky, the public does, and if we want them to stop polluting it, we have to put a price on all pollution. It's time to make the cleaner way of doing business the more profitable way of doing business.
Barack Obama
I support the simple, but powerful solution known as "cap and trade," which is at the core of bills I have introduced in the past two Congresses, as well as some currently under consideration.

The goal is to cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by electric power plants, transportation and manufacturing by creating a cap and trade system where companies would have pollution allowances that they could sell if their emissions fall below limits, or buy if they found they could not meet requirements. The trading is aimed at reducing the economic impact of putting limits on carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, the leading greenhouse gas.
John McCain

Maybe it’s just me, but I find this position by the candidates approaching an article of faith of a religion instead of a political debate. The skeptics of man made global warming can no longer debate with the proponents of man made global warming. Glenn Beck had Joseph Bast of the Heartland Institute as a guest. Here is a portion of the transcript.
BECK: Next week, right here in New York City, the first-of-its-kind global warming conference is scheduled. It -- I mean, it has a suspiciously important-sounding generic title, The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. But this one is different. This one is for the other side.

Joseph Bast, who is the organizer of the event, says that he has got hundreds of experts on science, politics and the economics of global warming coming to this, including the president of the Czech Republic, who I absolutely love, who is giving the keynote speech. He`s attending, and it will be "hard for journalists and policymakers to ignore the event."

Really? Quite honestly, they have been doing a pretty good job of ignoring the other side so far.

I live in New York. I`m a global warming skeptic. And yet, I haven`t heard about this until today.

America, I promise you this -- the mainstream media can ignore this conference all they want, but this program will cover this conference like it`s the second coming of Jesus Christ. I promise.

Joseph Bast is the president of The Heartland Institute.

How frustrating is it, Joseph, that you can`t -- I mean, you are actually buying full-page ads in "The New York Times" and other papers to let people know that this is happening, right?

JOSEPH BAST, PRESIDENT OF THE HEARTLAND INST.: That`s right. And it is a little frustrating. I mean, we have hundreds and hundreds of scientists who dissent from the so-called consensus on global warming, but the media acts as if every single one is on the payroll of an oil company and therefore is just a front for a special interest group.

BECK: Well, I mean, let`s be honest here. First of all, GE owns NBC. They did a whole week of global warming specials and everything else.

I mean, the other side is financed by people who make money as well. They always accuse you at The Heartland Institute of being financed by big oil. What is it, 4 percent one year you took from Exxon? What is it?

BAST: Exactly right. In no year have we gotten more than 5 percent of our budget from Exxon. They haven`t even contributed to us in 2007 or 2008. This conference is entirely funded by individuals and foundations. So there`s no corporate funding at all.


You invited Al Gore to come. He`s not coming.

BAST: That`s right. He turned us down.

BECK: Yes.

BAST: Al Gore doesn`t believe in debating.

BECK: Yes.

Is it -- you would think that if it was so easy to debate, if it was so clear, you wouldn`t have to demean people. You wouldn`t have to smear their reputations. All you would have to do is lay out the facts.

Why is it, or has there ever been an actual civil debate on both sides where you could listen to both sides and say, OK, I happen to believe this one?

BAST: There used to be those debates actually back in the early 1990s, when The Heartland Institute began writing about this issue. I would be invited to conferences and there would actually be pro and con debates.

I think the other side, the alarmist side, lost those debates so often that they have just given up. The word is out now. Any time a skeptic is on the program, the alarmists decide not to attend.

BECK: Is it true -- no, go ahead.

BAST: Since yesterday -- yesterday in Denver, there was a debate. Our guy had to debate an empty chair. So that`s pretty common.

So how does anyone who wants to argue a political issue win if the other side believes their position is the Gospel truth? It is analogous to a heretic arguing with a church he belongs to. The church will excommunicate him because of his loss of faith and hope. Here is the deal for me. The US government is not a church, and the first amendment forbids making any law that establishes a state religion. I feel like the man made global warming crowd are coming real close to being a religion.

The buying and selling of carbon credits smacks a lot to me of a practice going on in the catholic church 500 years ago. Back in the day they were concerned about salvation of one’s soul through good works. They had a plan of buying and selling indulgences. Everyone who causes the harm (the nobility) is going to have to pay something, and the people that solve the problem (the priests) are going to profit. A heretic priest by the name of Luther took strong exception to this practice, and the Protestant Movement took hold.

I concede there are some (pliny et al) who debate man made global warming theory, and I applaud this. I do worry, especially with some of the supporters of Obama, that debate is being replaced with religious devotion. Some examples of what some supporters of Obama say:
This is not a campaign for president of the United States, this is a movement to change the world.
Rep. Elijah Cummings
I'll do whatever he says to do. I'll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.
actress Halle Berry

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