Skip to main content

View Diary: Gore on fire: Says humans treating atmosphere 'as if it is an open sewer' (229 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I agree that carbon credits are not a free pass (0+ / 0-)

    for the average person.  But they are indeed a free pass to the glutinous wealthy who waste energy without limit, and then pay some carbon credits which in a year may deplete these pigs of 0.01% of their yearly accumulation of wealth.

    •  Not a Free Pass (0+ / 0-)

      No, they are not a free pass to anyone. They have been cheap because there hasn't been a requirement the polluters buy them, so no demand, and because there's no cap there's an unlimited supply. Polluters bought them only to greenwash because they're cheap. It might as well not have been done.

      Actual cap & trade makes the credits less expensive than polluting, so they buy the credits. It's not designed to make them bleed if the cap isn't met by all the polluters. A legitimate cap is the amount that can be accommodated by the environment, which is a fairly large amount - large enough that a meaningful market can function to assign costs. Meanwhile for many it costs less to reduce pollution than even the available credits cost, so they can pay to reduce which leaves credits for sale.

      It's not a traditional government mandate which just forces people to each do specifically what the government orders. Instead it more directly models the environment's pollution limit, which doesn't care what specific people do so long as the total isn't exceeded. The work to enforce it is put onto the polluters and their agents in the market, rather than on the government, except to police the exchange for fraud and the polluters for exceeding their credits.

      This is a system that works. If we want to slam polluters with extra fines, perhaps limiting the total credits they can apply, that sounds great too -and it can be added to the credits regime. Hell, if we want to execute polluters above a certain amount of either total income, or because they're also polluting rivers, or whatever, that's OK, if it passes the legislature. But the quota can be enforced through the market, and policed in a straightforward way.

      Which is the best and fastest way to protect the environment, and all of us in it.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 01:10:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site