As a representative of the 70,000 plus family woodland owners in Oregon I have been encouraged by the regional debate around having the consumer pay for an ecosystem service such as carbon.
Action is needed today to provide revenue to working forestlands that store carbon as trees grow. We have a very effective carbon storage system that nature has designed. And yet forest landowners are under increasing pressure to convert their working forest to other lands due to price.
If we can generate revenue from the carbon that trees and wood products store every day as we move to a less oil dependent economy, the more likely people will look to hold that land in forest cover. The positive additional consequences of forest cover, such as clean water and habitat, are unlikely to be rewarded by a market that just wants to buy carbon but we can at least set a trend away from placing the environmental cost of our actions on the landowning community alone.
We have see the failures in Europe and we need to be very aware of unintended consequences of a cap and trade system, such as placing the burden on the poorest sections of society.
A regional policy can set a prescient for a national system, so to have a system here for the next President to look at has to be a good thing.
A lot has still to be done and there will be winners and losers as with all markets. We must see this issue with new eyes and let go of some of the entrenched positions around natural resources that have dominated PNW politics. The time for cool heads, as well as, a cooler globe has arrived.
1. What effect will this program have on the global issue?
First issue about this, are anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions a global issue?
For Al Gore, the debate is over, yet for many actual scientists the science is far from over. The exact magnitude of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on global warming is still not concrete. Even Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, has recently said that the IPCC?s evaluation of climate sensitivity (the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause) must now be revisited.
Let?s say we put the issue aside of anthropogenic CO2 not causing global warming because alarmists and non-alarmists could debate back and forth all day on this subject.
The issue of effectiveness of cap and trade programs should be in question when implementing a program that would slow development for the entire world:
Patrick J. Michaels, a prominent scientist states, ?If every nation on Earth lived up to the United Nation?s Kyoto Protocol on global warming, it would prevent no more than 0.126 degrees F of warming every 50 years.?
Bjorn Lomborg, author of the Skeptical Environmentalist, states in regards to Kyoto,?..we could have postponed global warming in 2100 by five years?the temperature we would have seen in 2100, we would see in 2105.?
Under the European Trading Scheme, emissions covered by the program rose by 0.8% across the EU as a whole.
Since the effect of a worldwide trading scheme is expected to have little or no effect and the European example actually shows that emissions increased. A regional plan would have so small of an effect on global warming that it would be immeasurable.
2. What will it mean for the Western States Initiative if the next president implements a national cap-and-trade system?
I certainly hope that the next president will take a look at the utter failure of the European system and will not consider extending any program to the rest of the United States.
Before programs are implemented, I would assume and hope that politicians would look at previous examples of cap and trade and see that it is an utter failure.
3. How will restrictions on utilities and other industries affect energy consumers in the Pacific Northwest?
There is a fairly obvious answer for this question. Cap and trade has a great marketable name because it doesn't involve the word "tax", however cap and trade is a tax. It increases the cost of operating business and these costs are obviously passed down to the consumer. Implementation of the program will not only raise electricity bills but it will raise the cost of almost everything in the market. The cost of manufactured goods, transported goods, etc. will rise with use of a cap and trade system.
Arguments being brought forth to deny global warming are rapidly losing credibility. Please see http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/positions/climate_change2008.shtml
to view the American Geophysical Union's most recent position on global warming. The American Geophysical Union is the most respected, and largest association of Earth Scientists in the world, with about 50,000 members who are scientists and teachers.
How about the American Physical Society? It is an organization comprised of almost 50,000 physicists, is proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.
There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the primary reason for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.
I simply argue that as rational intellectual people in this world, we should be questioning all sides of the issue. Until the issue and science is completely settled, we should not be basing policy decisions that drastically affect development.
I am going to call your attention to the homepage of the American Physical Society to show you the reality of their position - go look for yourself at [url]www.aps.org[/url].
APS Climate Change Statement
APS Position Remains Unchanged
[b]The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:
"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."[/b]
An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that "Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum." This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and [b]it is not peer reviewed.[/b]
A recent WWF study found that "Not one of the G8 countries are implementing enough measures...to keep global temperature rise below 2 deg C". We are not doing enough and we are missing the scale and coverage necessary to see a cap-and-trade mechanism work effectively on a global scale, like it did for Sulphur Dioxide and acid rain in the '90s. Clearly, cap-and-trade is no silver bullet.
Any cap-and-trade system must have a mechanism through which to address issues like environmental integrity and perverse incentives. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an article detailing how multinational chemical company Rhodia SA is benefitting from a nearly $1-billion windfall by making some minor adjustments to their manufacturing processes, INCREASING greenhouse gas emissions while doing so.
Is this an example of market failure? No, it is an example of the current market working. The challenge we face is one of responding to market design flaws early on in the process in a way that does not compromise the overall environmental benefits of carbon reduction projects. Once the market is operational, it becomes extremely difficult to modify its parameters, this action possibly adversely affecting investment values and consequently generating significant resistance.
If we move forward with a market-based solution to climate change, we as individual consumers MUST demand transparency in these cap-and-trade markets, by participating in the process as activist-shareholders. We cannot surrender our future climate to the back-room deals of multi-national corporations.
Additionally, we should engage in projects that are regionally based, just like those in the proposed WCI cap-and-trade system. This means that carbon revenues are retained within the economic zone, carbon projects have more visibility and higher environmental standards, and the region can become a model of how to implement a cap-and-trade system effectively.
Every human being has a vested interest in a sustainable climate. Every human being needs food and shelter, and some quality of life. It is our moral duty to current and future generations to protect these interests. While it is not without flaws, the WCI cap-and-trade mechanism is perhaps the most feasible method to address the need to decrease our emissions without damaging our economy.
[i]Disclaimer: I am a member of the Oregon branch of the Citizen's Climate Lobby [url]http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org[/url], my business is in carbon offsets and I participate in a local Carbon Reduction Action Group (CRAG), a really good way to learn about cap-and-trade through personal experience.[/i]
Can you tell me more about your CRAG?
It is very interesting that you have said that transparency is needed in a cap and trade program. This is definitely true. As we have seen with the European trading scheme and with Kyoto, scams are everywhere and easy to take advantage of.
However I am dissapointed that you think that because these offset programs are within the WCI's borders that there will not be corruption. There are numerous offset programs that are being implemented right here in Oregon that are quite questionable. My main example would be the carpool website set up by The Climate Trust. Initially intended to offset 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the money was wasted and only 3,075 tons were offset by the program.
When you speak of offsets, you should describe them as they are; a way to take money from the ratepayer to spend on useless porkbarrel projects that may make people sleep a bit better at night despite their utter waste of resources.
ClimateTodd, because one project in a portfolio of projects fails to deliver its objectives, it does not mean that the whole system fails. Look at the markets today - if a company fails to generate profits for its shareholders, bankruptcy soon follows. Just because one company fails doesnt mean the whole of capitalism fails. Rather, it is a natural part of market function.
I agree completely with Eric De Place on the improvements - we need auctions, to create fair value to consumers.
More examples are needed?
Financing wind farms offset project- Wind power is a historically inconsistent and intermittent power source. In order to integrate the wind energy into the grid, utility companies must provide a power load to meet the base requirements of the population. This usually means operating a natural gas or coal fired power plant below optimal efficiency to back up the variable power source. Because of difficulties and cost associated with shutting off thermal power plants, these plants will typically operate in spinning standby mode(http://www.aweo.org/LowBenefit.pdf) which produces more CO2 per kwh than if the use of the thermal plant was optimized, thus offsetting the benefits of wind. Furthermore the use of more wind energy increases the need of fossil fuel generating plants to operate on standby mode.
A typical wind farm requires as much as 10 to 80 acres per MW of electricity generated. A 500 MW gas fire plant may occupy 55 acres but a 500 MW wind power facility could occupy anywhere between 5,000 to 40,000 acres. This is particularly important because Oregon could build the cost effective gas fire plant and use the remaining ?wind farm? land to plants trees as a potential offset. According to Oregon Climate Trust?s Deschutes Riparian Reforestation program(http://www.climatetrust.org/offset_deschutes.php), each acre of forested area could sequester 155 metric tons of Co2. Producing a 500 MW gas fire plant instead of the same capacity wind farm would in a sense ?free up? anywhere between 4,945 to 39,945 acres for potential carbon offsetting. With these figures, this land area could potentially offset 766,475 to 6,191,475 metric tons of Co2 or the equivalent to taking 152,684 to 1,233,361 cars off the road for a year.
The material requirements for wind turbines are 40-50 times greater than for gas fired plants per unit of output(http://www.ncpa.org/studies/renew/notes1.html).
The additional 276 turbines approved for construction at the Stateline Wind project in Oregon will create 51,612 metric tons of Co2 which is the equivalent of adding 10,281 cars to the road for a year. In addition to co2 emissions, construction can also cause erosion, destruction of wild habitats, disruption of water flow, and numerous bird deaths.
I have more examples....Should I go on?
The truth of the matter is that offset programs can easily be manipulated. They have no accountability and they remind me very much of the selling of indulgences to the catholic church.
Just more Right-wing Conservative anti-science propaganda.
Sorry, I didn't realize you had posted a response to my last comment.
1. It sounds like you may be mistaking carbon offsets for renewable energy credits. I am not sure. Perhaps you could clarify? Furthermore, "Planting trees" is not an offset. Managing an existing forest, avoiding deforestation, or reforesting a previously forested area is an acceptable and scientific way to capture carbon and generate a carbon offset. I know of no windfarm in the gorge that requires the removal of a forest. In fact, I think the wind farm you specify - Stateline - is being developed in a part of Oregon where there are no natural forests. Additionally, I think there is an argument to be made that since the windfarm is protecting land from further development, it is sequestering additional carbon.
2. I am comfortable with the material requirements numbers you have suggested - [url]http://www.rnp.org/projects/stateline.html[/url] is where I get my data. It is pretty clear about the land use - farming will continue. Your comments on other effects are not new. Wherever human beings engage in economic activities "erosion, destruction of wild habitats, disruption of water flow, and numerous bird deaths" usually results. My point is that these are not problems associated purely with wind power.
I agree with you that offset programs can be easily manipulated. It is one of the reasons that we need regulation of the industry. The market is not pure, or perfect, and cannot be relied on completely to manage itself.
(Also, I think it would be fair to identify yourself and your employer. I could do so, but I'd like to give you the opportunity first.)
Not a problem at all. Thanks for giving me the opportunity!
Climate Change and Energy Policy Analyst
Cascade Policy Institute
I am not mistaking renewable energy credits with carbon offsets. Take a look for yourself at the offsetting projects that are in place with the Climate Trust. climatetrust.org....it is under the section appropriately named....offset projects.
Ha ha ha!
You didn't have the courage to post under your own name until someone threatened to out you and your employer. Typical propagandist behavior and sleazy to the core. A professional bull***tter is what you are and without credibility.
(edited to be politically correct because someone is more offended by words than by offensive behaviors)
Thanks for outing the propagandist, good on ya!
ClimateTodd makes a great point about corruption. Listening to the discussion on the radio, The suggestion is that the market system is the best way to make an efficient system to reduce carbon emissions. I agree, with reservations. The recent meltdown of the savings and loan industry demonstrates that an unregulated market will get out of balance and fail. With complete transparency and careful regulation by economists and policy-makers who understand the data and how to analyze it will be necessary to insure a fair and effective trading market.
The other issue is whether the initial allowances are auctioned, or are simply given away. I think of this in analogy to a new monetary system being created. Does it get initialized by giving each person a particular amount of money, or should each person convert existing money to the new money? What is being created will have great value to those who own it. But, I wonder at the practicality of each carbon emitter being required to make what amounts to a potentially large capital expense to get their initial credit allowance. That concern is balanced by a concern about just giving away a valuable "resource." I wish the policy-makers well in balancing these competing concerns.
Financializing our air must be the most insane idea in history.
Every time some thing gets financialized the wealthy acquire a monopoly on it and then financially rape the public.
The idea of buying clean air to breathe from some big Corporation is completely unacceptable. And the opposite idea that some corporation is permitted to continue their polluting is also unacceptable, they have made many millions, even billions from their past pollution practices and the people and planet in general have paid the price. Corporations have made their money from polluting, now they should pay some of that past profit money back by either cleaning up their polluting practices or stopping entirely.
Air is essential to human life and should not be "owned" by anyone, it should be held in common to all humanity and other life on the planet and it should be protected from corporatization.
We know how to create clean energy and it is time that we take back control of our energy systems from the Oil and Coal industries energy monopolies and develop and build clean, sustainable, diversified and computerized energy production, storage, and transmission and usage systems.
This WSJ blog piece links to the article LittleCarbonFeet mentioned. Unfortunately, the article itself is behind a firewall.
Sometimes those pieces are quoted elsewhere from someone who has a subscription to the original site.
Previous comments about the likelyhood of carbon producers gaming the system and the very wealthy generally benefiting from such market solutions are right on the mark. I'm wondering how a simple tax on carbon emissions might compare to a cap and trade system. Advantages are simplicity and a direct correlation of penalties to actual carbon emissions. This seems much more sensible to me.
I published an article on Oregon Catalyst yesterday which addresses your question. Feel free to check it out at: http://www.oregoncatalyst.com/index.php?url=archives/1585-In-the-Governor-We-Trust.html
As an economist, I look for economic explanations.
Take a look at this:
Regional cap & trade is a good first step given inaction by the US and Canadian national governments.
However, delaying inclusion of transportation to 2015 is a serious problem. Driving is as much of a problem as electricity, so a seven-year delay endangers meeting our 2020 global warming pollution reduction goals.
What is WCI proposing to do to cut transportation carbon emissions before 2015? Thanks!
Can someone explain why cap and trade is better than simple reward/punishment?
Why no set a baseline? - above the baseline, pay according to how far above you are - below the baseline, rebates or credits.
It seems to me that cap & trade means that, as more companies meet the goals, there are just more "trade" options for the significant polluters to choose from. And it is just plain complicated, and so prone to cheating.
So far I'm not convinced. With cap & trade I can envision a situation where a business would make more money by shutting down operations and simply selling their credits. Somewhat like farmers being paid to not grow wheat.
Free Markets have gotten us into this mess, now it is time to clamp down and tightly regulate the energy and pollution markets.
The idea of Free Markets has always been a childish idea equivalent to that of a three year old who throws a tantrum when told his behavior is not acceptable.
It is time to regulate our way out of the Free Market caused problems.
Turn over all our decisions to the government.
hmmmm....that doesnt seem like democracy to me.
wait....what government system is that?
It is democracy, We the people, are the government. So turning all of our decisions over to We the people is absolutely the correct thing to do.
We the people ought to take back control from corporations, which are fictional, paper-persons.
Socialism: An economic system in which the production and distribution of goods are controlled substantially by the government rather than by private enterprise, and in which cooperation rather than competition guides economic activity. There are many varieties of socialism. Some socialists tolerate capitalism, as long as the government maintains the dominant influence over the economy; others insist on an abolition of private enterprise. All communists are socialists.
Im sorry that I don't support the socialist view for America. I also don't think or hope other Americans support this view.
Well, I'm proud to stand with President Lincoln. Government of the People, by the People, and for the People was Lincolns' and is my idea of the best way of government.
And I am proud to stand against you Conservatives, AKA Corporative Statists, as Mussolini defined you when he explained what Fascism really is.
I stand for personal freedom and economic opportunity. Two ideals that I think all humans on earth should defend.
I am glad that there are people like Tom in this world that have the freedom to retort, question, and act on what they believe is right.
Although I may disgree with you on most issues, I am proud to know that you have the freedom to be able to decide your own opinions and voice them.
The most significant and least expensive way to meet the Western Climate Initiative reductions is through energy efficiency. In fact, most studies indicate that the reductions of the size proposed by the Initiative will rasie electricity rates a bit, but electricity bills should go down because less electricity will be consumed.
While I do support the idea, in the absence of an aggresive national policy and with fuel effeciency in automobiles virtually unchanged in 50 years I would have to say that this measure is, at best, a noble gesture that will have little effect on global climate change.
This link shows exactly the opposite and it is one of many.
Fuel efficiency in vehicles have increased dramatically in the last 50 years. It is amazing that anyone would believe otherwise.
As gasoline prices have rose ove the last 50 years, consumers have shown desire to purchase more fuel efficient vehicles. Particularly in the last few years with explosive gas prices, SUV sales have dropped off and hybrids and smaller cars have increased. The free market is working. Stop distorting it!
The Free Market has prevented CAFE standards and sabotaged every attempt at fuel efficiency and alternative energy for far too many years, it is time to rein in the silly idea of "Free Markets" and get humanity onto a rational, logical, and sensible track.
efficiency has increased, but it all seems to have gone into unnecessary horsepower rather than mileage improvement. My 1969 LeMans got 20mpg highway and 18mpg city and it was made of steel.
I have a Popular Science magazine from May, 1958, in which Ford advertises a new car that "can get you up to 30 miles a gallon!"
You can focus all you want on the energy ratio of moving a car built at that time to a car built now over the same distance, but the fact remains that it still requires the same amount of gas to move a human being the same distance that it did 50 years ago. That is not progress.
An informative article from the Brookings institute on Cap and Trade:
The Fossil Fuel industries should just be told "the way you made your money has caused a planetary problem, a potential disaster, and now you have to stop. Now!" and then they should be forced to clean up, not rewarded for cleaning up the mess they made.
One problem I see with the cap and trade approach is that although target carbon levels will be held uniform across the region, the result will be localized air problems as opposed to regional problems.
First, I appreciate the comments from both Mike Gaudern and climatetodd. As a small family forestland owner, I am interested in voluntary programs, not more government mandates.
A successful example of a voluntary program is forest certification, where businesses that are buying wood and paper products are using the power of their purchase orders to drive improvements in forest management around the world by demanding certified wood and paper.
Climate Chance, YES? Global Warming, Questionable.
Climate change is occurring; however, the relevant question is what contributions to change are human caused. Unlike the constant mantra repeated over and over again in the media... there still is no true scientific consensus on the causes of climate changes; whether warming or cooling... and a true understanding of the contributions that are due to humans.
We need to drive towards consensus on this before we place expensive and bureaucratic government mandates in place. So voluntary systems makes more sense in the near term.
What is the role of forests?
Forests do a wonderful job of storing carbon. So if society wants to pay for storing carbon, I for one, would participate in a voluntary program to sell my stored carbon on a voluntary market like the Chicago Climate Exchange.
Re scientific consensus re global warming caused by humans, please see my comment and link above. Stakeholders who want to do nothing about human caused global warming are following the effective model adopted by the tobacco companies to delay action on the dangers of tobacco smoking. They try to bring doubt to the science, hire "scientists" without expertise to question the science, and generally try to minimize the issue. For a credible statement of what credible scientists think, please see:
While I respect Dave Vant Hof, it is unlikely we will achieve transportation pollution reduction goals (and thus our overall goals) without including it in cap & auction in the first round (2012).
Transportation professionals know we have the programs to achieve the reductions; we lack the structure (cap & auction), the funds (Oregon DOT spends about 1% of revenues on options to driving alone) and possibly the political will. If we're serious about cutting global warming pollution in Washington and Oregon, we'd include transportation in 2012 in cap & auction.
The PGE rep says they would prefere a nationl program. Are they actively lobbying for such a program?
Corporations always want national programs because that takes the power out of the hands of locals and puts the power in the hands of big corporations that can buy it by lobbying the Congress.
Good point Tom! That is exactly what is happening with the WCI. You are taking free market consumer decision making that drives towards cost effectiveness and energy efficiency and putting it in the hands of government that is influenced by heavy lobbyists.
Oh bull***t. There is no such thing as a Free Market and there never was. All markets are manipulated and affected by whoever has the most wealth and political power, to their own benefit and to the detriment of the most people.
The most regulated market in the world is the stock market, the ideal of Capitalism, and if regulations are good enough for them, I think that regulations are also good enough for the lower classes.
You Free Market Conservatives are just plain silly in your unquestioning belief in the blue fairy of the Free Markets.
(edited to make it politically correct because someone is more offended by words than by offensive behaviors and whined about it)
I think John Charles is missing the cost issue. The enjoyment of life through a sustainable climate is not an abundant and limitless resource.
I maintain individual participation will drive transparency - as Reuben states, more participants need to be part of this market.
John Charles, like many libertarians, lives in the imaginary world where markets are magically delicious. Where there are no externalities, no market friction, where all parties have perfect knowledge and all actions taken in the market are rational.
He cannot grasp that cap and trade is designed to address externalities in the the market because in his world market externalities do not exist.
Number-six in incorrect in his assertion. I understand market friction, I know that there is never perfect knowledge, and many activities in a market are irrational. I also understand what externalities are.
The point of my comment this morning was that the WCI proposal (like all CO2 cap-and-trade schemes) is too arbitrary and bureaucratic to be effective. Try reading the Warner-Lieberman bill that Congress briefly debated in June, and then explain to someone how it would work. All it does is set up a huge scheme for people to game the system and make money off it, while raising prices to consumers by rationing energy. At least a carbon tax would be more straightforward, and if the revenues were used to lower taxes on income and capital, there could be net social benefits (aside from any "climate change" benefits, which are purely speculative and unlikely without cooperation from large developing countries taht are now free to do what they want).
Note also that the governor's proposal does not seriously deal with transportation, the largest CO2 source in Oregon. The best option there would be to convert our limited-access highway system to a turnpike system with electronic tolling and peak-hour pricing in the Portland metro area. Empirical evidence shows that if you get traffic out of stop-and-go conditions to free-flow conditions (almost impossible without congestion pricing), you reduce the per-mile CO2 emissions by 70-90%. That's the low-hanging fruit; in fact it's cost-free as a global warming strategy, because we should implement congestion pricing for other reasons (to improve economic productivity and to pay for ongoing road maintenance and construction costs).
If the Governor wants to support market-based road pricing, I'd be happy to help advocate for it -- as I've been doing for the past 18 years.
Right, more cars, more roads and more privatization. More of everything that has not worked in the past. More of everything that has gotten us into this mess.
Yeah, that'll fix things.
I am about to fly across the country to attend a family reunion. I understand from an article I read that the trip warrants me donating $40 in carbon credits. When the cap and trade system becomes ?real money,? as one of your guests called it, I would have to pay an additional $40.00 in a sort of tax. But, I need that ?real money? for groceries.
WCI cap and trade is one step before issuing carbon credits(dollars) to every citizen. One day I see all of our freedoms being taken away by having carbon credits in our wallets. We will have to trade or sell to our neighbor if he needs to take a flight to see his sick mother in Arizona.
No, this is not made up but Britian is already running a test program on this personal carbon trading system.
And, climatetodd, we have a voluntary program like this alive and well in Portland today. Portland has a Carbon Reduction Action Group. Google it.
A CRAG (or Carbon Reduction Action Group) is a group of people who have decided to act together to reduce their individual and collective carbon footprints. They do this in annual cycle. First they set themselves an annual emissions target. Then they keep track of their emissions over the year by keeping a record of their household energy use and private car and plane travel.
Finally, at the end of the year, they take responsibility for any ?carbon debt? (i.e. emissions over and above their ration) that they have built up. All carbon debts are paid into the group?s ?carbon fund? at the current price per ton of CO2.
What could be a more market-based solution than that? Its like the lemonade-stand for cap-and-trade.
Curious - What is the average household's monthly "carbon debt" so far?
Thats great that it is voluntary. The day the government decides to tell me that I can't drive to work because I am out of carbon credits is the day Im worried about!
Thanks for bringing my attention to the voluntary actions that are being done. I applaud energy efficiency, sustainability, and conservation as long as it doesn't take my personal freedoms away.
What you're scared of is people requiring you to be personally responsible as well as having personal freedoms.
You are no longer a small child, now there are other people around you and they also have personal freedoms and personal responsibilities, so grow up and become personally responsible and put away your childish beliefs!
I do enjoy and get a chuckle out of your retorts. Yes, it seems that my personal carbon dioxide( which is not a pollutant in any sense) can really negatively affect others.
In fact, I have personally decided to stop breathing. I have truly taken your comments to heart and I don't want my exhaling of Co2 to hurt others in society in any way.
Maybe we should all stop breathing or maybe we should limit the number of kids we are allowed to have since the "true" source of CO2 is humans...wait, I think China is already doing this!
Can I get paid offset money for not having kids?
Yep, as I said, you're just plain silly.
I'll let you in on an ill concealed secret that your mommy and daddy ought to have taught you as a child; we adults in society regulate all kinds of things and we put severe limits on your personal freedoms, we heavily regulate your freedom to murder or rape other people, to steal from other people, to drive recklessly on our highways and streets and endanger others, to use fireworks in our national or state forests, to use predatory lending practices, and a whole host of other things. We hold you personally responsible even if you don't want to be.
Get it? When your "freedoms" endanger other peoples freedoms we are willing to regulate your behaviors. We are willing to make you be responsible by force of law if that is what it takes.
And that's the dirty little secret of adulthood, that along with personal freedoms come personal responsibilities to your fellow man.
Free Markets are not free to those who aren't the wealthy and politically powerful and that is why we as a society regulate markets.
In the Governor We Trust???
by Cascade Policy Institute
Wednesday, July 23. 2008
By Vanessa Holguin
Climate change is happening. Whether CO2 emissions are the principle culprit, and at what point they will trigger a cataclysmic state is still up for debate though. Different groups around the world have embraced the principle of precaution when dealing with this challenge. They argue that humans should start reducing CO2 emissions as fast as humanly possible. Unlike some of my fellow Cascadians, I am inclined to applaud leaders who adopt the ?better safe, than sorry? approach. What I do have a big problem with; however, is the kind of leadership that expects nothing less than religious faith from the public. This is the type of leadership espoused by the Governor?s Office through its participation in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a regional climate change governmental apparatus. On June 19, I attended a WCI stakeholder meeting hosted by the Governor?s Office and the Department of Environment Quality. Upon learning about the WCI?s plan to implement a cap-and-trade on carbon dioxide as part of its ?market-based? approach, I left the meeting with plenty of concerns.
Having listened to John Charles testify before the Oregon House of Representatives on proposed global warming legislation and having conducted my own personal research, I know that almost none of the proposed new energy policies will come without serious consequences for many of us, especially the most vulnerable members of society. Policy analysts have found the cap and trade policy in particular to carry much more disadvantages over its rival, the carbon tax. As part of his testimony, John Charles included studies which point to an alarming increase in gas prices (56% higher) and unemployment (16,000 fewer jobs by 2020) as a result of implementing the cap-and-trade policy. The Carbon Tax Center, founded by two economists, also makes a strong case for the superiority of the carbon tax policy: ?While cap-and-trade creates opportunities for cheating, leads to unpredictable fluctuations in energy prices and does nothing to offset high power costs for consumers, carbon taxes can be structured to sidestep all those problems while providing a more reliable market incentive to produce clean-energy technology.? In its special report edition on ?The Future of Energy,? even the Economist openly advocated a carbon tax over a cap-and-trade policy. Naturally, I found it strange that with so many different interest groups in agreement, the WCI would choose to adopt the least popular energy policy, and would do so without justifying its decision to the thousands of Oregonians who will literally pay for these changes.
Also, I wondered about the legality of this regional initiative. The WCI website states that: "This regional initiative will ultimately be implemented through laws, regulations, and policies at the state and regional level.? Does this mean the Oregon Legislature would have to adopt WCI policies by default? If so, this would seriously undermine Oregon?s ability to develop policies which address its unique energy problems. Either way, as a tax-paying Oregonian I believe that I am entitled to know how this process works.
I forwarded these questions to David Van?t Hof, the sustainability and renewable energy policy advisor for Governor Kulongoski, and incidentally a Trinity College alum like myself. But not even our common undergraduate heritage managed to sway Mr. Van?t Hof or any of his associates to have the courtesy to address my inquiries. The thought that an average Oregon resident cannot gain access to this most basic information is eerily discomforting to say the least. More disturbing is the element of secrecy surrounding this whole process. When a policy is truly strong enough to stand on its own, there is no need to fear potential objections to it. And when the goal is to come up with the most sustainable and fair policy, than politicians will not shy away from listening to the public?s misgivings, instead they will encourage an open dialogue. The neglect I have suffered on behalf of the Governor?s Office stands in stark contrast to the rapid and informative response that I received from the head of the Carbon Tax Center. Likewise, The Carbon Tax Center website, with its comprehensive facts and question section and powerful counter arguments, is a welcome change from the WCI?s restricted website.
While I am all for the precautionary principle, this in no way signifies that I am prepared to support it unconditionally. As a rational and caring human being, it would be irresponsible of me to trust the governor to pursue the precautionary principle without first fully assessing and understanding the costs and benefits of doing so.
Vanessa Holguin is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon?s free market research center.
"Vanessa Holguin is a research associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon?s free market research center."
I suspect that CPI is not a State of Oregon "free market research center" but is actually a private group. That is a particularly sleazy Conservative Free Market propaganda technique, feigning to be a part of our government so as to gain credibility.
Yep. I was correct. From:
Cascade Policy Institute is supported by the generous, voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses and foundations. Cascade does not solicit or accept any government funding. Cascade is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent provided by state and federal law."
No, Mr. Ford, Cascade Policy Institute has never tried to pretend that we are part of government "so as to gain credibility." If we were funded by the government we'd have less credibility, not more.
For you to quote from our own documents that Cascade is a private, non-profit organization is not exactly an expose.
Boy, the "Cascade Policy Institute" sure spammed this topic. They supplied three professional propagandists and only one was upfront about his/her association.
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