Monday, January 26, 2009

Climate plan takes heat

Even as the lower 48 remain gripped by arctic blasts that have produced record-shattering low temperatures, the Obama administration appears ready to push forward with its plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions by way of a "cap and trade" system (according to the Chicago Tribune.)

As the Tribune describes it,
"the government would set limits on carbon emissions by power plants and other installations but allow those that emit more to buy or trade permits with companies that emit less than the prescribed limit." The hope of such regulation is to "encourage companies and other emitters to cut back, thus reducing a principle cause of global warming." For her part, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) went on to say, "[i]f we don't put a price on carbon, we'll never get... clean energy sources online."

Of course, the easiest way for any company to comply with any new CO2 emissions standards - without incurring the cost of buying emissions permits or carbon credits - would be to reduce production. This would be bad under any circumstances, as it would doubtless reduce the nation's GDP. To push forward with such a plan in the midst of two recessions (one economic and one climatological) is unspeakably egregious. To do so with the expectation that an already anorexic economy will somehow provide for capital investments in wind, solar and biofuel technologies takes a special kind of obtuseness.

So even as scientists grapple with how to explain the fact that ocean temperatures have not risen since 2003, President Obama and his minions continue to saddle the country with policies that can only serve to hamper economic growth. This comes from the bunch that said that they would free the America from the stranglehold of rigid ideology. It seems the only thing that they will relieve us of is our wealth.

Four long years!

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