The Complex Story Of Cap And Trade

by Mark Lovett on February 17, 2010

Science has clearly demonstrated that CO2 levels are at their highest point in over 650,000 years, and rising land and ocean temperatures have also been well documented. But what’s the best way to reduce our CO2 emissions? Through government regulation of output, or by implementing a cap-and-trade system that creates a market for carbon credits to be traded?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important greenhouse gas released through natural processes such as respiration and volcano eruptions and through many human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. This chart shows the historical levels of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

As a direct result, the decade from 2000 to 2009 has been verified by NASA as the warmest on record. This atmospheric warming trend has resulted in retreating ice caps and rising ocean levels. To address this situation, Europe enacted a cap-and-trade system in 2005. Opinions are mixed as to the benefit of the system, with some calling it a failure while others say there is still work to be done before it will become effective.  But is cap-and-trade viable in the United States? Here’s one opinion on the topic.

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What are your thoughts on how to reduce CO2 levels in the coming years?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylen February 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Great video that gets to the point and tells it like it is. Cap ‘n trade is like communism. great idea on paper, but in a flawed world with humans (where greed, power, and cheating are inevitable and inescapable) it just plain doesn’t work. Too many loopholes that will be exposed in almost no time at all.

It’s sad to think that we as a human race can’t stop ourselves from these destructive things, but history shows again and again that someone will cut corners and cheat to get an advantage…it’s time for government to stand firm on this point! (i can only hope they pull through…at least this once).
.-= Taylen´s last blog ..Renewable Energy Industry Flexes its Muscles =-.

Reply

Global Patriot February 22, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I have to agree that whenever a new system is put in place, even with the best of intentions, financial interests figure out a way to game the system for profit instead of using the system to do good.

Reply

Taylen February 23, 2010 at 12:26 am

Great video that gets to the point and tells it like it is. Cap ‘n trade is like communism. great idea on paper, but in a flawed world with humans (where greed, power, and cheating are inevitable and inescapable) it just plain doesn’t work. Too many loopholes that will be exposed in almost no time at all.

It’s sad to think that we as a human race can’t stop ourselves from these destructive things, but history shows again and again that someone will cut corners and cheat to get an advantage…it’s time for government to stand firm on this point! (i can only hope they pull through…at least this once).
.-= Taylen´s last blog ..Renewable Energy Industry Flexes its Muscles =-.

Reply

GlobalPatriot February 23, 2010 at 12:42 am

I have to agree that whenever a new system is put in place, even with the best of intentions, financial interests figure out a way to game the system for profit instead of using the system to do good.

Reply

S.Smith February 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Love the movie.

No cap & trade. It’s simpler: cap. Just stop polluting. So what if it’s not attractive?! We’ll stop polluting one way or another… the question is, do we want to live?
.-= S.Smith´s last blog ..In Lifting Up or Pulling Back, Inhale =-.

Reply

GlobalPatriot February 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

We’ve always relied on the “cap” approach to pollution, so I’m also baffled as to why that’s not considered an option with CO2. It’s the simplest and most direct approach.

Reply

Alex Radway February 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm

One of my favourite Einstein quote at the beginning (problems/solutions – same level etc.)

Call me a cynic, but I don’t put much faith in big business/world leaders.

I think that any significant change will come from everyone of us making huge changes to our lifestyles….how many pairs of shoes/ new cars/computers do we need.

Responsiblity is key..I liked the ‘having a party and billing the univited folks’ analogy.

Great post.

Thank you.
.-= Alex Radway´s last blog ..Laundry lines =-.

Reply

GlobalPatriot February 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm

There is much that we can do as individuals, from the amount of stuff we buy to the kind of cars we drive, but until we make the choice to only by clean energy, the use of coal, oil and natural gas to generate electricity will continue unabated. That’s where government can make a big difference, but, as you indicate, there is not much to rely on there.

Reply

RegressLess February 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Cap and Trade is just more political BS to make the people feel better as well as allowing businesses to continue to profit without making real change. We as individuals should do our part, but industrial reform is the real answer. Bio plastics should be mandatory when viable. Research for making fuel from algae, better solar, and better insulation for homes and buildings should be treated with more importance than the Manhattan Project. It is disgusting that we let the poisoning of our children’s planet to continue for the sake of profit. Man, I wish I knew what to do.

Reply

Global Patriot February 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Your reference to the Manhattan Project is astute. Just imagine if we had set out on such a course after the first oil embargo. The world would be a much different place – cleaner and safer – but the profit motive is too strong. It is a sad reflection on humanity.

Reply

RegressLess February 21, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Cap and Trade is just more political BS to make the people feel better as well as allowing businesses to continue to profit without making real change. We as individuals should do our part, but industrial reform is the real answer. Bio plastics should be mandatory when viable. Research for making fuel from algae, better solar, and better insulation for homes and buildings should be treated with more importance than the Manhattan Project. It is disgusting that we let the poisoning of our children’s planet to continue for the sake of profit. Man, I wish I knew what to do.

Reply

GlobalPatriot February 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Your reference to the Manhattan Project is astute. Just imagine if we had set out on such a course after the first oil embargo. The world would be a much different place – cleaner and safer – but the profit motive is too strong. It is a sad reflection on humanity.

Reply

S.Smith February 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Love the movie.

No cap & trade. It’s simpler: cap. Just stop polluting. So what if it’s not attractive?! We’ll stop polluting one way or another… the question is, do we want to live?
.-= S.Smith´s last blog ..In Lifting Up or Pulling Back, Inhale =-.

Reply

Global Patriot February 21, 2010 at 12:20 pm

We’ve always relied on the “cap” approach to pollution, so I’m also baffled as to why that’s not considered an option with CO2. It’s the simplest and most direct approach.

Reply

Alex Radway February 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

One of my favourite Einstein quote at the beginning (problems/solutions – same level etc.)

Call me a cynic, but I don’t put much faith in big business/world leaders.

I think that any significant change will come from everyone of us making huge changes to our lifestyles….how many pairs of shoes/ new cars/computers do we need.

Responsiblity is key..I liked the ‘having a party and billing the univited folks’ analogy.

Great post.

Thank you.
.-= Alex Radway´s last blog ..Laundry lines =-.

Reply

Global Patriot February 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

There is much that we can do as individuals, from the amount of stuff we buy to the kind of cars we drive, but until we make the choice to only by clean energy, the use of coal, oil and natural gas to generate electricity will continue unabated. That’s where government can make a big difference, but, as you indicate, there is not much to rely on there.

Reply

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