Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cap and Trade

Apparently not signing the Kyoto treaty wasn't such a blunder. The objections to exemptions for China appear to have been valid (see Cap and trade provisions enrich China at the expense of Europe. Considering how much of our debt the Chinese already hold, it seems insanity to give them yet another opportunity to take our wealth away. With respect -Joel


Ira Glickstein said...

Thanks Joel for Authoring a new Topic. Of course I agree with you that Cap & Trade is nuts! According to the link you provided, a German coal powerplant has bought the "right" to continue polluting in exchange for subsidizing a hydroelecric plant in China which forcibly evicted Chinese farmers with what they claim is insufficient compensation. This is just one of some 765 Chinese hydro projects that are in line for such subsidization via carbon credits.

Where I disagree with the linked story is the issue of CO2 emissions. Absent the subsidy for the hydro plants, the Chinese would most likely have built coal powerplants which are cheaper, and that would have added lots of CO2 to the Earth's atmosphere.

As China's economy and standard of living increases, they have to build lots of new powerplants. Thus, the Cap and Trade system has resulted in some reduction in total Earth CO2. Of course I object to exemption of China and other developing countries from the international provisions that apply to developed countries. But, I also want to reduce the total amount of CO2, or at least the rate of increase of CO2.

If Europe had adopted a Carbon Tax instead of Cap & Trade, the price of coal would have increased substantially, making hydro and other alternative energy sources relatively cheaper, and European companies would voluntarily switch away from coal to carbon-neutral sources.

Ira Glickstein

Ira Glickstein said...

In my fog of memory I remember Joel saying something about his involvement reviewing a proposal to sequester carbon in the deep sea. As I recall, he did not think much of the idea.


Joel will be pleased to know that some 300 square kilometers of the Southern Atlantic Ocean were fertilized with some 6 metric tonnes of disolved iron.


According to Watts Up With That?:

"This triggered a bloom of phytoplankton, which doubled their biomass within two weeks by taking in carbon dioxide from the seawater. The dead phytoplankton were then expected to sink to the ocean bed, dragging carbon along with them. Instead, the experiment turned into an example of how the food chain works, as the bloom was eaten by a swarm of hungry copepods."


Ira Glickstein