Cap and Dividend makes economic and logical sense

January 15, 2015 – by John Blair, editor. Editor’s note: This was written in response to an Evansville Courier and Press opinion piece by one Robert Adams that appeared in the Courier & Press on January 7, 2015.Melting globe

I am surprised the CourierPress gave Robert Adams (ECP 1/7/15) nearly the whole editorial page to rail against a bill that made it no where after House passage in 2009 and has not seen the light of day since. Retroactive paranoia, perhaps. And of course. Mr. Adams postulates all the evils he perceived in that bill as destructive to the capital system but seemed to understand little about its purpose or design.

What was missing in the fifty inch column was any acknowledgment of the consequences we are likely to suffer as a result of severe and minor alterations of the Earth’s climate. To Adams, it matters little that great numbers of both animal and plant species will succumb, nor that huge human populations will be displaced as sea levels rise. Or, he doesn’t seem to care about drought and wildfires or flooding and super storms. And, what about the precipitous increases in everyone’s Homeowners’ insurance that will result? Do these things not matter to Adams?

Cap and Trade is The capitalist response to carbon pollution. It sets up new markets for the capitalists to engage, not the other way around.

But, C&T is not the way to go. Instead, a carbon tax paid on each pound of CO2 used and refunded to all, equally is the real answer. That way, people who want to waste energy are not restricted from doing so, it will just cost them. Meanwhile, those who conserve energy will benefit by a nice “check in the mail” to cover and likely exceed any increase in energy cost attributable the tax. That is called “Cap and Dividend.” Any financial harm of such an assessment will be borne only by those who mindlessly waste fossil energy.

Meanwhile, renewable energy is here now and competitively priced. Its wide spread advance will create a greatly improved and cleaner economy as we transition from carbon. Efficiency measures will continue to improve as the climate stabilizes as  will climate refugees. Translation: lots of new jobs.

If we do not take the necessary steps to counter this crisis, consequences will be dire and our children and their children will be just pitiful pawns in a morbid game the fossil industry demands for our future.

In the end, why are so many “conservatives” so unwilling to conserve?

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