Thursday, November 4, 2010
Global Warming and the Scourge of CO2
There are pollution laws in effect that are silly and unenforceable, or that can be 'bypassed' with a check to the right person. Fines for corporate violators are incredibly insignificant, and it is cheaper to pay the fine than to fix the problem. Put the teeth back into our regulations. But taxing anything carbon (Obama's Cap'n Trade, for example) is an insult to our intelligence.
In case you don't understand the whole Cap'n Trade scam, here's a simplified explanation: Every company in America must purchase "credits", except for certain ones that have the government's favor, who get their "credits" for free. Under government license, and a share of the cost (not a tax), a market is set up so that companies can buy, sell, and trade these "credits", depending on the level of toxic crap they wish to spew into the environment. The exchange collects a nominal fee for each transaction. But don't worry - this cost won't hurt the companies, because the cost for these expensive little "credits" is passed along to the consumer, buried in the cost of their product. Whew! Didn't want to drive another company overseas, eh, Mr O?
First, the "Cap": The market is only allowed to sell enough "credits" to equal the established pollution levels, designed to stop any increase in pollution. In the year 2035, the amount of "credits" will be reduced, which means less filth being spewed before they must pay fines, and the immediate threat from global warming will begin to be addressed in 25 years. I'm sure those polar bears can sit out another 25 years on that sad little iceberg, even though it looked pretty small in those pictures.
However, companies may wish to use "offsets" as an additional way to reduce CO2 and address global warming. The government has a range of "offsets" to choose from. A company can plant a tree in front of its building, for example. You see, CO2 is bad, and since trees eat CO2, global warming is reduced. The more trees, the more "offsets" they can earn, and they can either sell their unused "credits" for profit, or simply spew more filth than before without getting fined.
Now, the "Trade": One day, Company A pollutes at a rate greater than its share of "credits". Company B, who polluted a bit less that day, has some unused "credits" for sale. They call the Exchange, and the transaction is complete. Company A is happy, for it didn't have to stop spewing its filth, Company B is happy, because it recovered the cost of the credits (remember, these are paid for by the increase in product prices), and the Exchange profits from the buying and selling of "credits" is happy because, rain or shine, it makes money on every transaction. Only the poor consumer (taxpayer) is unhappy, because he ultimately shoulders the cost.
And Mother Nature smiles, because somehow, between all the trading of "credits," global warming magically went away. Obama taxed - excuse me - "credited" it away. Would it not be the greatest of coincidences (the most inconvenient of truths) in history if our very own Albert Gore, Nobel Prize winning, Global Warming fright-monger-in-chief, had already positioned himself to operate this Carbon Exchange? Amazing, isn't it? America is truly the land of opportunity.