Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cap-and-Trade Promoter on My Doorstep

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I been in a few yammerin' comments section gabfests with boogers like Cam and Steve and Scott and Pogge and StageLeft. One thing we been talkin' about on the boogs is, "Which is faster -- carbon tax or cap'n'trade?" It's been rainin' here again today and I just looked out the front door. Danged if there weren't a buncha cap'n'traders on my doorstep. I took a photo of one of 'em.

I reckon the cap'n'traders'll get to where they're headed... eventually.



Blues Clair said...

Ha! Beautiful picture Mr. Sez. It could also represent the NDPs surge to the reigns of power... that being said, did you see this headline over the Globe and Mail: Tories looking for ways to cut gas price? This is going to be an ugly federal election.


Ryan said...

Ahhh... partisanship runs both ways I see.

I don't think it should be a choice between the two. Perhaps a combination of the two would work better. Though, I'm not sure if either will be adequate to stop climate change. Maybe a completely different approach from the two is required. Maybe something more drastic, like a carbon ration based on income would be better.

JimBobby said...

Ahhh... partisanship runs both ways I see.

I don't think it should be a choice between the two.

Whooee! Well, Ryan, I been sayin' the two are needed and are not mutually exclusive fer quite a while. Way back on May 21, I posted specifically on the desirability of a two-pronged approach.

I've commented on many blogs to that effect. The Green Party policy calls for both tactics to be used in tandem. I've repeatedly stated that we need to use every tool available to us.

Like most analysts, I feel that both methods work. And, like most, I think that cap-and-trade, effective as it will be, is the slower of the two. The EU experience has been that they set up the C&T market mechanism 10 years ago but they're still trying to make it work. Cap and trade requires agreed upon caps and agreed upon prices for exceeding the caps. The negotiations aimed at setting those caps and prices has been dragging on for 10 years.

Carbon taxes can be imposed with the next budget, like any new taxes can be. The carbon tax and complimentary tax cuts in a tax-shift plan do not require big polluters to come to the table and stall, stall, stall for 5 or 10 years.

Like I said in this post, "I reckon the cap'n'traders'll get to where they're headed... eventually."

Some C&T proponents refuse to accept the idea of a two-pronged approach and contend that a cap-and-trade system (and ONLY a cap and trade system) is best. I disagree. The Green Party disagrees.

We need both. That doesn't mean that C&T is just as good or just as fast as carbon taxation. Back when I pounded nails for a living, I carried a truckload of tools with me. I had power saws and handsaws, power drills and hand drills, power screwdrivers and hand screwdrivers. Depending on the task at hand, I would choose the most effective tool. Well, usually. ;-) The most effective tool is not always the fastest. The slowest tool is always the slowest, though.

We need not only C&T and a carbon tax, but other additional tools, too. We know of two methods that do work. We shouldn't shelve those methods while we try to come up with something else. we should employ those methods and keep striving for more ways to avert catastrophe.

I find it interesting that in many discussions I have with NDP supporters, they express similar views to yours: "Perhaps a combination of the two would work better." i.e. a willingness to accept a two-pronged approach. Yet, the official NDP policy completely rejects that approach. If your willingness to work with both tools is as prevalent as it seems from my discussions, I wonder why this attitude isn't making its way to the NDP policy wonks and leaders.


Ryan said...

The NDP is attempting to distinguish itself from the Liberals. While I understand the reasoning, I don't agree with it.

If the NDP wants to differentiate from the Liberals, go green to the fullest extent possible.

Anonymous said...

The NDP may be attempting to distinquish itself, but, by carping on the carbon-tax-is-bad theme, it is simply making it more likely that Canada (and BC) will do nothing. Jack Layton is not going to be Prime Minister in 2009, so how is the NDP doing anything constructive on moving Canada toward pricing carbon as soon as possible?

I wonder if the NDPs words are really based on an attempt to distinquish itself. They sound like they are based on the attempt to woo voters by playing into the tax-is-bad theme, with slogans like "make big polluters pay" as if carbon tax and cap and trade were different in this way.

Anonymous said...

Gald to see your still at it Jimmy :P

Thought you knew already, All you have to do to reduce emmissions is tax it. Tax makes everything dissappear like magic marker off a pigs ass doncha know?