• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Cap and Trade is About Status – Not the Environment

    In economics, signaling to convey information about can come in a variety of forms. You can signal in job interviews by what you reveal on your resume; you can signal to people just by the type of car you drive. In New Zealand, the parliamentary committee is suggesting the country should implement carbon caps to signal to the rest of the world, even if it does nothing to improve the environment, that New Zealand is “doing something.”

    The Wall Street Journal reports:

    To the annals of global warming lunacy, add this gem from New Zealand: According to a parliamentary committee, Kiwis should accept lower standards of living to protect the national image abroad.

    The findings of the “Emissions Trading Review Committee” aren’t binding, but they tell much about how deep today’s green religion runs. New Zealand has a nominally conservative government run by Prime Minister John Key. But even Mr. Key won’t consider completely disavowing environmental taxes in the form of cap-and-trade—he just wants to soften them. He ordered a parliamentary committee last year to figure out how.

     

    Their report, issued last week, doesn’t question disputed United Nations climate-change assumptions, nor explain the cost to the average Kiwi of taxing every corner of the economy—especially agriculture, the country’s biggest export. The authors brush aside the fact that New Zealand only emits 0.2% of global emissions, calling it “small,” but “not insignificant.” Thus Wellington should “act now” to reduce emissions “to protect our international reputation, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism.””

    What’s worse, New Zealand’s green initiative sent the wrong signals to loggers and did more damage to the environment than its intention to protect it:

    As soon as the former Labour government started talked about global-warming initiatives, foresters started chopping down trees to reduce their carbon footprint—and cost of buying emissions permits in the future. Over the past few years, New Zealand has experienced severe deforestation. Economic activity in the sector has plateaued.

    Then there is the broader cost to macroeconomic growth, which isn’t marginal. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, an independent consultancy, estimated last year that the cap-and-trade scheme could cost as much as 3,000 New Zealand dollars ($2,500) in reduced income annually for the average family. But the truth is that no one really knows what the ultimate impact will be, given that New Zealand, by rendering its industries less competitive, will make it permanently harder for them to compete at home and abroad.”

    The Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill in the United States would do much of the same – lower our standard of living, fail to improve the environment, and make little difference to change the global temperature.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    22 Responses to Cap and Trade is About Status – Not the Environment

    1. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      When is the heritage foundation going to employ a reputable independent scientist to the assembled panel of economists who call themselves experts on the environment and currently appear to be briefing America on global climate change issues?

      Get someone with a scientific background. i.e. someone who knows how to interpret the significance of climate change data and has authority in this area to fight your corner.

      Economists should not be engaged in arguing about the validity of scientific evidence, scientists should. Would scientists be welcome advising economists how to run the economy. Would I employ a cobbler to fix my electric oven?

      From what I can see, economists are a bunch of charlatans who cannot agree amongst themselves about how the global economy will recover from their own debacle of a financial melt down. And here we have the academically brilliant committee bad mouthing scientific research to justify their next theory on how their economy should run.

      Have you read the Stern report? Get a real job and do something worthwhile!

    2. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      At least New Zealand has the spine to try and do something! Criticism is the easiest thing in the world. Journalists make a good living from it. A constructive response is harder!

    3. Pingback: Cap and Trade is About Status – Not the Environment « Prayer, News & Action

    4. TonyfromOz Coomera A says:

      Pretend for a minute that you actually accept how this whole CO2 emissions debate is contributing to Climate Change.

      The CO2 content of the whole overall Worldwide is 387PPM, and keep in mind that's 387 parts in one million, or 0.0387% of the overall Atmosphere.

      If, and that's a pretty big IF, we immediately, right now, shut down every coal fired power plant on the Planet, that level will stay the same, and if it's warming the Planet as it is now, then that warming will continue at the same rate.

      Reducing emissions in a local area, (as a whole) say, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, or now with proposal of Waxman Markey, in the U.S. then that, per se, will not reduce the overall Worldwide total, considering that the UN exempts all those 160 or more Developing Countries. Hence, their emissions, already increasing, will keep increasing and thus adding to the overall CO2 total.

      You cannot, figuratively speaking, build a wall around your Country so your emissions reduce, thus alleviating the problem in your own Country, because the Atmospheric level of CO2 is in the air, EVERYWHERE, as a whole.

      Reducing CO2 emissions in your own Country will not change that overall total, which will still be increasing if you can see that point.

      The CO2 in the air is the same in New Zealand, as it is in the U.S. as it is in Europe, and as it is in India and China.

      It's still only 0.0387%, Nitrogen 76.55% and Oxygen 20.54%, and Water Vapor, the largest of the Greenhouse gases 1.95% with CO2 0.0387%.

      Passing draconian legislation just to 'set an example. or increase status or to show you are doing something is a futile thing if nothing changes.

    5. Greg Zotta says:

      Cap and Trade (Tax)

      Obama campaigned on the platform of “Hope and Change” throughout his race for the presidency. I stated if he gets elected all we will have left is change. At the rate Obama and the Democrats are going we will not even have the change left.

      The House of Representatives just passed the Cap and Trade (i.e. Cap and Tax) bill because of the Hoax of global warming. This law will cause our energy prices to rise and make it more difficult for you to sell your home among other things. Obama stated under cap and trade he will bankrupt the coal industry and energy costs will necessarily skyrocket. Under a cap and trade system, government sets a cap on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted nationally; companies (like Goldman Sachs) then buy or sell permits to emit CO2. The cap then gets cranked down over time to reduce total carbon emissions, increasing costs. Remember ENRON? That was a company that traded in CO2 offsets.

      This was another bill that was voted on by our Congressman without being read. Is it too much to ask our politicians to at least read the bills before they vote on them? What happened to Obama’s promise of “transparency,” and the bills being on the government’s website for five days for the citizens to review?

      Immigration reform (amnesty) and healthcare (Nationalized Medicine) are also on the table. Obama and the Democrats are on the fast track towards Socialism, and that is why they are trying to rush these bills through before the public realizes the harm it will cause this country. What they are doing is not in the best interest of this country, it is about “control.” If they pass these things we will have to endure the results until the 2010 and 2012 elections, when we can get a chance to fire them, and roll these laws back.

      Greg Zotta

    6. Bob, Portland, OR says:

      Hey VW-UK, to quote the Late great Van Jones. "Green isn't about solar panels, it's about reaportionment and redistribution of wealth". It sounds so much more eloquant we he says it.

      By the way, your own country's scientists just announced that Al's movie, inconvenient truth has been down graded from a scientific documentory to entertainment, why you might ask, well, because it lakes any real scientific evidence.

      It seems that the movies math, had some significant errors in a key area of the calculations. Hey, mistakes happen…

      As for our courage, we have it and we are using it to keep our country free.

      Viva la 2010!

    7. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      Thank you Tony.

      The following is a letter sent to me from my Dad, who really is a rocket scientist:

      As I understand the theory, the sun emits a steady stream of protons from its undisturbed surface. Those protons "wash" out much of the intergallactic cosmic rays entering our solar system. Those cosmic rays that do enter our atmosphere interact with our upper atmosphere's molecules to form lower-energy charged particles — ions. Those ions then cause the troposphere's water molecules to condense and form high cirrus clouds. An effect of these clouds adds to the Greenhouse Heating Effect .

      The area of the sun's surface comprising a sunspot emits a reduced proton flux.. This reduction results an increases the amount of cosmic rays reaching the earth's atmosphere. This, in turn, increases the warming of the earth's surface. Reducing sunspots cools the earth.

      Sunspot activity has several cycles, one of which is about 11 years — which has been known for more than a century and which roughly corresponds to the global heating from 1980 to 1996. Global heating having bottomed out, significant cooling started in 2002 and continues. The link in the below e-mail describes how we currently are having very low sunspot activity;.

      Another heating cycle also related to sunspots lasts about 200 years. About two hundred years ago there was significant global cooling. The Hudson River (New York) and the Thames River (London) froze over for several successive winters. Lakes in Pennsylvalia had solid, floating ice remaining in July. Little publicized in the media, many scientists worldwide have been predicting that the earth has probably been entering a mini-ice age.since the turn of the century. It remains to be seen because scientists say about 90% of the data needed to predict future global temperatures accurately has not yet been acquired..

      Many climatologists have poopoohed the UN IPCC's [ International Panel on Climate Control's] Hypothesis that humans affect climate. Nevertheless, the alarmists are still trying to enact the Cap and Trade Program so as to reduce human CO2 carbon dioxide emissions in order to save our environment from destruction from global heating. There is absolutely zero data which validate the UN IPCC's Hypothesis and significant physical evidence that it is false.

      I though you's be interested in the above, particularly since Cap and Trade is still pending, will wreck our economy AND THE ENVIRONMENT, and citizen input to Congress still is urgent.

      From: NASA Science News

      To: NASA Science News

      Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 2:37 PM

      Subject: Are Sunspots Disappearing?

      NASA Science News for September 3, 2009

      The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century. Weeks and sometimes whole months go by without even a single tiny sunspot. Are sunspots disappearing? Experts discuss the question in today's story from Science@NASA.

      FULL STORY at

      http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/03sep_sun

    8. Mike Arthur says:

      It does not take "spine" to run, willy-nilly off a cliff; Only the mind set of a lemming and a fanatical belief in the supremacy of the state.

    9. Mike Arthur, Peoria, says:

      It does not take “spine” to run, willy-nilly off a cliff; Only the mind set of a lemming and a fanatical belief in the supremacy of the state.

    10. Brad S,, Detroit, MI says:

      Hey VW from the UK -

      You make an excellent point -

      "Economists should not be engaged in arguing about the validity of scientific evidence, scientists should. Would scientists be welcome advising economists how to run the economy. Would I employ a cobbler to fix my electric oven? "

      So – would I listen to what a politician has to say over climatology ? Al Gore is a political hack that is in the "game" of the global warming hoax to make some money. Plain and simple. Let me know how you feel about Global Warming and Climate Change in about 10 years as temperatures continue to drop.

    11. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Cap and Trade sounds like a noble effort! actually it is akin to tilting lances at windmills. We in the U.S> without addition emmission control, account for less than 2% of the World's air emmissions. Cap and Trade is just another Tax on a Tax!

      We already have it in place here in Oregon. Starting in 2010 the average household will pay an additional $200.00 per year for power. That doubles every year until 2020. It does nothing to reduce emmissions, just more State Revenue!

      Now consider adding the same Federal tax on to that tax! A lot less spending money in the Citizen's pocket! It may be called a fee, or a license, but a tax is a tax is a tax.

      Now consider that China id building four coal poered electrical plants a week! Yes, four a week! And they really polute! Think we'll have any effect? Think New Zeland will have any effect?

      We cannot stop China nor India, who account for more tha 95% of the air emissions, so why are we being punished with more taxes and more restrictions?

      Remember when the Federal Government took control of the emissions from our cars? Then they added alcohol? The result was; in 1959 you could buy a Rambler for under $2,000 that consistantly got 36 m.p.g. at highway speeds, and this was when the highways were posted at 75 M.P.H.

      Now we have cars so emissiom complicated that even if the cost differential is accounted for the fifty years, costs three times as much, gets 2/3rds the milage, at a lower posted speed, and you, yourself cannot work on it, as it requires special computors to do the job! And as far as emissions go, they are insignificant when one takes into account the improvements in metals, and lubricating oils, tires, and intake systems!

      Open markets take care of themselves in this Nation. We cannot dictate to neither China nor India, what to do with emissions. We shall not have to pay for anything that will have no effect whatsoever on the enviroments!

      We all need to tell our States and the Feds that we are not stupid, not ignorant, nor are they gods and above all of us in the fray, so stop lying to us, stop taxing us and get real, tell the truth, we can take the truth!

      Hozro

    12. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Lynn B DeSpain.

      Please refer to the EPA's own figures to get your own US mesurements. For 2% see the real figure, over 20% of total global emmissions. This is some effort as the US makes up approximately 4.5% of the worlds population. You guys are sure busy burning things! Please quote genuine data. Truth is an important element in this debate, untruths are unacceptable.

      http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ggrpt/index.html

    13. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Bob Protland…You seem to have stumbled upon an "inconveinient truth" I mayself am not privvy to. You refer to some information I have not seen. Please provide your sources, or are your talking about nine factual inaccuracies in the film.

      Reporting on the high court judgement is provided below.

      "Mr Justice Burton said he had no complaint about Gore's central thesis that climate change was happening and was being driven by emissions from humans. However, the judge said nine statements in the film were not supported by mainstream scientific consensus.

      In his final verdict, the judge said the film could be shown as long as updated guidelines were followed.

      These say teachers should point out controversial or disputed sections.

      Without the guidance, updated after the case was launched, the government would have been breaking the law, the judge said.

      The government has sent the film to all secondary schools in England, and the administrations in Wales and Scotland have done the same."

      I welcome any clarification on your part, as I would love to see genuine evidence against global warming…nobody has yet put any such evidence forward.

    14. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Brad S, Detroit.

      Please read from your own governments data. For N.H. (24-90N) the 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are all in the top 10 warmest years on record. Please provide your evidence temperatures are dropping. I accept that this data is limited, but it is more data than you have provided!

      Source http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    15. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Ben C, Ann Arbor

      "Many climatologists have poopoohed the UN IPCC’s [ International Panel on Climate Control's] Hypothesis that humans affect climate"

      Please ask your dad for the size of many. This is subjective.

      Please see "A majority of climatologists have concluded that human activities are responsible for most of the warming"

      "http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/global_warming_worldbook.html"

      Please refer to the university of Illinois survey of earth scientists.

      "1. When compared with pre-1800s

      levels,

      do you think that mean global temperatures

      have generally risen, fallen, or

      remained relatively constant?

      2. Do you think human activity is a significant

      contributing factor in changing

      mean global temperatures?"

      Of 3146 participants

      "Results show that overall, 90% of participants

      answered “risen” to question 1

      and 82% answered yes to question 2."

      http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final….

      I am very interested in what you have to say but if global warming is true, it will wreck not just wealth, economies but actually whole ecosystems will be destroyed. You can't eat dollars.

      Check out the short summary of the Stern review

      http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/CLOSED_SHORT_exec

      Or the longer one if you have a little more time.

      Sun spot evidence needs investigating, sure, we need more research, please please put numbers and don't put generalities forward.

    16. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      TonyfromOz Coomera

      "It’s still only 0.0387%, Nitrogen 76.55% and Oxygen 20.54%, and Water Vapor, the largest of the Greenhouse gases 1.95% with CO2 0.0387%."

      Are you suggesting, Tony, that any gas at 385.57 ppm cannot have any impact on global warming? Mauna Loa data shows an average increase of 1.42 PPM PER ANNUM. In terms of pure numbers this is very small, in terms of thousands of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere above natural levels this is significant. If you or other climate change sceptics cannot understand the nature and risk of such large scale experimentation with our planets atmosphere I really do despair. This only thing that is certain is that, unchecked activity throughout human history has ended in environmental disaster. The point you "figuratively" made is true. New Zealand has no chance on it's own to change the global situation. The point I'm making is that is we don't start doing something soon, the risks of a global catastrophe due to our colossal atmospheric experiment going wrong increase all the time. It will be our children who will pay the bill, and none of us know how much that bill will be. Good on yer Kiwis.

    17. TonyfromOz Coomera Q says:

      V Wilkinson U.K.

      I would direct you to this link showing the link between Global CO2 levels and Global temperature.

      http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/GlobWarmTest/A6

      As you can see from the chart below the Atmospheric content there, Global CO2 levels (the black line) are at one of the lowest levels in our Planet's history.

      During earlier periods, as you can also see there, those CO2 levels have been considerably higher.

      During one period of an extended Ice Age they were in fact 12 times higher than they are today, at 4400PPM. If the level we have now is supposedly melting the ice we have now, why did not 12 times that (now) content melt all that immensely huge ice at that time, and here, we're talking from the North polar Ice cap down to the top of Africa. It did not contribute to global warming then, so then why should it suddenly be contributing to global warming now?

      Even earlier, the level was more than 7000PPM, still less than 1% of the overall content of the whole atmosphere.

      Sometimes Science actually does have two sides, and some people conveniently prefer to look at only the Science that

      would confirm their beliefs.

    18. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Tonyfromoz,

      "Sometimes Science actually does have two sides, and some people conveniently prefer to look at only the Science that

      would confirm their beliefs."

      You've hit the nail on the head there. Look at your site…very interesting indeed. The data clearly shows you to be perfectly correct in your assertions on historical CO2 concentrations of CO2.

      Firstly, The CO2 levels 530 million years ago in the pre-cambrian world, where the highest form of life were cyanoacteria and dinosaurs were still 300 million years in the future bears little or no relevance to the climate change debate currently at the center of scientific attention today, as are CO2 levels of pre-historical levels.

      The data is credited rightly to Christopher R Scotese, Associate Professor, Ph.D., University of Chicago. I quote now from his own web site.

      "We are entering a new phase of continental collision that will ultimately result in the formation of a new Pangea supercontinent in the future. Global climate is warming because we are leaving an Ice Age and because we are adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere"

      http://www.scotese.com/modern.htm

      Now taking other quotes supporting the thesis that climate change is hoax and bunkum.

      "Right now I do not have confidence that changes in sea ice and clouds are done correctly in climate models. The annual cycle is not correct in many models, so why should it be correct in climate change [projections]?"

      Attributed to Kevin Trenberth – head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder

      This quote is some 11 years out of date… the site is now looking decidedly desperate…

      "Today’s best climate models are now able to reproduce the observed major climate changes of the past century. When the models are run without human changes in the atmosphere, the natural forcings and intrinsic natural variability fail to capture the increase in global surface temperature over the past 35 years or so. But when the anthropogenic effects are included, the models simulate the observed global temperature record with impressive fidelity" – Feb 2008

      Taken from Trenberth's response to the Gray hypothesis that…"We Are Not In Climate Crisis".

      http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/XchangeGray

      This debate is not couched in terms of certainty, it rests on probabilities and assessing and responding globally to risk. The "Tragedy of the commons" element is important in respect of the current article.

      Actually, the system of commons existed in the UK for hundreds of years and still exists and is a testimony to the ability man has to cooperate and work for the common good. We are actually very groupish in behaviour, we do not exist in isolation.

      The cost of getting this wrong on the taxation side pales into insignificance next to the cost of getting it wrong on the environmental side. I don't like the idea of going through the windscreen of my car when I drive so I wear a seatbelt to mitigate the risk, similarly, taking the less risky option with climate change seems evidently to be the sensible line of response.

      Finally. Monte Hieb…the source of your web site states no climatology or related scientific qualifications, but appears to be employed by the West Virginia Office of Miner’s Health, Safety, and Training. Most certainly he has interests in seeing continued consumption of carbon fossil fuels.

      He even references the Junkscience website run by Steve Milloy…assessed as a paid advocate for Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil and other corporations.

      If you want to find conspiracies…here lies an interesting avenue of enquiry!

      Please be very sceptical of all sources and seek sound sources for both sides of the debate. The internet is NOT a good source for information I recommend .gov and .ac websites with sound links and accreditiaions.

    19. Dr. Dan Ulseth, Sacr says:

      TonyfromOz, reading your debate with VW – UK reminds me of the scene in "Princess Bride" where the Prince is facing off with the arch-nemesis over the poisoned wine goblet. You are the Prince, LOL.

      VW – it never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which humans think they can affect something as elaborate, massive, complex, ever-changing, resilient and full of unknown unknowns as the earth's climate. When the deck of cards that is the Global Warming charade comes crashing down, will we hear even one syllable of apology from the hysterical promoters? I think not.

    20. Harry Snyder Mich. says:

      I would like the writers from the UK, or anywhere else, to explain the phenomenon called "The Medieval Climate Optimum" and other titles. I understand it explained the Vikings' ability to colonize Iceland permanently and Greenland until the 1300's and have a prosperous society. I understand that England was blessed with a climate favorable to all kinds of agriculture during that era, too. I am serious; Something must have caused that phenomenon. Thank you.

    21. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Dr Dan, The world as a whole is a complex and unfathomable entity, but humans have so far managed to deforest huge areas of land, hoover the seas dry of many types of fish, cause the extinction of inestimable number of species and basically destroy the natural environment like no other creature that has ever before walked, crawled, flown, flapped or slimed on this earth. What makes you think we could have no effect on climate?

    22. V Wilkinson, UK says:

      Harry Snyder Mich. Check out

      http://www.climate.noaa.gov/images/about_climate/

      Note warming periods through the earlier years in the 1000 year graph. Note the last 150 years!

      cheers

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×