(Similar but larger essay on Wordpress to come soon)
GOLD MAN SAYS: CLAP AND TREAD. OFF WITH ITS HEAD!
Obama's USA, right now, intends to reduce emissions only with a "Cap and Trade" system. "Cap and Trade" was used, supposedly successfully, in the USA, to reduce acid rain. However, Europe controlled its acid problem without "Cap and Trade". Regulations can work better. After all, there are just regulations for toys, cars, house appliances and medical drugs. One does not do "Cap and Trade" with carcinogens. why to do it with something even more dangerous?
Oh, we shall cap the number of slaves to one million, and then trade them? No, we shall not. Why? Because trading slaves is bad, that's why. This is what happened in Europe: too many free pollution permits were given, well, for free. That was embarrassing. Europe was saved by its enormous pre-existing energy taxes and regulations.
Then "Cap and Trade" has been used in the European Union for 5 years, for CO2 reductions, and it has been hard to implement. Many a European company turned it into an outrageous subsidy (sometimes through elaborated misrepresentation of their previous emissions). "Cap and Trade", in Europe, is a second order effect on the reduction of CO2 production, the main effect being regulations, and taxes on fuel, energy, and now carbon (in France for the later).
The great advantage of "Cap and Trade", for the USA, is that it is a subsidy to the usual suspects, led, of course, by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs, also known as "Government Sachs", is the true government of the USA, motivated not by what the American rabble wants, but by the profit motive. "Cap and Trade" will make Gold Man richer, so Gold Man is all for it, so it will happen. What should progressives do? Well, denounce loudly but support meekly, because a bit of progress is better than none.
But then here comes Paul Krugman. Among many raging American "conservatives" Krugman has an extreme leftist reputation, but many of the policies he has advocated recently, or opinions he has presented, the elected leaders of the European right would reject with horror as intolerably right wing. An example is the zero interest rate policy, a lamentable give away to banks. Krugman supports it, in spite of its disastrous effects on the saving rate, American seniors, the dollar, stable currency rates, and the unfair cheapening of the USA.
So now Krugman has turned into a herald for Goldman Sachs (See the annex below on Gold Man Sacks and Cap & Trade). In Unhelpful Hansen
James Hansen is a great climate scientist. He was the first to warn about the climate crisis; I take what he says about coal, in particular, very seriously.
Unfortunately, while I defer to him on all matters climate, today’s op-ed article suggests that he really hasn’t made any effort to understand the economics of emissions control. And that’s not a small matter, because he’s now engaged in a misguided crusade against cap and trade, which is — let’s face it — the only form of action against greenhouse gas emissions we have any chance of taking before catastrophe becomes inevitable.
With all due respect, you are making an Americano-American reasoning here. Hansen is right, you are not. "We have no chance of getting a carbon tax for the foreseeable future", you say. Who is "we"? WE, all of use, have just one planet, one biosphere, and the USA, or more exactly the American oligarchs and plutocrats and their factories in China are polluting it to death.
The average American produces 24 tons of CO2 per person, the average French produces 6 tons. The French don't live four times better, but close. It's directly related. When all you do is waste, all you get is hate.
The rest of the world has implemented plenty of various taxes, for example on gasoline, etc. Even China has augmented enormously its gasoline tax in the last 18 months. Moreover, China has made its own increasingly stringent European laws on carbon emissions (although an electric car in China will emit 231 grams of CO2 per kilometer, whereas it would emit only 21 grams in France; American cars emit, in the average 333 grams, and the latest european regulation are for 120 grams…)
France, not content with its formidable taxes on energy, is introducing a carbon tax, on top of them, January 1, 2010, in 3 weeks. If the USA will not listen to reason, it goes without saying that carbon taxation on imports could be used as a way to demolish the industry of the USA, or whatever is left of it, after the Obama administration has subsidized it to death (this is an allusion to the 70 billion dollars injected by Obama in thoroughly inept General Motors… Ah, long gone are the days when an astute GM and a Jew hating Ford worked for Hitler, producing most of some of the types of vehicles Hitler's armed forces used, while naïve American GIs battled them on the ground… Where is the subtlety of old gone? Wall Street's world control is slipping, dissipating as carbon smoke in thin air…)
Europe introduced colossal taxes on energy long ago. Even Norway, which produces more oil per person than Saudi Arabia, has colossal energy taxes. In many European countries the price of gas is close to ten dollars a gallon (although oil is intrinsically cheaper there, being closer to cheap production centers).
Europe had "Cap and Trade" for years. It was a formidable subsidy for polluters. The carbon market is based in Paris. Even then, the French regulators were unable to prevent various misuses of the system. In the USA, Goldman Sachs will be in charge. Great. You will get the usual "Clap and Tread". Everybody applauding Gold Man Sacks treading on the people.
Praying at the feet of Goldman Sachs does not help. The rest of the world is increasingly fed up with the American attitude. I will expand my complaint on my site.