Friday, June 26, 2009

Carbon Swindle

Global warming deniers and doubters have regained a bit of credibility as some scientists have reneged on previous support of human causal factors for the earth’s elevated temperatures. Nonetheless, the U.S. Congress is moving forward today with legislation aimed at creating exchange trade carbon credits and allowances as part of a so-called cap and trade solution to global warming.

The earth’s temperature has increased. Of this there appears to be no disagreement. However, one group of scientists attribute this turn of circumstances to the vagaries of earth’s geologic evolution. Another group has indicted man as the culprit in an irresponsible fouling of the earth’s atmosphere through excessive combustion of hydrocarbons and emission of particulates.

Most detractors of the current legislation before Congress point to the economic cost of cap and trade as just too high without more proof that global warming is really man made. As they are trotted out before the cameras of the various financial news programs, they argue proponents of carbon controls are not factoring all the economics costs of cap and trade.

Indeed, there have been a few variables left out of the economic math associated with global warming and carbon control solutions. Unfortunately, it appears each set of politicians and scientists appear to leave out the ones that are vital to their argument.

My question is this, have we factored in the true economic cost of doing nothing? Just how much are you willing to bet on that group of scientists who say humans are innocent bystanders?

The other vital economic question that appears not be under consideration by either side of the argument is whether the economic costs of carbon emission controls can be justified by the improvements in health and well being that comes from cleaner air. In the case of the United States, there is the added factor of political freedom that comes from reducing dependence upon imports from political adversaries.

Most people, even if not entirely convinced of the man-made argument, find it preferable to take some action to eliminate human originated pollutants rather than just sit by and watch ocean levels rise. I am in this camp. Carbon swindle or the trade of the century - it make no difference. Independence from foreign sourced fossil fuels and reduced pollutants are worth the economic price tag.

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