The High Cost of Cap and Trade: Cap-and-Trade Programs to Control Carbon-Dioxide Emissions Are an Unacceptably Costly Way to Deal with the Supposed Problem of Man-Made Global Warming

By Mass, Warren | The New American, May 11, 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The High Cost of Cap and Trade: Cap-and-Trade Programs to Control Carbon-Dioxide Emissions Are an Unacceptably Costly Way to Deal with the Supposed Problem of Man-Made Global Warming


Mass, Warren, The New American


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The term "cap and trade," in terms of a plan to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions into the air, is one that is heard widely of late as a proposed solution for the supposed problem of global warming. It will be discussed with more frequency as cap-and-trade proposals that failed to pass in the last Congress are reintroduced this year. But many people are still a little hazy about what "cap and trade" actually means. One succinct explanation appeared in an article on the Congressional Budget Office website: "The government would set gradually tightening limits on [C[O.sub.2]] emissions, issue rights (or allowances) corresponding to those limits, and then allow firms to trade the allowances."

Aside from telling us how cap-and-trade programs might operate, the reference to "tightening limits on emissions" gives away the ostensible purpose of these programs: to fight that supposed ominous scourge of the 21st century, global warming.

Those who have accepted the widely promulgated theory that the melting of the polar icecaps and rising of the seas is imminent may believe that any economic cost is worth enduring, if only global warming can be forestalled. However, regular readers of THE NEW AMERICAN, especially those who have read our February 16, 2009 cover story entitled "Whatever Happened to Global Warming?" as well as those who have read any of several well-researched books * disputing both the severity of global warming and the theory that it is caused by man's activities, will not easily accept the argument that a massive and costly government program is needed to prevent a catastrophic ecological event.

To make an informed decision about whether a cap-and-trade program is advisable, therefore, requires that several questions be answered.

Is global warming real, or at least real enough to be threatening?

This question is best dealt with by referring to our February 16 cover story or one of the books cited in the footnote. Suffice it to say that the issue is not as settled as many in the media portray it to be.

What impact, if any, do man-made C[O.sub.2] emissions have on global warming?

In the April 3 issue of the Wall Street Journal, deputy editor George Melloan noted that, according to "serious scientists," "the greenhouse gases are a fundamental part of the biosphere, necessary to all life, and ... industrial activity generates less than 5% of them, if that."

Furthermore, the theory that C[O.sub.2] is the prime culprit in so-called global warming may also be flawed. In the compendium Earth Report 2000, Dr. Roy Spencer, senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, noted: "It is estimated that water vapor accounts for about 95 percent of the earth's natural greenhouse effect, whereas carbon dioxide contributes most of the remaining 5 percent. Global warming projections assume that water vapor will increase along with any warming resulting from the increases in carbon dioxide concentrations."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Dr. Spencer points out that such assumptions are unproven, noting that "there remain substantial uncertainties in our understanding of how the climate system will respond to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases." He observes that the natural greenhouse effect that heats the Earth is offset by natural cooling processes. "In other words," concluded Dr. Spencer, "the natural greenhouse effect cannot be considered in isolation as a process warming the earth, without at the same time accounting for cooling processes that actually keep the greenhouse effect from scorching us all."

Theories on runaway global warming based on C[O.sub.2] emissions postulate that increases in C[O.sub.2] will cause some (minor) heating of the Earth that will in turn cause more water vapor to enter the air from the oceans, thereby causing dangerous heating of the Earth.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The High Cost of Cap and Trade: Cap-and-Trade Programs to Control Carbon-Dioxide Emissions Are an Unacceptably Costly Way to Deal with the Supposed Problem of Man-Made Global Warming
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?