A contributor to Grist, which advertises itself as “a blogful of leafy green goodness,” is saying NO to a carbon tax and YES to a take-no-prisoners cap-and-trade program. A comment on the post succintly lays out the blueprint of a stringent cap-and-trade program:
“… the minimum you need for a cap & trade to be acceptable to progressives is:
- NO giveaways 100% auctioning
- NO offsets.
- NO escape clauses.
- Permits auctioned frequently and conveniently enough that buying them directly rather through traders is real option
- Permits have a life of no more than three years, and a start date no more than three years from time of auction. (So you could buy a permit that takes effect three years from now and expires three years from that).
I think with those three provisions most carbon tax advocates will accept it as second best.
If you want well designed (as opposed to acceptably designed) I add the following. I think it will work well enough without the following, but for best policy add:
- Minimum prices close to the best guess as to actual cost (greatly reduces volatility).
- A quarter percent tax on resale of permits. (Discourages trading and encourages direct purchasing.)”
This is serious stuff–and reason for even the Obama Administration to postpone action on pricing carbon for not one year but longer. And by this time, everyone can wake up to the fact that mitigation it is not–far too little too late by the alarmists’ own math–and adaptation it is–the wealth-is-health approach.
For as both sides know, the science of spectroscopy concludes that man-made greenhouse gas forcing has less and less of an effect as the atmosphere fills with such emissions. Or in technical terms, the effect of GHG forcing is logarithmic, not linear.