Cap-and-trade creator says it won’t work

August 13, 2009

The creator of the cap-and-trade concept told the Wall Street Journal that he doubts the scheme will work for greenhouse gas emissions. According to the article:

Mr. [Thomas] Crocker sees two modern-day problems in using a cap-and-trade system to address the global greenhouse-gas issue. The first is that carbon emissions are a global problem with myriad sources. Cap-and-trade, he says, is better suited for discrete, local pollution problems. “It is not clear to me how you would enforce a permit system internationally,” he says. “There are no institutions right now that have that power.”…

The other problem, Mr. Crocker says, is that quantifying the economic damage of climate change — from floods to failing crops — is fraught with uncertainty…

“Once a cap is in place,” he warns, “it is very difficult to adjust.” For example, buyers of emissions permits would see their value reduced if the government decided in the future to loosen the caps…

Crocker’s last point is more correctly expressed as there being a great deal of uncertainty about whether climate change is necessarily a bad thing. A slightly warming planet, after all, is most likely much more desirable than a slightly cooling planet.

4 Responses to “Cap-and-trade creator says it won’t work”

  1. dublds Says:

    There’s a simple solution to the shortcomings cited by Mr. Crocker: One world currency and one world government.

    What else did he think this was about, the environment? HA!

  2. higgy68 Says:

    The situation goes a lot deeper than harnessing so-called greenhouse gases. The first consideration is is greenhouse gas a problem. Given that the first really is a problem; the second is which greenhouse gas is worthy of consideration. Water vapor constitutes roughly 96% of all greenhouse gas; CO2 is 2 to 3%. A volcanic eruption gives off more CO2 than the entire USA generates in a year. If we concentrate on water vapor what do we really do to the environment? More and more informed people no longer believe in global warming and it’s so-called impact on the planet. As Crocker suggests we would be better off cleaning up some of the local messes we’ve made, like the Chesapeake Bay.

  3. cbullitt Says:

    Well, here’s some more moderately good news–with video in the comments:

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