Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Self-sacrifice to reduce greenhouse gases...No more economic ponzi schemes

We cannot afford more economic trickery so we must carefully consider and then reject any type of cap and trade program for reducing greenhouse gases. They are complex, make assumptions that are untested in the real world of market economies, and will cost taxpayers billions if they do not work the way their advocates suggest. Their principal advocates are a rag tag coalition of big businesses, environmentalists, and investment banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Their leaders in Congress hail from the state we all want to emulate - California, just kidding!

If we believe that rising greenhouse gases are a problem and we want to lower them, then we should raise the consumer retail price of greenhouse gas producing products and services so that all of earth’s citizens sacrifice for the good of the planet. It is just plain old common sense that all countries should have to follow the same rules so that we all make financial and comfort sacrifices for future generations of Earth’s people. If we are unwilling to turn our thermostats down in winter and up in summer as well as paying more for the energy that we consume in our homes, cars, snowmobiles, four wheelers, boat motors, airplanes, etc., than climate change is just another economic ponzi scheme for the rich and powerful.

After what we have been through in housing finance, anyone who believes that America’s largest corporations, federal regulators, Wall Street, and our insulated, elitist, take-no-responsibility-for-anything elected leaders are looking out for our collective welfare is just plain stupid and beyond redemption.

There are some who suggest the redistributionist notion that wealthy countries like America and the EU countries pay the price of cleaning the air for all. While it is true that Americans and Europeans consume more energy than say South America or Africa, it is also true that many of the innovations discovered in these “wealthy countries” have been shared with those less developed countries. After all, America did rebuild West Germany, much of Europe and Japan after WWII. This is not new behavior for the U.S. Further, think about how much greenhouse gas is created in a war!

It is also true that China and India are consuming more energy with each passing day as their populations are transformed from poor to middle class, rising because of the consumer driven economies of the west. [note: I support transforming America’s economy to a more savings and investment economy and away from “shopping and goods are necessary for happiness” economy. If we put more private investment into biotechnology research and product development, for example, we would improve the world’s water, food production and quality as well as the general health of the world’s citizens.]

This would require a significant tax on greenhouse gas producing goods and services. It is in this direct, transparent manner that we will test the steel and commitment of American consumers to climate change. The most rapid climate change advocates say that transparently raising taxes will not work and support the back-door cap and trade scheme. They are wrong.

President Obama does not seem at all bashful about standing up for his principles even if that means doing unpopular things in the short term. He certainly does not seem to be adverse to raising taxes or to continue the Bush legacy of debt (future taxes) if necessary. It is time that we tie what Americans say they want to self-sacrifice to determine if they are really committed.

I’m for higher consumer retail taxes on all greenhouse gas producing goods and services. Let’s all sacrifice for the greater good or turn our attention to something we are willing to make sacrifices for. What do you think and why?

More reasons for cap and trade skepticism…

“The Kyoto Protocol introduced Carbon Credit Schemes (CCS), which would permit the bigger polluters (oil and gas companies, paper mills, etc.), and even provincial governments, to purchase carbon credits to give themselves a better image and conscience. The schemes were set up so that those polluters could buy carbon credits when they are unable to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions equal to or below the industry set quotas.”

“They will try to deny that it is a license to pollute. They will try to convince us that it will be an incentive to the polluters to finance projects that are less polluting. We won't understand a word they say. They will try to explain concepts that only the initiated will be able to understand. They will dangle the prospect of a bright future. Don't be fooled.”

“The rest of the schemes proposed are all show, which will only lead to price increases to the consumer. We see it every day, big polluters never are embarrassed to increase consumer prices. In five years, greenhouse gas emissions will not be reduced globally; to the contrary. The lure of profit money is too great.
And these carbon credit schemes will become the next financial scandal that will burst and impact us. Consumers should remember: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is a trick deal. Therefore you need to abstain from investing.”

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