Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Economy & Cap-and-Trade

An article in the Christian Science Monitor last week asked the question “Is a bad economy good for the environment?”

The article was prompted by the fact that the global economic downturn will likely result in a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use and economic growth move together. A growing economy uses more energy, a contracting one less. With current technology and energy sources, greenhouse gases rise and fall accordingly.

The article cites an estimate that European emissions could be 7 percent less than predicted by 2020 due to the recession. U.S. oil consumption is down 7 percent. However, some aren’t impressed by these reductions.

“It’s not a blockbuster impact,” adds Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. “You would have to have a screaming downturn and no manufacturing at all to change that [worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions] in a huge, measurable way.”

If the worst economy since the Great Depression isn't making drastic enough cuts, it's frightening to imagine what it would take. While not many supporters of cap-and-trade would openly admit that they are enjoying the environmental "benefits" of the economic downturn, it appears they would happily see "no manufacturing at all" in the United States, in the name of reduced carbon emissions. There is no other explanation for their support of regulations that will simply drive manufacturing to other countries, like China, where they will do more harm to the global environment.

Ironically, while "environmentalists" tally the reductions resulting from our declining GDP, one country's GDP continues to rise, along with their carbon emissions. While the U.S. economy continues to contract, China's GDP rose at an astonishing 9% in 2008.

So in the end, will cap-and-trade simply send our jobs, emissions and wealth overseas?

To read the article, go to:

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