August 22, 2012

TAX CARBON AND LET MARKETS DO THE REST:

TMQ's batty AFC season preview (Gregg Easterbrook, 8/21/12, ESPN Playbook)

For decades the establishment media have said that rising greenhouse emissions are a super-mega-ultra emergency. If last week's numbers had shown a carbon emissions rise, the likely response would have been Page 1 stories crying doomsday. Instead when the problem diminished, silence.

Needless to say, one factor is that bad new sells while good news is buried. Another factor is that the U.S. carbon dioxide decline is occurring without central control, owing to market forces -- more natural gas, a clean fuel, is being used to generate electricity, while individuals and businesses are deciding of their own free choice to buy higher-efficiency vehicles that use less oil, and to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. Had the new numbers been the result of some complicated, expensive Washington regulatory scheme -- in 2009, Obama proposed mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases, but his proposal failed in Congress -- surely mainstream news outlets, and the president, would have claimed success. Because what happened was a free-market result, OMG, don't say anything!

Greenhouse gases are an all-too-real concern. The evidence of artificially triggered climate change is strong: The best independent, non-United Nations assessment of rising temperatures is here. And while U.S. carbon emissions may be moderating, global emissions continue to rise as the developing world becomes more prosperous.

But last week's news shows that if low-carbon, clean energy is cost-effective, buyers will switch to it of their own accords. OMG, don't say anything!

Posted by at August 22, 2012 5:15 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« MORE BUSHISM FASTER: | Main | SHUT UP AND MAKE ME PERFCET AGAIN: »