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Waves of the Future - The Magian Age

Climate Change, Non-Renewable Resources, Energy, Contaminants, Carbon Pricing...

The Failure of Cap-and-Trade
Costs, Complexity, Non-Compliance, Bureaucracy, Fraud, Etc.

Cap-and-trade is not enough for the environment
It does not address most environmental issues


The destruction will continue on several fronts even if we manage to reach CO2 and other carbon emissions targets. Jet fuel just made the news for having been found in baby formula (April 09)...

What is cap-and-trade going to do about toxic chemicals, packaging, recycling, the conservation of metals and other depletable resources, etc.?


See also Book II of the Waves of the Future Series

Of course, everyone wishes the Kyoto Accord to succeed, but it is already bursting at the seams, with many participants reluctant and subject to opting out upon government changes.

China and India are likely to never make carbon emissions targets. If it comes to choosing between poverty (starvation in these countries) and destroying the planet, rich countries have made it clear what would prevail.

We almost had a famine in parts of the world just a year ago when the price of oil shut up. Did the Middle East boost oil production? No. That famine could be snapping at the world's heels again in a couple of years when economies pick up, and countries will be routing and rooting for more oil production and the development of coal resources.

Cap-and-trade, as a strategy to reach CO2 and other carbon emission targets, is not the best solution we have. It is costly, complex, prone to fraud and political favoritism, would require a sizable bureaucracy, etc.
(see Structural Solutions vs Cap-and-Trade).


Of course, fiscal stimulus packages work in its favor, and political pressure could keep the system going. However, those energies would be wasted supporting a second-best solution.

We need a much more profound approach, one that would deal directly with the cause of problems, not its symptoms. This is what structural strategies, like Henderson's Green Economic Environment (see below), are about. They are the only thing that will be able to deliver the change that we need.

A View of the New Green Society and Sustainable Economy

More information: NRDC Global Warming Cap-and-Trade