Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cap and Trade Will Likely Pass Because It Favors Big Finance

While thinking about the climate change legislation that heads to the Senate for review, I got curious about the history of climate change thinking.

I Googled "global cooling" and quickly got to the site linked to here titled "Fire and Ice". While it is long, I link to it because and it has numerous quotes reflecting the history of media and scientific thinking about global cooling and warming. Clearly it is published by a political organization, but
I am going to trust that the quotes are accurate.

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, amidst hysteria about the dangers of a new ice age. The media had been spreading warnings of a cooling period since the 1950s, but those alarms grew louder in the 1970s.

Three months before, on January 11, The Washington Post told readers to “get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come,” in an article titled “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age.” The article quoted climatologist Reid Bryson, who said “there’s no relief in sight” about the cooling trend. . .

The Nov. 15, 1969, “Science News” quoted meteorologist Dr. J. Murray Mitchell Jr. about global cooling worries. “How long the current cooling trend continues is one of the most important problems of our civilization,” he said.

If the cooling continued for 200 to 300 years, the earth could be plunged into an ice age, Mitchell continued.

Six years later, the periodical reported “the cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed." . . .

Various climatologists issued a statement that “the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade,” reported the Dec. 29, 1974, New York Times. If policy makers did not account for this oncoming doom, “mass deaths by starvation and probably in anarchy and violence” would result.

Time magazine delivered its own gloomy outlook on the “World Food Crisis” on June 24 of that same year and followed with the article “Weather Change: Poorer Harvests” on November 11. . .

Newsweek was equally downbeat in its article “The Cooling World.” “There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically,” which would lead to drastically decreased food production, it said.

“The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only ten years from now,” the magazine told readers on April 28 the following year.

This, Newsweek said, was based on the “central fact” that “the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down.” Despite some disagreement on the cause and extent of cooling, meteorologists were “almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

"Cap and trade" promises huge profits for Big Finance (and small finance) with uncertain benefits for humanity, small reductions in coal usage in America, and significant tax expense. Regardless of the scientific merits of reducing CO2 emissions, this bill appears to be yet another of the Establishment's stratagems to be sure that the financialization of the world proceeds apace. If CO2 emissions are bad, why not simply tax them?

Surely the powers that be can have reduced tax rates for existing CO2-emitters if that is desired, perhaps with tax rates that rise over time; and high rates for "non-green" new CO2-emitting power plants, autos, etc.

This bill is in the same spirit of the proposals that if you are alive in the United States, you MUST purchase health insurance. It benefits the famous "FIRE" economy: Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.

Whatever the various environmental or social merits of these proposals, somehow their implementation is always the same: the private FIRE economy gets to siphon off more and more of society's goods and services.

Will this ever end?

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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