On Climate Change & Taxes
Most of you were probably too busy wonder why Michael Jackson died to notice the incredibly important piece of legislation that was ramrodded through the House of Representatives on Friday. It was a bill that outlines the US's response to Climate Change- a CAP & TRADE regulation that will limit the amount of supposedly harmful emissions produced by our country and progressively tax our current resources until someone comes up with an energy efficient alternative to Oil and other energies that are supposedly going to kill us all (I say supposedly because there hasn't actually been consensus in the scientific community as to whether or not humans are actually causing climate change- Al Gore would have you believe otherwise, but there's plenty of evidence on both sides, and this isn't really a forum for debating whether or not people are causing it- let's save that for a different site).
Before I continue I should state that I am in no way convinced that this type of government regulation is warranted or wise, and I share your distrust in the ever-growing government. That said, environmental damage seems to me a classic example of a tragedy of the commons, and I am not sure I see a better solution. This is a problem for smarter persons than I.
When it comes to the global warming issue, I'm just confused with the information that is out there. I can't even trust any source other than direct observation. It seems a little unreal to say that human activity has not had an impact on the environment, but then again is it? I mean, there ARE natural systems on the decline because of poor management practices; in places like Nigeria, India and Ecuador, only to name a few. (Ecuador recently sued Chevron for $27 billion, and the Royal Dutch Shell Oil company in Nigeria recently paid about $16 million in settlement money to Ken Saro-Wiwa's estate (or the Ogoni people, I forget which). I do think that on some level "the scientific view of climate change is colored by political leanings and/or strong-arm [big bank] tactics". Didn't Kofi Annan recently campaign at the Cannes Film Festival to increase the momentum of institutional change required to combat global warming?
I'm not sure if I buy your analogy to the term paper. Perhaps there's been some cases where a profit motive was utilized to motivate the market in a given direction and it happened the way you say. But if there are some, I'd be interested to hear about them... and to hear about what it is that is inherent to this technique that illicits inefficiency, bad science, etc.
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Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.