Suggested Discussion Outline

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Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »

A. Global-warming science and implications.

B. How the "cap and trade" tax works = periodic U.S. government creation and sale of "carbon pollution permits" that can be traded.

C. Logistics of imposition:

C-1. Repetto's "up stream" method of requiring oil & gas producers and coal-mining companies (and importers of oil, gas or coal) to acquire "carbon pollution permits" -- to try to hide the cost from consumers.
C-2. The European Value-Added Tax ("VAT") method so that different rates can be imposed on end users -- for example, a higher rate on nitrogen fertilizers since the nitrogen oxides they produce in the atmosphere are much more potent than carbon di- and mon-oxide, but a zero rate on other petrochemicals since they are not burned and, accordingly, do not produce greenhouse gases.

D. President Obama's abandonment of "cap and trade" after receiving a letter in 2009 from Democratic Senators from the Midwest insisting that:

D-1. India and China both be included in any such scheme; and
D-2. Requirements on India and China be enforced by trade sanctions.

E. How to deal with foreign countries which are certain to insist on a per-capita limit on carbon pollution (which would mean they don't have to do anything until the U.S. reduces substantially its carbon pollution), rather than a pro rata reduction in carbon pollution (which would mean they begin reducing immediately their paltry per-capita carbon pollution by the same percentage that we reduce our world-leading per-capita carbon pollution).

F. How to deal with "free riders" such as Russia's Vladimir Putin who believes global warming, net-net, is beneficial for Russia because of the increased growing season for Siberian agriculture.

G. Whether Germany's recently-announced approach is best =

G-1. recognition that global warming will not be solved unless a non-greenhouse-gas-generating energy source [nuclear, wind, solar, etc., though the German announcement foreswears nuclear] is developed that is cheaper than greenhouse-gas generating energy sources [oil, gas, coal or bio-fuels such as ethanol, whether produced from corn (as the U.S. has done), sugar cane (as Brazil does) or switch grass (as our author recommends)].
G-2. recognition that this is a job for government because of the historic role that Saudi Arabia has played in "pulling the rug out from under" the development of any alternative fuels with its oil-pricing policies.
G-3. setting the year 2022 as a President Kennedy-space-program-style goal.

H. What about governmental research that “thinks outside the box” (such as launching highly-reflectant materials into the earth’s outer atmosphere)?

H-1. “A small nuclear war” is occasionally referenced in the literature as a macabre “solution” to global warming. Is this the same as the idea of highly-reflectant materials in the earth’s outer atmosphere (or does it comprise a considerably greater volume of materials that are not so highly reflectant)?
H-2. Is the world likely to encounter “a small nuclear war” the way the U.S. and U.N. are failing to take effective action in preventing a nuclear arm’s race in the Persian Gulf (the “Gulf State Six” are each expected to go nuclear as soon as Iran acquires nuclear weapons, as are Turkey and Egypt)?

I. Distressing "blind spots" =

I-1. Ignoring U.S. ports which produce more greenhouse gas pollution than all of our vehicular traffic (there are no pollution restrictions on port equipment, and ships continue to run their engines while moored in order to provide on-board electricity).
I-2. The failure to ban "plug in" electric vehicles (vs. hybrids which generate their own electricity from the waste heat of their gasoline engines) until the last coal-fired electricity-generating plant is retired from the U.S. grid -- the public overlooks how the electricity is generated but the use of "plug in" electric vehicles merely enables, e.g., California to export its electricity-generating plants to down-wind states and Al Gore would be the first to tell California that from a global-warming perspective, it doesn't matter where coal-fired plants are located.

J. Implications of the U.S. having become "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas" due to newly-developed hydraulic fracturing techniques. [It can eliminate energy imports and foreign borrowing, but does nothing vis-à-vis global warming.]

K. Any action that we should take?

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