CO2 is a sign of excessive
heat generation exciting all
those N2 and O2 molecules,
which are 99% of the atmosphere.
(2010 Jun blog post)
! Note !
A few more web links may be added
to provide additional info on the cap issue
--- if/when I re-visit this page.
Add heat generation by utilities
to all the gas flares, ovens,
furnaces, combustion engines, etc.
all over the world --- increasing in number,
exponentially --- like the human population.
All the talk about 'cap-and-trade' in relation to a proposed Congressional energy bill in 2010 points out that 'cap-and-trade' is the centerpiece of such a bill.
If this is going to be the guts of our energy bill, then God help Mother Earth.
Cap-and-trade is just a way to commoditize ('monetize') pollution.
Cap-and-trade establishes a trade in greenhouse gas emissions (say, in tons of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, oxygen oxide [ozone]).
Cap-and-trade allows the major sources of pollution (like coal burning entities --- companies, manufacturers, government agencies, universities) to keep on polluting unabated by allowing them to buy pollution credits from other sources of pollution (like entities that are burning natural gas instead of coal --- entities who have been given some pollution credits that they are not going to use.)
Cap-and-trade will just be a lot of trading with no capping.
This is why I write 'cap-and-TRADE' --- emphasis on the TRADE. I am tempted to use a smaller font for the 'cap' part.
There is going to be no actual 'cap' in a 'cap-and-TRADE' system.
The Republican free-enterprise vultures are circling :
The Republicans are salivating over the prospect of a 'cap-and-TRADE' system.
In that hearing, Corker was obviously eager for the TRADE part of 'cap-and-TRADE' to start.
Corker was clearly less interested in the 'cap' part.
It was from Gore's comment that I got the idea for the slogan
cap-OR-JAIL ... NOT cap-and-TRADE!
I plan to have this phrase put on t-shirts that I will wear frequently. (A link to my Environment t-shirts page is here.)
Pollution = Gold
There are people in the financial industry who are going 'ga-ga' over the prospect of having a new way to get commissions on trading --- in this case, commissions and fees on trading in pollution.
Heaven knows that there are 'low-lifes' in the financial industry who were dislodged from their comfortable scams by the 2008 mortgage 'melt-down' and who are now looking for a new outlet for their 'innovations'.
Anyway, the point here is that there are plenty of people in the financial industry who are somewhat under-employed at the moment who are eager to jump into this new market of trading in pollution.
There will not be much capping going on in this environment --- just lots of trading --- in things that should be considered junk (carbon dioxide, etc.), but that are going to be transformed into gold, so to speak, by a 'cap-and-TRADE' system.
A modest proposal :
When I say
cap-OR-JAIL, NOT cap-and-TRADE!
I mean jail for the CEO (the head of the pollution generation entity) --- not for some middle manager or for some flunky.
It will take at least a few months in jail of one or two of these CEO's to make the other CEO's take capping of pollution seriously.
I trust it would take just one or two high-profile cases to convince the pollution generators that it is time to bite the bullet and start reducing their pollution generation as much as current technology allows --- and, henceforth, to help the technology along to generate even more reductions in pollution.
Back to reality : (cap-or-JAIL unlikely)
... a carrot-like approach, as opposed to stick-like)
I realize that the actual passage of laws to jail CEO's for violation of pollution caps is not likely to ever really come about. (The CEO's have too many friends in Congress.)
Furthermore, there are technical issues in defining pollutants, their relative noxiousness, and how to quantify the mix of various pollutants.
Putting the technical issues on hold temporaritly, one of the great motivators in life (and especially in business) is money --- for example, in the form of tax credits.
So, while an energy bill based on cap-OR-JAIL may be unrealistic, an energy bill based on CAP-or-LOSE-TAX-CREDITS might be palatable.
Note that such a motivational structure has certain socio-economic benefits. Namely :
Those who cap their pollution aggressively are rewarded for not putting a pollution burden on the general populace --- a burden which would probably have to be dealt with by government programs. Example: The super-fund cleanup sites which have been a negative drain on the government economy stretching over decades.
On the other hand, those who are lax in their pollution abatement efforts would lose out on the tax credits --- and the government could use the resulting tax-flow to deal with their pollution effects.
Tough issues in quantifying pollution :
In structuring a properly motivating structure for the 'cap system', the 'devil [as always] will be in the details'.
One of the bigger challenges in this endeavor at proposing a legislative structure is answering the questions:
If I have some thoughts on details of such a motivating structure (more light than heat), I may add the details here --- along with suitable web links.
For now, I am blogged-out.
A 'Stick Method' of capping (instead of carrot)
There was reported talk of an agreeable nature, on a straight carbon tax, between Corker and Gore in the Senate hearing referred to above.
I don't remember seeing Corker talk much on a carbon tax in that hearing. He may have been pretending to be friendly to Gore on the carbon tax issue, but I think there is no chance in hell he would ever vote for such a tax.
I DO remember how Corker seemed to be almost unable to contain his excitement over the prospect of establishing a market in trading pollution as if it is gold.
I prefer the 'carbon tax solution' to a 'cap-and-TRADE' non-solution.
But I think that there may be better ways to reduce carbon-related pollution (heat generation and oxide emissions).
One problem with a 'carbon tax' (other than that no Republican, even Corker, would vote for it) is that it is seemingly all stick and no carrot. I favor using carrots to sticks --- and tailoring the motivation to achieving desirable behaviors.
Prediction (with sarcasm):
Around the year 2020, the U.S. dollar will be
replaced by pollution as the standard of exchange.
From the gold standard to the
pollution standard in about 100 years.
FOR MORE INFO :
For any one wishing to follow up on these pollution (and heat generation) 'capping' issues, here are some WEB SEARCH links on keywords:
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Page was created 2010 Jun 16
These carbon emission graphs are a good indication of
the growth in heat generation --- that goes into making
all the N2 and O2 molecules
(99% of Earth's atmosphere)
increase their average velocity
(i.e. raise atmospheric temperature).