Is Cap and Trade dying on the vine?

And the compromises continue:

If changes in the public mood and the party alignment of the U.S. Senate have stalled healthcare legislation, they may have thrown the highly anticipated climate bill under a bus.

President Obama has backed down too. On Tuesday, he signaled that cap-and-trade could go the way of healthcare reform's "public option," saying it could be removed from the climate bill. That would eliminate the market mechanism for pricing greenhouse gas pollution -- and without setting such a carbon price, other measures under consideration, such as a national renewable energy standard, won't go far enough to significantly slow global warming.

Comments

Environmental/energy group negotiators

are begging us not to pronounce climate change legislation dead for 2010. They're looking for a way to make meaningful legislation achievable.

In deference to their determination, I'll not publish any sweeping statements of pessimism.

As I said yesterday on your earlier related post, though, I'm personally opposed to legislation which would boost nuclear construction, offshore drilling, and coal use, which is what I hear coming forward at this stage. It would take including a dramatic step forward like cap-and-trade to alter my evaluation of the balance of merits.

Otherwise, I'd pitch for moving forward with EPA greenhouse gas rules until and unless the corporate powers that be yank the chain on their tame Republicans in Congress to get with the carbon control program. Legislation can be held until that happens.

Dan Besse

A couple of thoughts...

Even in the absence of inclusion of caps on emissions, this bill could move us forward. A national REPS would greatly increase the demand for renewable energy, and buying credits from another state would no longer be the (easy) route to compliance. This would bring about actual changes to our energy production, as opposed to merely raising the costs of (bad) energy production.

It would be fantastic to have both, but if I had to choose between Cap and Trade or a national REPS, I would probably choose the latter, because there is ample proof that it generates results.

As far as the EPA regulating Co2, I'm fine with that. They could set up a system of fines, and that revenue could be directed towards research into carbon sequestration and other emissions-related efforts. But there's a good chance this bill could include language denying or limiting the EPA's ability to regulate, so we need to keep an eye out for that.

As far as loan guarantees for nuke plants, I would have no problem if they were limited/targeted to Gen IV designs. There are a few of these designs already in construction in other countries, and there's no reason we couldn't/shouldn't dangle a carrot there.

REPS perhaps

I'm willing to look at the REPS effect but I'd want strong specifics. I'm still reluctant to increase subsidies to the very technologies that we're working to displace.

Regarding Gen IV designs, my personal concern regarding nuclear power has never been focused on the risks of routine leaks or catastrophic generation accidents. It's always been the end product: the world's most toxic waste, which cannot be detoxified and must be stored out of contact with the biosphere for periods of time longer than the history to date of human civilization. To rely on that technology as a principal power generator has always seemed to me to constitute borderline insanity.

Dan Besse

Borderline?

Unfortunately, such is the essence of the human condition. We as a species are nothing if not insane.

A look at cap and trade

It is no secret that I am a proponent of expanding the use of nuclear vs. fossil in America. I have read just about every article ever written (at least that I have been exposed to) on the dangers of spills and leaks and so forth. I have listened to and read all of the arguments that Dan has proposed here on "what to do with the toxic waste" issue. We have nuclear-powered ships today that operate up to 30 years before they need to be "refueled". Technology, folks...TECHNOLOGY.

Cap and trade? I am not sure on this piece of legislation that is being considered. I am a "green" kind of person, of course. But, just everything and anything that is labeled "great for green" should not be considered willy-nilly.

Cap and trade perspective:

The hit to GDP is the real threat in this bill. The whole point of cap and trade is to hike the price of electricity and gas so that Americans will use less. These higher prices will show up not just in electricity bills or at the gas station but in every manufactured good, from food to cars. Consumers will cut back on spending, which in turn will cut back on production, which results in fewer jobs created or higher unemployment. Some companies will instead move their operations overseas, with the same result.

(Source) - Wallstreet Journal.

We, as a party and ultimately as a country, must not use "green" to increase taxes on individuals in our country regardless of how much we, as a species, need to follow the "green" path.

The article's incorrect, Foxy

The whole point of cap and trade is to force industry (not just power companies) to shoulder the burden (now) for their emissions, not wait until the results of their emissions have generated costs too fantastic to even contemplate. Right now, industry is (daily) contributing to the imminent destruction of trillions of dollars' worth of coastal developments worldwide, and they have no incentive to curb that behavior.

When the tab comes due to relocate and reconstruct coastal cities, not to mention all of the other costs associated with climate change, who do you think will have to foot the bill? Not the industries who caused it, that's for sure. It'll be you and me, pal. Or, more specifically, our grandchildren.

Fine. I will go on to something else

This is one of those "I'll show you my proof" and then "well, here's my counter-proof" and then, "well, here's my legitimate site" and then, "well, here's my legitimate site"....kind of thing.

Sorry I brought it up.

Just pointing out

that the article misstates the goal of the legislation, which calls into question the actual knowledge of the writer on this subject. The target is industry, not the general public, but opponents are (craftily) removing industry from the equation so it looks like government is going directly after regular folks.

Yeah, I know, sharrison

But, you know, I see stuff like this on CBS News (a dedicated media source on "our side") and things the Obama administration (actually Obama himself) is saying and then I wonder about those that want to argue with me about the fact that this cap and trade bill will cost taxpayers, average citizens, those that cannot afford it.

My whole point here, Steve, is that it seems like we can come up with a better way to "go green" (which I am totally on board with) without doing something that is going to be cost prohibitive and costing the middle class and lower class more than they can afford and something that will create yet another large governmental agency that would most certainly end up rife with graft and corruption.

I know that does not sound big-time liberal democratic and such, but for crying out loud, we need to start on a path of being logical. I do not care WHAT political philosophy that leans toward.

I'm getting snarky, I know. Sorry.

Not a personal reply, just a factual tidbit -

The cap and trade program wouldn't create a new or enlarged governemental agency; it would be administered by the same office at EPA that has run the sulfur dioxide (acid rain) trading program since 1990.

There's never been a hint of graft or corruption in that office. I'm not trying to sound all authoritative; I'm just a lowly staffer at EPA who knows the people.

Yes, it will cost

all of us, Foxy. There's no way around that. But before we can make the judgment that it's "cost prohibitive", we must factor in the future costs of not taking action now. Unfortunately, when you start talking about what's going to happen in 2040, 2060, or even 2100, people's eyes glaze over.

Those costs are someone else's costs to deal with, and we've got things we need right now. Like $40,000 SUVs, weekly hair appointments and dining out 3-4 times a week. I know that sounds cynical, but many Americans have a completely bent perspective of what "economic hardships" and "sacrifice" mean. Damn, I even got mad at myself for typing that. :/

Oh

I thought one of the purposes of this blog was to provide a space to discuss (and debate) issues on the merits, and part of that includes backing up our claims with some references that readers could check out for themselves.

Sorry to have caused you consternation.

Green Mom...chill

Look, I used to get all bent out of shape when people said stuff like you just said here to me. Not any more. This is an issue we have a legitimate disagreement on. I see it as something we would never be able to come together on. So, I decided that rather than to have "consternation", it would be best not to continue the discussion.

Sorry I will not give you the opportunity to "show your stuff". It would not make any difference, trust me.

I can't let this misinformation go by, Foxtrot

The Wall Street Journal may be close to the last place you should look to for you analysis of cap and trade -- they're just parroting the lobbyists for the coal industry and coal-fired electric utilities.

Here's some alternate reading for starters: http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/03/debunking-false-energy-claims/

Some choice quotes:

As the EPA’s analysis of S. 1733 shows, “the bill would transform the structure of energy production and consumption, moving the economy from one that is relatively energy inefficient and dependent on highly-polluting energy production to one that is highly energy efficient and powered by advanced, cleaner, and more domestically-sourced energy.”

and...

Ratepayers will only have modest costs. Under both Kerry-Boxer and the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that average costs per household will be between $80 and $111 annually. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that by 2020, the average American household will save $6 per month in energy costs due to the investment and efficiency provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which is so similar to Kerry-Boxer that the costs would be the same. The states with the biggest savings are also those most dependent on coal: Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, among others.

Clean-energy and climate reform will save consumers money. The average family’s annual spending on oil, gas, and electricity rose by more than $1,130 under the Bush administration’s energy policies. An analysis of ACES finds that low-income consumers would receive $40 per year in 2020, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy projects that Americans could save $750 per household by 2020 and $3,900 by 2030.

On that point about states with the biggest savings, I'll just point out that NC is also a heavily coal-dependent state...

I could go on (there's reams of data and analysis on this)...I'll just suggest one final point: utilities lobbyists and their apologists (like the Wall Street Journal) made similar unfounded claims 20 years ago, about the sulfur dioxide cap and trade program in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. The end result of that program has been significantly cleaner air, clearer vistas in the mountains, and minimal cost to consumers.

I hear ya, Green Mom

But, I am not a person that just reads and listens to venues across the Internet that favor one particular view. I try to have a balanced approach to my information and formulate my opinions on subjects based on what I see as true and honest and not just from a biased point of view. I do not say that something that is presented on FoxNews, for example, should be considered wrong just because it is from FoxNews. I think we should read points of view from EVERY avenue.

Saying that, I hear ya on what you are saying. However, I agree with the person at the Wall Street Jounal that wrote the article/presentation I alluded to in that I sincerely believe that we have the ability to "go green" and significantly reduce our country's co2 emmissions without it costing our citizens an increase in their tax burden.

Take me to the woodshed for that if you want. I just believe that to be true.

Cap and trade doesn't do much of anything to taxes

I hear you Foxtrot, but I don't see the tax increase you're claiming.

What I do see is a current system that subsidizes dirty energy with perverse tax breaks, increasing the relative tax burden on the little guy.

Meanwhile China is eating our lunch in developing and manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels.

Also we are not realizing the massive potential for energy efficiency carbon reductions. California decoupled utility profits from the amount of electricity sold 30 years ago; in the ensuing period the state's GDP grew dramatically while energy use stayed almost constant.

cap & trade taxes

Green Mom, though we don't know what will be in the final bill, Obama said the cost (a/k/a tax) would be "a huge sum" (his words, not mine). He said he wants a 100% auction of CO2 allotments (though I realize that provision is unlikely to end up in the final bill).

The seller in those auctions is the federal government. That means it is effectively a tax on CO2 emissions, because emitters will have to pay the federal government for every ton of carbon they release into the atmosphere.

Here's Obama saying what he wants in a Cap & Trade bill:

(Sorry about the obnoxious music at the beginning and middle, and the other guy's voice near the end.)

Pay the federal government?

You mean pay the citizens of America, no? The government doesn't care about carbon, business don't care about carbon.

Who should care about carbon are people whose lives are being upended by global climate change.

scary signs of climate change

It does, indeed, sound very frightening:
http://www.burtonsys.com/newsweek_old.htm

Excerpt:

"There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now...

"Meteorologists... are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. 'A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,' warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences..."

Thanks for that link, Mr. Life

There seem to be two schools of thought on this.

  1. Let everything go to hell and someone will get rich fixing it. These are called the "free-market adapters."
  2. Work to mitigate the damage so things don't get beyond fixing. These are called "responsible humans."

It's ironic that a guy who's all wrapped up in life has such disdain for his fellow human beings.

PS

I'm guessing you think the earth is only 6000 years old, too. If I had that view, I wouldn't take science seriously either.

About Margaret Wente

As much as I pout when people challenge my links and references here, I have to take exception on Margaret Wente, my friend. Oh, and thanks for your kind words about that link/video I posted earlier in the week.

Some info on Ms. Wente (and, Wente wine from Livermore, Calif. is top notch if you've ever tried it...not sure that is from her family line, however).

There is this

And this

And this

The word "suspect" comes to mind.

thanks

Thanks especially for the 2nd link.

Ah, c'mon

I think you get the point, Dave.

Typical

If you'd bothered to track the evolution of the actual legislation, instead of going back to a negative campaign ad about a partial January 2008 interview, you'd know that the 100% auction of carbon credits is not in the bill that passed the House. (Of course, even if had been, there were measures simultaneously proposed to avoid the impacts to consumers by channeling some of the revenue back to cushion their bills. But that's a moot point at this stage.)

The point of cap-and-trade is twofold:
1) Establish a market incentive for maximizing energy efficiency and pursuing less polluting alternatives for production in the first place.
2) Set up a market-based system for trading pollution credits that will help find the cheapest available routes to reduce pollution.

Face reality, "Dave". There's no such thing as a free lunch. Here's our choice. We find a way for our generation to efficiently and effectively as possible reduce this pollution substantially. Alternatively, we push off to future generations a huge butcher's bill of external costs temporarily ignored.

In other words, pay some now for prevention, or pay a lot more later in desperation attempts to treat the advanced-stage disease.

Dan Besse

who said anything about pollution?

Dan, did you read what I wrote? I said, "I realize that provision [100% auction] is unlikely to end up in the final bill." The point is that any auction is equivalent to a tax, if the federal government is the seller.

Second, who said anything about pollution? We were talking about CO2, not pollutants.

Conservation is all well and good -- I'm a conservationist -- but let's not confuse carbon dioxide with pollution. The evidence that increased carbon dioxide emissions cause any environmental harm at all is weak, at best. It is a non-toxic, hypoallergenic fertilizer. An awful lot of scientists think it is completely harmless.

Consider:

  • Over 31,000 scientists and engineers in relevant disciplines have signed a petition declaring their disagreement with the AGW hypothesis.
  • The signers of the Leipzig Declaration are scientists who declare that "...there does not exist today a general scientific consensus about the importance of greenhouse warming from rising levels of carbon dioxide. In fact, most climate specialists now agree that actual observations from both weather satellites and balloon-borne radiosondes show no current warming whatsoever."
  • The hundreds of scientists who signed the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change likewise declare that, "plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources... [and] there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change."
  • A U.S. Senate Minority Report documents that "More than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims"
  • This Wall Street Journal article is entitled The Climate Change Climate Change: The number of skeptics is swelling everywhere. Excerpt: Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming "the worst scientific scandal in history." And that was before news broke of the ClimateGate scandal!
  • This Forbes article, What Scientists Really Think About Global Warming, by S. Robert Lichter, reports that Harris polled 500 leading American Meteorological and Geophysical scientists in 2007, and even back then there was no consensus. They found that, "97% agree that 'global average temperatures have increased' during the past century. But not everyone attributes that rise to human activity. A slight majority (52%) believe this warming was human-induced, 30% see it as the result of natural temperature fluctuations and the rest are unsure."

But, as you say, it is probably moot. I think the bill is dead, fortunately.

as opposed to, for instance...

You mean, as opposed to, for instance, the stellar credentials of IPCC Chief Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, whose degrees (from NCSU!) are in Industrial Engineering & Economics, and whose salary is undisclosed?

"Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early twenty-first century's developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll back of the industrial age."
-Dr. Richard Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT)

From the NY Times

Several of the recent accusations have proved to be half-truths: While Dr. Pachauri does act as a paid consultant and adviser to many companies, he makes no money from these activities, he said. The payments go to the Energy and Resources Institute, the prestigious nonprofit research center based in Delhi that he founded in 1982 and still leads, where the money finances charitable projects like Lighting a Billion Lives, which provides solar lanterns in rural India...

Dr. Pachauri, 69, said the only work income he received was a salary from the Energy and Resources Institute: about $49,000, according to his 2009 Indian tax return, which he provided to The New York Times. The return also lists $16,000 in other income, most of it interest on accounts in Indian banks.

Here's the link.

Just for completeness, here's a critique of the rest of the NY Times article, which does not quote any mainstream climate scientists.

For the sake of completeness...

Very amusing "critique" link. It's been quite awhile since I've seen anyone accuse the Grey Lady of tilting to the right, of all things. :-)

For the sake of completeness, here's the link to the NY Times article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/science/earth/09climate.html
(or here)

I'm sure you'll not be surprised to learn that the article also earned criticism from the right.

Some questions immediately come to mind, from reading the NYT's defense of Pachauri and the discredited IPCC. For one, what do you suppose "work income" means? How do you suppose that it differs, for example, from investment income?

For another, how do you suppose that he managed to amass enough cash in the bank to accrue $16,000 in interest (not to mention his mansion in New Delhi), on a salary of just $49,000 per year? And does anyone suppose that his cash in the bank is more than just the tip of the iceberg, w/r/t his investment holdings?

Here's a Telegraph story about Pachauri's business dealings:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/6847227/Questions-over-business-deals-of-UN-climate-change-guru-Dr-R...

Here are some excerpts:

"...Dr Pachauri has established an astonishing worldwide portfolio of business interests with bodies which have been investing billions of dollars in organisations dependent on the IPCC’s policy recommendations.

These outfits include banks, oil and energy companies and investment funds heavily involved in ‘carbon trading’ and ‘sustainable technologies’, which together make up the fastest-growing commodity market in the world...

Today, in addition to his role as chairman of the IPCC, Dr Pachauri occupies more than a score of such posts, acting as director or adviser to many of the bodies which play a leading role in what has become known as the international ‘climate industry’.

It is remarkable how only very recently has the staggering scale of Dr Pachauri’s links to so many of these concerns come to light, inevitably raising questions as to how the world’s leading ‘climate official’ can also be personally involved in so many organisations which stand to benefit from the IPCC’s recommendations..."

Did you notice that even Greenpeace UK is demanding his resignation:

"The head of U.N.’s climate change panel, R. K. Pachauri, faced fresh pressure to step down with one of the leading figures in the environment movement saying that the Nobel Prize winning body needs a new leader to regain its credibility.

Director of Greenpeace U.K., John Sauven, said Pachauri made a flawed judgement by not registering the mistake made by the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change which came to light ahead of the Copenhagen conference.

Pachauri has insisted he would not step down in the wake of the controversy that the climate report by his panel had exaggerated claims of global warming and based its results on uncorroborated facts.

“Mistakes will always be made but it’s how you handle those mistakes which affects credibility of the institution. Pachauri should have put his hand up and said we made a mistake.

“It’s in these situations that your character and judgement is tested. Do you make the right judgement call? He clearly didn’t,” Sauven said..."

The law of unintended consequences...

...demands that we pay attention to what a Cap & Trade scheme will actually encourage, as opposed to what it is intended to encourage. Like what, you wonder?

Well, fraud and graft, for a start.

But, even so, wouldn't Cap and Trade at least stop carbon dioxide levels from increasing?

Not a chance. It would hardly even slow the rate of increase.

See, for example, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2009072202415.html?sub=AR Here's an excerpt: "In January [2009], China announced that its continuing reliance on coal as its primary source of energy will require increasing coal production 30 percent in the next six years... By December [2009] ...China, at its current pace, probably will have brought on line 14 more coal-fired generating plants, each of them capable of providing all the electricity needed for a city the size of San Diego." We face "the Herculean task of disabusing Barack Obama of his amazingly durable belief, shared by the U.S. Congress, that China -- and India, Brazil, Mexico and other developing nations -- will sacrifice their modernization on the altar of climate change."

As George Burns used to say, "Say goodnight, Gracie." There is no chance whatsoever that worldwide CO2 emission levels will be reduced below their current levels anytime in the near future, absent either technological breakthroughs in other energy sources, or a massive global economic collapse accompanied by billions of deaths.

The notion that the growth in CO2 levels can be halted by Cap & Trade or similar schemes is complete nonsense. If the "tipping point" scare were true, then the proposed policies would not prevent it, they could just delay it a few weeks or months, at best. Even Hansen admits that.

However, although such schemes wouldn't prevent CO2 increases, they would have some other dramatic effects. Mainly, they would result in more and more food being converted to fuel (ethanol), with resulting worldwide food price increases, and lots of poor people starving in the third world.

Just curious... what do y'all think of the practice of turning corn into ethanol for fuel?

How bizarre

For a guy who's all about the babies, you sure do put a lot of weight on the money. Why are you so concerned about fraud? The Iraq war was a fraud, but I didn't see you stomping around raising hell about that.

The shift to a green economy - in a hurry - is good for everyone. Your cavalier attitude about our collective responsibility for having turned god's earth into a shit hole is beyond astounding, Dave. It's sick.

bizarre indeed

I guess that's the difference between a conservationist (me) and an environmentalist: We conservationists want our efforts to actually do some good, for the environment, and for the people and creatures who live in it. You don't seem to actually care about that.

As for Iraq... what on earth are you talking about? Not WMDs, surely?

Note the dates of these quotes:

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraqi's a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998>

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." - Madeline Albright, Clinton's Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Oct 10, 2002

Blah blah blah

You make a lot of noise Dave, a whole lot of noise, but you always seem to dodge what's important. Is this what you mean by caring for the people who live in the environment? Or maybe you'd rather focus on the money. Is this your idea of wisely invested resources?

Quoting a bunch of warmongering Democrats means nothing to me, Dave. I don't defend them for a second. The Iraq War was an equal opportunity fuck-up, though it must be said that the leader of the fuck up was a chickenshit, pro-life coward.

And that, sir, is really the difference between you and me. You seem unable to honestly consider the question, "What if I am wrong?" ... and to think through the downside consequences of your choices. For all your happy talk about revenge effects, your ability to pick and choose those specific effects that support your ideology is really quite remarkable.

Do you care about these people?

The point of reminding you of those quotes, uttered mostly during the Clinton years, by America's leading liberal Democrats, is that most people who call the Iraq war a "fraud" have been taken in by one of the Left's more despicable Big Lies, namely, "Bush lied, people died." But perhaps you aren't one of them.

In fact, that Big Lie is two lies in one. The truth is that G. W. Bush didn't lie, and despite the cost in lives lost from warfare, the net result was that many, many lives were saved.

Saddam's ~23 year death toll is generally estimated at aprox. 2,000,000 (i.e., avg. ~240/day). Some sources estimate more, some less, but all sources agree it exceeded 1,000,000. That's people whose violent deaths Saddam and his Baathists directly caused, not some bogus "excess deaths" calculation. Here are some links for you: NY Times, CSMonitor, Bruce Harris, Library of Congress, of Iraqi Kurds: (1) (2), of Iraqi Shiites, of Baghdad residents, in invasion of Iran, in mass graves: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5), genocide of Marsh Arabs.

Do you care about those people? Are you bothered by mass murder, mass graves, genocide & ecocide?

Thanks to our action, the violent death rate in and around Iraq is now drastically reduced. Are you glad? You should be. I am.

What's more, even all the death and destruction which Saddam caused could have been exceeded if some madman had popped off a nuke on a boat in NY harbor, a risk which is now much reduced because of our action in Iraq. Libya's Muammar Gaddafi (the guy behind the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie bombing) was working on nuclear weapons. Not anymore! Upon seeing footage of Saddam dragged from his spider hole, Gaddafi "calculated a new reality," and invited us to come and dismantle his secret nuclear weapons development program. The equipment ended up in crates in Oak Ridge, TN. Are you glad? You should be. I certainly am.

But we've drifted off-topic. The topic was Cap & Trade, and measures to reduce our use of fossil fuels, such as ethanol for fuel.

You didn't answer my question: What do you think of converting corn to ethanol and burning it as fuel?

Ethanol is a bad idea

economically and environmentally.

Here's another bad idea.

PS It sounds like you really believe George Bush didn't lie to make the case for invading Iraq. That's a level of denial I really can't stomach, Dave, and suggests intolerably bad faith on at least one of our parts. That said, let me thank you for your engagement and bid you farewell. I'd like to say "It's been real," but that's hardly been the case.

Peace.

Well, at least we agree about ethanol

I'm disappointed, however, that you are clinging to that old liberal myth that President Bush lied to make the case for invading Iraq. Even the liberal Chicago Tribune knows better. On Nov. 30, 2005 they wrote:

"Assertions that the Bush administration strong-armed intelligence analysts in 2002 and 2003, or misled the nation in making its nuclear case for war, challenge logic. During and after Clinton's presidency, the intelligence community repeatedly warned the White House that Iraq was one cache of fissile material and one year short of wielding a nuclear bomb. If the White House manipulated or exaggerated that intelligence before the war in order to paint a more-menacing portrait of Saddam Hussein, it's difficult to imagine why. For five years, the official and oft-delivered alarms from the U.S. intelligence community had been menacing enough."

Dave...did you care enough to go?

Or, is armchair caring the extent of your commitment?

There's always a price to be paid and that price is never too high for those who don't have to pay it.

Stan Bozarth

Bravo James...

the leader of the fuck up was a chickenshit, pro-life coward.

That's truth talking....

Stan Bozarth