2,780 Climate Lobbyists and Counting

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climate lobbyists

The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress plan to push through a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme sometime this spring to address the problem of man-made global warming. Naturally this has attracted the attention of anyone who plans to use energy in the future. The Center for Public Integrity has just counted up the number of registered climate lobbyists in Washington, DC. Energy use reaches into all corners of the economy, so even Campbell Soups has now hired a climate lobbyist. As the Center notes:

Take the concerns raised by the world's largest maker of soup, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Company, one of a slew of grocery producers (including Kellogg Company, Del Monte Foods, and the Alliance of Food Associations) registered to lobby on climate change for the first time in the July-September quarter. "It wasn't until we analyzed what was going on in the House that we thought, 'Oh, gosh, we are being affected by this,'" said Kelly Johnston, Campbell Soup's vice president for public affairs, in an interview.

At issue are the free "allowances," or carbon dioxide ollution permits that the House-passed climate bill would give to manufacturers that use a lot of energy to produce internationally traded products, like steel and aluminum. Those energy-intensive industries fighting international competitors successfully lobbied for protection from loss of jobs to China and other cheap-energy countries if the United States unilaterally enacted a carbon reduction program that would make coal-burning more expensive here. But the House bill's approach means manufacturers that don't use as much energy — like Campbell — would have to bid at auction for carbon emissions allowances from the federal government. Johnston argues that Campbell should either be exempt from that process or provided some freebies, too. "I think it's clear from our view that we're not being treated as fairly as carbon-intensive industries," Johnston said. "There needs to be some recognition of the role the food industry plays in our economy."

In my column, "Energy Price Deceit" I reported on how awarding "free" emissions permits to industries favored by Congresscritters, say electric utilities, will boost the cost of energy and anything made using energy (i.e., everything):

The proposal [to allocate permits for free to utilities] merely shifts the price paid by consumers for energy from local utilities to other products and services. For example, Resources for the Future economists Rich Sweeney and Dallas Burtraw calculate that auctioning all of the carbon emissions permits would result in a price of $20.91 per metric ton. However, allocating 30 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions permits free to local utilities as proposed under the ACES bill would mean lower electricity prices, and lower prices would mean more consumption. The result is that there would 24 percent fewer emissions reductions in the electricity sector than would have been the case had all permits been auctioned.

The higher emissions in the electricity sector make it harder for other sectors of the economy—automobiles, construction, steel, cement, food processing, retail, agriculture—to stay below the national cap on carbon dioxide emissions. And this pushes up the demand for the remaining permits, which boosts their prices. Sweeney and Burtraw calculate that the requirement for increased emissions reductions in other sectors under a national cap would raise the allowance price to $26.90 per metric ton. The result, according to Sweeney and Burtraw, is that "this raises the costs of goods and services from these sectors."

So this plan to allocate "free" permits could well end up costing consumers even more than they "save" on their household electricity and natural gas bills. Fearing the electoral consequences of honesty, Congress is trying to hide the fact that they are increasing energy prices by distracting the American people with a torrent of rebates, subsidies, and tax incentives, along with plenty of happy talk about renewable energy and creating "green jobs." The result is that Congress has devised a complicated and inefficient scheme where distributing a "free" commodity actually makes products and services more expensive than it would otherwise have to be.

The Center's new report finds:

The total number of climate lobbyists working for all those interest groups, new and old, stands at about 2,780 — five for every member of Congress. That's 400 percent more than when lawmakers first considered a nationwide greenhouse gas emissions reduction program six years ago. If they all want a place at the Senate's table, there had better be plenty of chairs.

Go here for the Center's instructive lesson on how a bill becomes a law.

NEXT: Fannie & Freddie Still Too Big To Fail at Least Through 2012; Treasury Banking on Mayan Apocalypse

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  1. What was Obama’s phrasing on getting lobbyists out of influencing government? Was it just corporate or all?

    1. Racist!

    2. It’s retarded to say you’re going to “get rid of lobbyists.” Lobbyists are people petitioning their government. It’s ok to be against bribes, it’s ok to lament the fact that some more well funded and organized interests might thwart that which most Americans would like to see become law (though I often think if that clear majority really felt strongly that such laws would be good ideas they would do the rather minimal amount of work necessary to make sure they become law even in the face of organized/well-funded opposition), but it’s really silly to be against “lobbying.”

      Liberals have all too often failed to appreciate the ideas of someone like William G. Sumner who said “look, don’t like plutocrats because of their out of proportion power, but like government? Well who do you think is going to mostly influence the government?”

      1. MNG, did you just call our President retarded?

        RACIST!

        1. Is that racist against Africa-americans or retards?

          1. There’s a race of retards?

            1. Didn’t you watch strangers w/candy?

              Epi, can you help this guy out?

              1. Hi. This is Wilford Brimley. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully with this book, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

                1. That was beautiful! What is it from, if anything?

              2. Never saw any full episodes. It always looked kind of dumb to me at the time.

                And I doubt he’ll help. I agree with a lot of what he writes and respond to it. It’s probably come off as near cyber-stalking so I’m willing to be I creeped him out. Sugarfree too.

                1. I cyberstalk follow them, too. Those guys are awesome like Amy Sedaris ‘n ’em.

            2. It’s a race with retards. About fifty yards.

  2. So, provided they hammer out their shitty healthcare deal relatively soon, and then get this cap-and-suffocate bill going after that, they’ll have done the lion’s share of helping to murder the US in what, six months?

    1. Cripes! One catastrophic government crime at a time, please!

    2. Stupid is as stupid does.

  3. Leaving to one side for one moment the entire debate about the existence of AGW and all the questions surrounding whether or not the cost of trying to stop AGW will exceed the costs likely to arise from AGW – any cap and trade program that hands out free credits creates carbon serfs and carbon aristocrats. Quite literally. Not in the somewhat hyperbolic way libertarians are fond of labeling things “slavery”, either – the policy as written would constitute the creation of a literal aristocracy.

    If everyone who wanted to emit CO2 had to participate in an auction to get the credits, that would probably be a bad policy, but at least it would not create a class of serfs. But a cap and trade plan that includes free credits would.

    Instead of being serfs tied to the land, we would be serfs tied to carbon. Instead of aristocrats ennobled by a state grant of land, we would have aristocrats ennobled by the grant of free carbon permits. All that would be missing would be the titles.

    1. I haven’t read Coase in years. In theory is that how this kind of thing is supposed to work, the permits are auctioned off? I honestly can’t remember how the “market” in externalities is supposed to be created…

      1. I guess I thought the market was “created” through some across the board restriction, like “entities can only emit x amount of carbon” and then the entities can buy and sell parts or wholes of their allowances. Is that right? And what would libertarians think of that? Honest question here, no trap 🙂

        1. What are they supposed to think? It would be nice if progressives would use the term “externality” properly and admits its full implications.

          Let’s say for the sake of argument that CO2 is an externality. If it is, we are currently enjoying a standard of living without paying its costs. That means that any scheme that causes us to bear the full externalities of our actions must necessarily make us poorer at least in the short term. Even if a plan to do that is market based and efficient, it is just more efficient at making us poorer. But it will make us poorer. It has to. Otherwise it doesn’t eliminate the externality.

          Second, to properly eliminate an externality, you have to know what the cost of that externality is. Otherwise, you can never get it right. You either overvalue it and make yourself poorer than necessary or you undervalue it and don’t eliminate the problem. Unless and until we know what the real cost of CO2 output is, any cap and trade system is going to be worthless because we will have no idea where to set the CO2 limits or how much cost to make the economy internalize. We will just be central planners guessing, which is a guaranteed way to get it wrong.

          Progressives because of either their genuine ignorance of economics or their sheer disingeniousness completely oversell cap and trade. Just because it is “market based” in some way, doesn’t mean it is effective or won’t by definition make us poorer. Market based doesn’t mean free ride.

          1. I think you might be hung up on a sort of equivocation with the word “cost.” The cost of CO2 that concerns people is the harm it does to people by its harm on the environment. We don’t have to know the exact cost to know that we want it overall to be lower, and we want whatever uses must be allowed to be the most efficient ones. The market that is created is supposed to make sure it goes to the most efficient, necessary, valuable uses.

            1. We don’t have to know the exact cost? Are you really that profoundly ignorant? Of course we have to know the cost. If CO2 is causing global warming, that warming is going to cost us something. Let’s say the cost of adapting to and living in a warmer world is “x”. Now to avoid the world warming, we will have to stop emitting carbon and using more expensive energy supplies will be some number “Y”. To get it right, you have to figure out how much Y you need to absorb in order to reduce X the in a significant way. Maybe Y is so large that no amount of harm will justify it. Or maybe a little bit of pain will produce enough benefits to justify it but more than that will just produce diminishing returns. Those questions are extremely hard and require a level on knowledge of climate and CO2’s interaction with it that just doesn’t exist. At current levels of knowledge, we are relying on dumb luck to get it right.

              1. Well, duh, we have to make a guess at what level of restrictions would give us the most benefit in terms reduction of harm-from-AGW to costs in terms of harms from the restrictions.

                From what I’ve read they’ve got pretty educated estimates that with carbon output at level x we will get y amount of warming with z results. Knowing that allows one to estimate how much reduction we can get by reducing output at some level, and the costs of that restriction can be calculated.

                Of course it’s not going to be perfect knowledge, nothing in human policy is.

                1. Its quite possible that z results in a net positive to humans while killing off the polar bears. This is the problem with that kind of analysis. Im not a utilitarian, but if I were, how much do polar bears’ utility count?

                  1. If you’re a polar bear it counts a hell of a lot!

                    Seriously though I don’t know the exact calculation, in my working of it they count for something, less than human welfare but something, and that would have to be factored in…

                    1. There’s also the utility humans get from experiencing polar bears or simply knowing they are not extinct. That would probably count…

                    2. I’m missing the utility there.

                      Now, if you wanna talk Tuna, we can talk utility then.

                2. “From what I’ve read they’ve got pretty educated estimates that with carbon output at level x we will get y amount of warming with z results.”

                  We have bullshit from East Anglia is what we have. Further, since we don’t have anyway to test those estimates, we have no way of knowing if they are correct. What we have is a bunch of people with a tremendous ideological and financial interest in the subject saying trust us.

                3. “From what I’ve read they’ve got pretty educated estimates that with carbon output at level x we will get y amount of warming with z results.”

                  We have bullshit from East Anglia is what we have. Further, since we don’t have anyway to test those estimates, we have no way of knowing if they are correct. What we have is a bunch of people with a tremendous ideological and financial interest in the subject saying trust us.

                4. From what I’ve read they’ve got pretty educated estimates that with carbon output at level x we will get y amount of warming with z results

                  If you consider Nostradamus educated, I suppose.

      2. Yes, but I am not approaching this question from a Coase theory perspective. I am just employing plain old 18th century Rights of Man analysis here.

        It’s been so long since anyone had to worry about the existence of an aristocracy that no one remembers what one is.

        An aristocracy is a group of people who possess rights at law that other people do not possess. The members of that group are able to use their superior rights at all to achieve political dominance and economic enrichment at the expense of everyone else.

        Under cap and trade as currently proposed, people will fall into two categories:

        1. People who will be given the right to emit carbon as a free and outright gift from the state.

        2. People who will have to pay to be allowed to emit carbon.

        It is important to note, as well, that not only do the people in #2 have to pay in order to do what the people in #1 can do for free – the people in #2 will have to pay the people in #1.

        So the people in #1 will possess superior rights at law, and will be able to monetize those superior rights at law on the backs of everyone else.

        There is no way to avoid this rearrangement of the legal relationship between citizen and citizen without either auctioning ALL of the emission rights, or using a completely different approach like a carbon tax.

        1. Look fluffy, I AGREE with you on your point. I just wondered if anyone knew the answer to my question about the Coase theory application. Just curious, that’s all.

        2. An aristocracy is a group of people who possess rights at law that other people do not possess.

          Don’t we already have that in exemptions for certain sports from anti-trust laws, for example?

          1. Yeah fluffy, I’m becoming a bit doubtful at to this idea the more I think about. Aristocrats had certain rights inherent in their lineage, I think that’s what distinguised them. It strikes me that most laws that make distinctions grant rights (“entitlements”) to some people and not others (though the criteria would be more objective and less personal than with aristocrats)

      3. If we treat carbon emissions like radio station emissions, Coase suggested doing nothing. Conflicts on a specific wavelength would be handled via buyouts/contracts.

        Not sure that is the best comparison. In general, the idea is to define property rights and then let them negotiate. Two examples would be 1) ban carbon emissions from leaving property and let the plant negotiate with the downwind property owners. 2) Allow carbon emissions and let downwind property owners negotiate with the plant.

        In terms of AGW, everyone can negotiate with the emitters. 🙂

        1. Thanks robc.

          I’m not sure about the “downwind” analogy because the harm caused by carbon emissions is not supposed to be like the harm caused by traditionally concieved pollutants; its harm is in the aggregate on a global scale. So everyone is “downwind…”

          I’m unfamiliar with the radio station example. If we each are trying to emit on the same frequency then what is supposed to happen, one will seek out the other one and pay them an amount to stop (and this will make sure that the frequency goes to the party who values it more, else they wouldn’t offer the critical amount)?

          1. Right as I posted I think I realize your last sentence recognized my whole “downwind” discussion, sorry…

            1. right. If you pay me enough, I will cut my carbon emissions to a much lower level. So get you and all your AGW-believing friends together and pay me an assload of money.

              And everyone else. Heck, I bet most 3rd worlders could be bought off amazingly cheap.

              1. Free-rider problem?

                1. Ive never considered free-riding to be a problem.

          2. You have the radio bit right. That was the specific situation Coase was researching when he came up with his stuff, IIRC. I dont remember the details, but I think he recommended that to the FCC instead of auctioning off frequencies or the like.

    2. It is a way to control people’s lives and movement. In the UK they want to issue everyone a “carbon card”. The card would have your yearly allotment of carbon and you would use it every time you bought gas, paid your electricity bill or flew on a plane. If you ran out of carbon, you couldn’t do those things.

      It is an absolutely ingenious way of controlling people’s lives.

      1. Wait a minute…

        Are you serious? There’s no way in Hell that can be real. Not even with how out of hand fucking nutbag politicians have gotten.

        1. Crazy or not, it could be easily achieved by banning money and forcing everyone to use debit cards (with their handy itemization feature). Problem is, there is nothing man-made on earth that does not or has not used energy at some point. Therefore, it would be easier simply to tax everyone for the crime of living.

          1. …….

            I have nothing to say.

        2. It works like the old ration cards they had back during the war. You still use money. It is just that money alone doesn’t get you anything. You have to have money and a ration card.

          1. Rationing to thwart the carbon hoarders!

      2. “It is an absolutely ingenious way of controlling people’s lives.”

        Oh come off the high horse John. Maybe some people who support this idea think that, but most people might just have an honest disagreement with you. Are people like you that support police forces just involved in an absolutely ingenious way of controlling people’s lives? No? You think police forces protect persons and property with an acceptable cost in liberty? Well that’s how most people who support cap and trade probably feel.

        1. Just because they lie in bed with totalitarian dogs, doesn’t mean they won’t get flees. Right?

          I won’t come off my high horse. The policies being put forth to combat global warming go to the very heart of our way of life and our freedom. They are going to tell us what car we can drive, where we can set our thermostat in our house, how often and by what means we can travel, and (of course, progs always love to control the food supply) what kind of and where our food can come from. That is a totalitarian agenda. Just because people endorse such an agenda with the best of intentions, doesn’t make it anything but what it is. Indeed, I can’t think of a single totalitarian agenda that was ever adopted or supported without the best of intentions.

          1. And police can tell us what cars we can drive (not ones without current registration and in compliance with other laws), how fast we can drive it, when we have to stop it and when we can go. They can tell us what we can’t do to our kids, what products we can buy…Totalitarian, right?

            Look, you think it’s far too high of a cost in liberty for any benefit gained. Fine, say so, but what you are saying is that support for it is bad intentioned. That’s bullshit and a way for you to divy this up into black hats and white hats.

            1. On public roads, not during your every waking moment. Carbon involves everything. If the police are involved in every thing, then it is a police state.

              1. The police can tell us what we can’t do to our kids, what products we can buy, etc., even off the public roads. Fail John-boy.

                And lots of things in life don’t involve burning carbon.

                1. Congrats, MNG, you’ve just proven that your liberal views lead to the police state we live in. Yes, you heard me. If anyone at any time can get arrested for laws they didn’t even know existed, then it is a police state. We’ve settled what you are, now we’re just haggling over the price.

                  And that IS about controlling the proles.

                  1. Are you actually retarded?

                    We CURRENTLY live in a world where the police CAN tell you what you can and can’t do with your kids (try beating them or naming them Hitler or not giving them medicine etc), where they CAN tell you what products you can buy (try buying a machine gun or some weed or homemade unpastuerized milk, etc).

                    I’m OPPOSED to a lot of that above, just like I am OPPOSED to any cap-and-trade bill that I’ve seenn out there. But I acknowledge that the proponents of most of those things are well intentioned. THAT’S what we are talking about you idiot. You’ve missed the point entirely and yet plow on fanatically like some dumb farm animal…

            2. For the record, I’ve yet to see a cap-trade, carbon tax, etc., that I think does not exact too high a cost and is riddled with inefficienies. But I am honest and fair enough to see where people who are proposing such things are coming from without labeling them as black hats bent on dominating us like Hitler…

              1. Oh, well then, that makes it so much better.

                “See? They don’t want to oppress you, but they feel that they have to!”

            3. Why would intentions possibly matter, MNG? I’m sure the drug warriors have only the best intentions. The carbon warriors, too. The war warriors as well.
              Nobody is a bad guy in their own mind.

              1. They don’t matter in whether to oppose this thing or not (I think they are well intentioned and I opposed it). They do matter though in this sense: 1. it’s the truth, and that matters for something; 2. defining those whose policies you oppose as bad intentioned makes them evil and this is detrimental to the health of civil society imo.

                1. The worst evil always has, and always will, be done with the best intentions.

                  1. I don’t agree with that actually.

                    Take Hitler for example. Did he have “good intentions?” Yes you could argue he thought Jews corrupted the larger society, but he also, even at the level of intentions, had a evilly irrational prejudice towards “his people” and promoting their good at the expense of others.

                    Secondly, there have been lots of actually bad intentioned people in the world who have done quite a bit of evil. I think their record is hard to match.

                    1. “…an evilly irrational prejudice.”
                      Therefore, he was acting with, from his standpoint, pure intentions.
                      Ditto countless kings, dictators, popes, generals and that guy who checks your bags at the airport.

                    2. Er, by this kind of definition there is no evil CN…

                      Wanting to better people like you at the expense of different people IS evil intentions, not good ones.

                    3. Wait, what? Didn’t you just concede John’s point then?

                    4. “Wanting to better people like you at the expense of different people IS evil intentions.”
                      I think these words could come back to haunt MNG.

                    5. As I said I think most people who support restrictions to combat AGW do so because they think it will in general (I would bold that last two words if I knew html) harm property in person.

                    6. It doesn’t mean there is no evil; evil doesn’t have to be something that can be objectively measured to exist. There aren’t evil particles, you can’t build a malometer, but evil is an idea, and ideas exist in the minds of human beings.

                      Since the idea of evil resides in the mind of each person, it can vary from mind to mind. When viewed from the mental perspective of most people on earth, Hitler was evil. When viewed from the eyes of a Nazi, probably not.

                    7. by this kind of definition there is no evil

                      DING DING DING, we have a winner. Guess what, life isn’t starwars and there is no vader/emperor sitting in his hightower laughing maniacally about his complete and utter subjugation of the peasants.

                      “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a Saying because its so damn true.

                    8. Sure plenty of people have bad intentions. The point you seem to be missing is that “intentions” are meaningless, it is results that matter. I will be very happy if you intend me harm but make me a billionaire.

                      I defy you to find any comments from Mao, or Stalin or Hitler where they did not have “good intentions”. The fact that their intentions led to evil and murder is what is important, now how they felt about it.

                      This failure of understanding on your part about the ginormous difference between intentions and results is the reason that you remain a Leftist. Evil intentions that result in good results just don’t feel right to you so you reject them.

                2. And remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions

            4. That is the worst bit of sophistry you have ever written. Just because we have some rules doesn’t mean that all rules are justified or that a difference in quantity doesn’t create a difference in kind. Yes, the police here tell us that we have to register our cars. But, that doesn’t mean that there is no difference between the US and the old Soviet Union where you could only buy a single model of government approved cars. Come on MNG, you are not that stupid and surely you can’t think that I am so stupid as to not be able to see through such bunk.

              1. But you did not say “those who support cap and trade are supporting restrictions qualitatively different than those who support police restrictions;” you said they were bad intentioned, that they just wanted to control people. That’s bullshit and you should know better, but all that right-wing blog shit has addled your thinking.

                Most people that support restrictions to combat AGW do so because they think AGW is going to harm persons and property, just like most people who support police restrictions.

                1. I don’t know about that, MNG.

                  Environmentalism has always been rife with a great many people who do, in fact, have the intention of controlling people, and who will seize upon any possible justification at hand to be able to do so.

                  I firmly believe that there are environmentalists who don’t really care if AGW is true or not, as long as it lets them get rid of ugly smokestacks. I also firmly believe there are environmentalists who don’t really care if AGW is true or not, as long as it allows them to get people to lower their consumption to the “correct” amount.

                  1. “Environmentalism has always been rife with a great many people who do, in fact, have the intention of controlling people”

                    Yes, but just for shits and giggles? Come on…They usually have in mind some cause beneficial to people (even if its something like “so our kids can see polar bears in the wild” so something).

                    1. Yes, but just for shits and giggles? Come on…They usually have in mind some cause beneficial to people

                      Beneficial to themselves.

                      These people need to be looked at in the same light as perverts, with the difference being that where normal perverts get off on flashing the kids walking to the bus stop, these perverts get their sexual jollies on controlling everybody else’s lives.

                      The traditional pervert can only harm a few kids at a time by flashing him/herself, and only one at a time by anally raping them. And children can relatively easily recover from seeing some flasher’s privates: how many of us accidentally walked in on our parents changing clothes or some other activity that had them naked when we were kids?

                      The latter-day pervert, on the other hand, can harm everybody at the same time, and the damage is much harder to undo.

                  2. Actually, environmentalists hope AGW is NOT true.

                    But the facts are otherwise.

            5. Environmentalism has always been rife with a great many people who do, in fact, have the intention of controlling people,

              By definition, any environmentalist who wants government action to “protect the environment” has the intention of controlling people.

        2. The police aren’t supposed to observe your every action and you shouldn’t need their permission before your every action. That’s the difference between a free state and the police state you desire.

          1. Even under some of the worst AGW-fighting proposals you don’t have that either Captian Hyperbole. I mean, I’ve seen no proposal that has the state monitoring whether I bang my wife or not or walk my dog this evening, etc.

            1. Uh, I’m pretty sure both your wife and your dog emit carbon, MNG. If not, well, be careful is all I’m sayin’.

              1. I don’t see any proposal aimed at such things is my point CN.

                1. Slippery slope, give an inch take a mile, in for a penny in for a pound, blah blah blah.

                  1. Of course, this does not conflict with my original point: it’s analagous to police restrictions. I mean, allowing them to restrict my driving could lead to them restricting what type of car I drive yada yada yada just like allowing them to limit purchases of energy from carbon could lead to restrictions on wife banging, or something…

          2. “That’s the difference between a free state and the police state you desire.”

            I OPPOSE cap and trade you stupid moron.

            1. You support the left wing police state. Wanting a different implementation doesn’t make you less a threat to the freedom of everyone on this board.

              1. But if the left wing police state causes ALL to suffer EQUALLY, then there can be no evil intentions. Have I got it right?

              2. “”You support the left wing police state.””

                Do you think there is a difference between left wing, and right wing police states?

            2. A mere detail to these clowns.

  4. Fearing the electoral consequences of honesty, Congress is trying to hide the fact that they are increasing energy prices by distracting the American people with a torrent of rebates, subsidies, and tax incentives, along with plenty of happy talk about renewable energy and creating “green jobs.” The result is that Congress has devised a complicated and inefficient scheme where distributing a “free” commodity actually makes products and services more expensive than it would otherwise have to be.

    But the noble purveyors of Truth (Olbermann? Maddow? Anyone?) will broadcast this to the masses, and use their progressive polulism superpowers to stop this travesty.

    1. happy talk about renewable energy and creating “green jobs.”

      Have you noticed that everything the federal government has done in the past 11 months has created jobs? Except that it hasn’t? There’s so much pie in the sky, it’s blocking the sun. Say, there’s an idea! More shade, less warming, and a million new jobs for pastry chefs. Huzzah!

  5. polulism populism

  6. Instead of being serfs tied to the land, we would be serfs tied to carbon.

    Well, once only the carbon aristocrats can afford gasoline or electricity, the rest of us will get to be BOTH kinds of serf.

  7. At least the lobbyists will tend to cancel each other out. It’s the lobbying by “scientists” and the MSM that’s really going to hurt.

    OTOH, how many green credits might I get for teaching Hunter Education?

  8. Ron, you forgot the byline on this post.

    1. brec: Thanks much. Fixed.

  9. It is just that money alone doesn’t get you anything. You have to have money and a ration card.

    If you want to see how a “real” carbon trading market works, wait ’til this comes to be.

  10. Happily, this monstrosity will never become law. When a human face gets put on the legislation (if man-pig Henry Waxman can be considered human) and the posters start showing up featuring a mustachioed man even more horrible than Hitler, the peasants will recoil in disgust.

    1. I’m willing to say that it will become law. At least some form or cap-and-trade.

      Nothing surprises me anymore.

  11. Baby Let’s Play House

  12. From what I’ve read they’ve got pretty educated estimates that with carbon output at level x we will get y amount of warming with z results.

    These are, of course estimates arrived at by throwing chicken bones up in the air and analyzing the patterns they make when they land.

  13. Soylent Green is carbon!!!

    1. Cap and Trade is a cookbook!

      1. The funny thing is that I’m willing to bet that a lot of the people who support it do so in order “to serve man”…

        1. That was a book before it was a Twilight Zone episode.

          1. So long as the book’s subtitle was “A Woman’s Guide to Happiness” I have no problems.

    2. SG references should only be made by those with the courage to wear scarves the way C. Heston did in that film.

      1. It might be worth it for a new set of furniture.

  14. By giving free permits to certain industries, isn’t the government admitting that cap and trade will have a negative economic effect on industry? They are saying that cap and trade will make it impossible for industry to compete and the government has to preemptively bail them out right?

    1. Your logic is unwanted here.

  15. KHARRRBBOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNN!!!

  16. Wanting to better people like you at the expense of different people IS evil intentions, not good ones.

    Wait- you mean forcibly taking money from somebody in order to pay your kid’s doctor bills is actually EVIL?

    Preposterous.

  17. Although I’m sure there’s some utilitarian, relativist way out of this conundrum…

    1. Well, it was sloppily stated I’ll admit, I was trying to capture that Hitler’s thinking was not “well intentioned” in that he automatically devalued the welfare of some for the promotion of others. One of the cardinal tenents of utilitarianism is “all welfare counts equally” (the other of course is that the right action is that which maximizes welfare).

      So I still get to take the meds from the doctor to give to the kid; I’ve valued both persons welfare equally but the loss in welfare to the doc is outweighed by the gain to the kid.

      But it’s noon (=lunch time) so I’ll have to run.

      1. And utilitarianism is antithetical to relativism. It gives an objective neutral principle to govern all moral choices: if the act maximizes overall welfare, it’s right, end of story.

        It’s deontology that often enshrines some person or culture’s preferences as absolute rules.

        1. Do radical environmentalists count as a culture?

        2. Deontology usually assumes that through sufficient reason all people would arrive at the same conclusion.

          And I think we can admit that pure utilitarianism is both impossible and a bad idea.

  18. I firmly believe that there are environmentalists who don’t really care if AGW is true or not, as long as it lets them get rid of ugly smokestacks.

    I would include in this category the people who constantly bitch about “light pollution” created by people who actually take advantage our the fact that we have electricity available twenty four hours a day.

    1. I’m one of those bitches, P Brooks. It bugs the crap outta me that some warehouses a mile from my house can light up the entire sky and ruin my view of the Milky Way. You’d think, for the sake of efficiency alone, they’d cut back the wattage and use down-reflectors. Bah!

      1. And yes, I was there before the warehouses.

        1. Coase to the rescue!!!!

        2. I’ve got it! A revenue-neutral lumen tax!

    2. I would include senators who oppose solar collection in the desert. And those who oppose windmills off fancy islands.

    3. And so they need to shine lights up into the sky all night? Fuck those people (in my town the worst offender is the police station).

  19. Actually, CN, I have a couple of neighbors who feel the need to light their property up like a goddam prison camp, and I most definitely wish they wouldn’t. I have a couple of floodlights, on a motion detector, which come on as I park, and go off after I get inside. I even got yellow lenses to reduce the amount of light they project.

    But there are also some people who rant and rave about the fact that you can see the lights from people’s windows dotting the valley, and “destroying” the natural beauty.

    1. Switch to thermal imaging, a death strip perimiter and automatic weapons. Then put it all on the interwebz for fun and profit.

  20. if the act maximizes overall welfare, it’s right, end of story.

    Corrected version:

    if the act by my reckoning maximizes overall welfare, it’s right, end of story.

  21. if the act maximizes overall welfare, it’s right, end of story.

    Terms needing definition are in bold.

  22. Cap and Tax is the next big crusade for the Tea Party Movement. And I hope the Chamber or NFIB or someone is preparing a flyer that an employer can put in its next payroll envelopes letting his or her employees know just how this legislation may affect them and their jobs and wallets.

  23. W/o the threat of physical violence, up to and including deadly force, you can’t make the doctor give the medicine to your kid. MNG, its life vs. life.

    1. But the local DA can make your life hell for not doing so, and the courts are sketchy about it.

  24. Dudes, welfare does not mean preferences.

    Ironically it is I who think welfare has an existence objectively apart from people’s preferences and that it can be known enough to base our actions on while you guys think it’s all relative…

    1. Dudes, welfare does not mean preferences.

      Err, yes it does.

      Welfare is wealth transfer. It is by definition preferential.

      1. He’s talking about welfare as in doing OK, not as in welfare state.

        1. Oh. Never mind.

          Carry on.

  25. Instead of aristocrats ennobled by a state grant of land, we would have aristocrats ennobled by the grant of free carbon permits. All that would be missing would be the titles.

    They will be known to one another by their rings, and secret handshakes.

  26. Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore,
    Riding through the night.
    Soon every lupin in the land
    Will be in his mighty hand
    He steals them from the rich
    And gives them to the poor
    Mr Moore, Mr Moore, Mr Moore.

  27. The core of today’s “enviromentalism” is population control and reduction. It has nothing to do with the environment.

    Marx would be proud.

  28. welfare has an existence objectively apart from people’s preferences

    Wrrrrrrrroooong!

    Guess again.

    1. If it was agreed that welfare allowed every one to have a car, it wouldn’t mean you get to pick the car. If we look at socialist welfare, preference is absent, you got whatever type of toliet paper the state wanted to hand out.

      Wouldn’t one argure that the greater the welfare role of the state, the less preferences the citizen would have about those products given by the state?

    2. Agree. It’s is absolutely subjective what constitutes “welfare”.

      Indeed, most of the environmental crowd would probably agree that industrial civilization has brought all sorts of psychological harms that can’t be measured in terms of life expectancy ir GDP. Many argue that a life of rural subsistence farming in small communities would be qualitatively superior to modern urban industrial society, even if it meant shorter lifespans.

      Human happiness is so much a matter of individual perspective, it’s impossible to say what counts as “welfare” for a given individual unless you ARE that individual.

  29. Is there a job for me?

  30. “Ironically it is I who think welfare has an existence objectively apart from people’s preferences and that it can be known enough to base our actions”

    And when you are wrong about that and have fucked over people’s lives in the name of their own good, what do you say then? Sorry? That is the same kind of thinking that gave us things like forced sterilization or in the extreme slavery. Some people just don’t know what is good for them and they need smart people to tell them and control their lives.

    I know you mean well MNG. But your profound ignorance at how the world actually works leads you to take some pretty disturbing positions.

  31. Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Riding through the land
    Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
    Without a merry band
    He steals from the poor.
    And gives to the rich
    Stupid bitch.

  32. Wouldn’t one argure that the greater the welfare role of the state, the less preferences the citizen would have about those products given by the state?

    “You are confused, Citizen. Your deluded notion of “welfare” contradicts what we in the Ministry of Plenty have determined your needs to be. You must understand, we are acting in Your Best Interest.”

  33. I think cap-and-trade is dead.
    Some reporter on NPR was saying she was told that a vote on it in the senate before November was “very unlikely”. At which point the Dems will lose seats. Which means it’s dead.

  34. Unfortunately, taxpayers don’t have lobbyists so we have little or no say in what the Congresscritters do.

    As long as Algore and his acolytes continue to spew the misinformation they have in the past, there is always the chance that cap-and-tax will be implemented regardless of the makeup of Congress. Republicans are no better than Democrats in that regard – the Medicare prescription drug plan comes to mind.

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