“Treason on the House floor,” says Krugman

by Fran Smith on June 29, 2009

Noted atmospheric scientist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Paul Krugman, has a rant in the New York Times today saying that House members — the “deniers” who voted against the pork-filled energy bill — were guilty of “treason against the planet.”

As Krugman wrote:

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.

He must have been watching a different debate. I was most taken with the fact that the Democrats didn’t seem at all perturbed about voting on a bill with 300 pages of amendments missing. But the Republicans were, and repeatedly asked how they were supposed to vote on a bill that no one had read in its entirety.

But no, Krugman didn’t think that the Dems were acting irresponsibly in blatantly bribing recalcitrant Members to vote “aye” to get the necessary votes for a bill that would drastically restrict energy use, increase energy prices, subsidize every remote technology favored by Dems’ constituents, and, incidentally, would have a negligible effect on the earth’s temperature.

He was too busy ranting about “the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial.” In his apocalyptic view:

. . . the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.

Note: Krugman is not an atmospheric scientist and did not receive a Nobel Prize for Physics.

uggzcl June 30, 2009 at 2:01 am


ceolas June 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Pro-green a bad bill, anti-green a bad bill, all in all a bad bill – whatever about Krugman

The issues are emission reduction and future energy supply.

Given the unproven emission reduction effects on global temperature – and the expense of emission reduction – the key is to engage in activities valuable in themselves, which also keep on track with emission reduction targets at minimal business disruption and expense.

Sufficient first phase 2020 emission reduction, typically quoted at 15-20% reduction, is achieved by acting on electricity generation (coal, gas) and transport (mainly automobiles) alone, since these 2 sectors account for nearly 80% of fuel combustion emissions, and fuel combustion in turn accounted for 94% of CO2 emissions in 2007 (EPA data).

ceolas June 30, 2009 at 1:52 pm


The focus on electricity and transport gives several advantages – apart from lowering CO2 emissions:

1. Local environmental benefit from less pollution of sulphur and all else that's in the emissions, regardless of the less certain or immediate global benefit from CO2 reduction.

2. Electricity supply alternatives which together with improved grid distribution gives better competition and keeps down electricity bills for consumers.

3. Transport alternatives (using electricity, hydrogen and other energy sources), which also reduces the dependency on oil imports.

No Trade Problems

Unlike Cap and Trade, which involves cement, steel and other industries having to face imports from unregulated countries, the here suggested electricity and transport changes are not just more limited, but also largely local.

ceolas June 30, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Funding and Impact

Equity and long term loan finance can be used: Long term industrial loans from financial institutions, particularly if federal/state guaranteed, give low yearly interest repayments and lessen the effect on electricity bills or transport cost.

The impact on the businesses is further lessened by the stability and predictability surrounding the funding.

Since only electricity and transport are involved, other business continues as usual and consumers and society in general are spared expense and disruption.

This is even more obvious from having no energy efficiency regulation either.

ceolas June 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm


Understanding Cap and Trade, and why it is bad for America

http://ceolas.net/#cce5x (http://ceolas.net/#cce5x)
Basic Idea — Offsets — Tree Planting — Manufacture Shift — Fair Trade — Surreal Market — Real Market — Allowances: Auctions + Hand-Outs — Allowance Trading — Companies: Business Stability — Business Costs — In Conclusion

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