What’s The Point, Then

by Handsome Matt

Yesterday I posted a link to an article in Business Week. It was about the fact that estimated levels of greenhouse gases and actual measured emissions don’t match up. The line I best liked from this article was in regards to current methods of estimating emissions. It’s  “like figuring out what you weigh by looking at what you eat.”  Obviously that isn’t a very intelligent way of measuring weight, nor is it a fine way of measuring emissions.

The article goes on to point out that China doesn’t report emissions at all, and that there are better and more efficient methods of measuring emissions in the atmosphere.

The author makes the point that right now it isn’t an issue, with CO2 being traded at $18 a ton in Europe, but when it’s value rises upwards, the temptation to lie, misreport, or cook the books will become greater and greater.

Conservance Stance

Unless everyone is actively participating in a cap and trade system, then what’s the point? China has roughly 1/6 of the worlds population, and India is following close behind. Even if the rest of the world were to cap and lower emissions, China and India could completely negate this.

Secondly, with the debate growing over jobs and the economy, a national or even international regulatory agency could be one way to create jobs that everyday workers would be eligible to work at. Measuring emissions, issuing fines and penalties, collecting data, and the administrative side of things could potentially create thousands of jobs across all 50 states.

While some might balk at the creation of another government agency, we should remember one important fact: When an agency actively enforces laws and requirements, those laws are proven effective. When we talk about the failings of a regulatory agency or of a certain law, more often than not it’s due to a lack of enforcement.

All in all, we need to measure emissions effectively and create a strong regulatory agency in order to make a cap and trade system effective at curbing emissions or lowering emissions profitably. If this doesn’t happen, or if we trust corporations to self-regulate or self-report, then it won’t work