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Cap & Trade may be Clever, But it’s Not Smart

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It is a bit depressing to know the Liberals are about to bring in a cap and trade system. And it is really annoying to know they think they are being clever when they do it.

Economists are still being polite about the cap and trade schemes. The general view is that it is a lot better than nothing. That doesn’t make it a good choice, though. In the profession the tide has swung against the cap and trade approach.

If you read the recent report by the Ecofical Commission you will see that they simply don’t come down on one side or another. They do say that a major advantage of letting provinces develop their own schemes is that it keeps the revenues in the province. If revenue is important, then cap and trade is a bad choice.

Besides historic failures, serious corruption problems, and poor coverage, the big knock is that with cap and trade someone has to pay a whole posse of lawyers, speculators, bureaucrats, inspectors and verification experts. Every single unnecessary dollar they get comes from consumers. Cap and trade is wastefull because you get the same effect with a carbon fee and you don’t have to pay a lot of middlemen to do a worse job than a carbon fee would do.

A carbon fee would collect less from consumers for the same impact on carbon emissions. It would give less to the speculators and put more revenue into government coffers. We can argue about what to do with the reveues then. ( I say give it back to people). Whatever we do, let’s not give it to the overpaid managers of a cap and trade scheme.

I know there are still a few stalwarts still denying climate change or human caused climate change. They are wasting their breath. The world is moving on. They should stop fighting the battle that they have already lost and try to make sure that the carbon pricing system they are going to get is a good one. The smartest thing for climate change deniers at this point is to support Fee and Dividend system.

So here is the message for climate change deniers: why waste time fighting a losing batttle when your pocketbook is on the line?


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