Citizens be warned, the same is true regarding adoption of Cap and Trade scheme at the national level---it's strictly about taxation which will harm the economy and increase the size and reach of the Federal Government. Worse, it doesn't work!
And it won't work even if every country on the planet did it and there is zero chance that China or Brazil or India will commit economic suicide to adopt this sort of scheme.
Forget That It's All About Taxation For a Moment
Carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere because the oceans, plants, and the land are not absorbing the emitted carbon dioxide fast enough. The issue is that man is releasing about 7.3 gigatons per year in total carbon into the atmosphere. But photosynthesis absorbs 1.7 gigaton/yr and the ocean is absorbing 2.2 gigatons/year. This means that 3.4 gigatons/yr of carbon is accumulating in the atmosphere. Ultimately the ocean will absorb all of that carbon given enough time (centuries). So we have an imbalance between the ocean's absorption and our emissions.
|Figure 1. Worldwide carbon balance in gigatons per year (from Howard Herzog at MIT, 2001)|
If you do the math the, to stop the rising accumulation, we must reduce carbon emitted by about 50%. This amount would steady atmospheric concentration of carbon (not reduce it). See my blog Global Warming Made Easy for a slew of good graphs and figures for easy reference. So Cap and Trade would "potentially" reduce the rate of growth of carbon emissions but do nothing to reduce it. Also refer to my blog Global Warming Alarmism.
Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions Enough to Matter is a Herculean Task
- Convert all automobiles to electric, then
- Build enough additional nuclear and wind power plants to supplement existing power plants to power the electric cars--it's not quite as much as you might think if cars recharged at night
- Scrub the flue stacks of all the big existing conventional power plants to remove Carbon Dioxide and inject it in subsurface salt water reservoirs
Expect No Help From China, India, Brazil or Any Developing Country
After decades of alarm-ism, there is still not one power plant with carbon capture in existence in the world--anywhere in the world! The US has 10,000 power plants alone. We don't even know exactly how best to do it.
It just won't happen. Period. Remember, after $40 trillion, CO2 in the atmosphere would not decrease---it would remain elevated but theoretically not increase further. So, presumably, and a big presumption, that temperature rises would stabilize at the higher level.
Mass Transit Options And Mitigate Effects of Warming
It will take billions, not trillions to build seawalls or gradually relocate coastal cities to higher ground. I don't believe there is an immediate panic in terms of ocean levels but it's worth keeping an eye on.